I interviewed Lisa on hormonal causes of low milk supply when her book, The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk, co-authored with Diana West, came out. I also read Mother Food, which has great information on increasing milk supply using foods and herbs.
Before working to increase your milk supply, you need to first determine if it's actually in need of a boost. There are many things that can make you think that it's low when it's not. If it's truly a concern, galatctagogues shouldn't be your first step. Feeding frequently and effectively, ensuring that the latch is good, breast compression, pumping after feedings, and skin to skin are at the top of the list. A trained breastfeeding suppport person can help with all that. Herbs and prescription medications would be the next things to explore with your health care provider.
So, which foods were listed on the handout as increasing milk supply?
- High fiber foods such as oats, usually eaten as oatmeal (the old fashioned kind, not instant), barley, brown rice, and beans
- Calcium-rich foods such as sesame, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables
- Fruits such as apricots, dates, figs, and cooked green papaya
- Soups made from Torbangun or Mulunggay leaves
Last year I wrote about making lactation cookies, which contains oats, as well as brewer's yeast, another traditional galactagogue. Whether or not they help with milk supply, there's really good!
Have any of you found that any of these foods helped your milk supply?