All About Galactagogues: Foods That May Help Increase Breast Milk
Many mothers worry about their breast milk production. Because breast milk supply isn’t easily measured, even with a breast pump, there’s a lot of mystery to breastfeeding. If you find yourself worried about your milk production, or just want an easy way to boost your supply, try eating galactagogues: foods and herbs that might naturally increase breast milk production.
While it can’t be scientifically proven, many breastfeeding mommies swear by the following foods and herbs as ways to increase milk production:
- Goat’s rue
- Blessed thistle
- Brewer’s yeast
- Red raspberry leaf
There are also a lot of foods and drinks mamas swear by when it comes to increasing or maintaining, milk supply! Some of these include:
- Coconut water or coconut milk
- Sports drinks such as Gatorade or Body Armour
- Starbucks “Pink Drink”
- Store-bought lactation cookies
- Mother’s Milk tea
Remember, none of these can be proven to increase milk production. Breastfeeding is mainly about supply and demand – the more your baby latches and feeds, the more milk your body will produce. You can also try stimulating milk production by pumping between feedings or right after feeding times. And if you suspect a true issue with your breast milk production, be sure to contact your doctor or a lactation consultant!
Some breastfeeding mommies enjoy baking “lactation cookies,” and they usually come out much tastier than the store-bought variety! Most recipes call for brewer’s yeast, a galactagogue – and this ingredient can be found at most health food stores or online.
Here’s a super delicious recipe from Jessica at How Sweet Eats
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons brewers yeast
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons unrefined organic virgin coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks (I like Ghirardelli)
- Feel free to add: unsweetened flaked coconut chopped almonds, 1 to 2 tablespoons of almond butter
Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed. Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula until they are evenly dispersed.
Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds (I use an ice cream scoop so they are fairly uniform in size) and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.
Yields 20-22 cookies.
This recipe is also great to freeze and store to bake later!
If you are a breastfeeding mama looking to boost her milk supply, reading up on galactagogues and incorporating some into your daily diet may just be the key!