What is a Galactagogue?
Breastfeeding terminology can get a bit obtuse at times. For example the definition of a galactagogue is anything that excites lactation helping the mother with expressing breast milk. In other words a galactagogue is anything that simulates an increase in breast milk production for a nursing mother. I would expect something with a name like galactagogue to be from outer space. But alas galactagogues are natural herbs and foods that can be added to a mother’s diet to increase breast milk production.
If you are suffering from a reduction in breast milk supply here are some common galactagogues to try:
- Hops – This explains why some mothers swear drinking a beer helps increase breast milk production
- Fennel seed
- Blessed Thistle
A word of caution: As you learned during pregnancy not all herbs that are safe for an adult to consume are safe for a child to consume. Volume plays a big part when considering toxicity. A child simply has less volume to dilute a toxin. I have listed reliable breastfeeding resources below that you can use to help you find safe herbs to use while breastfeeding. You can also ask your health care provider but keep in mind that doctors are in the service of pharmaceutical companies and are less likely to be well versed in herbal remedies. If you want to try a natural way to stimulate breast milk production I recommend that you seek out a lactation consultant.