The woman body is a wonderful creation. It gives you the ability to breastfeed by automatically producing "prolactin" - a type of chemical that produces breast milk - once it knows you are pregnant with your little one.
While different woman has different breastmilk supply, do you know that the majority of women should have enough breast milk for their baby? Yet, at some point of time in our breastfeeding journey, we will still need some sort of boost to maintain our breast milk supply.
1. What causes low breast milk supply?
There are many reasons why we are not producing as much breast milk as we would like. The 2 most common reasons are: we did not pump on time or we cannot breastfeed on demand.
You see, the volume of breast milk production very much relies on the concept of 'supply and demand'. The more demand there is, the more your body will produce the supply. Fairly straightforward, right?
The problem is, there are times when we are too busy or simply forgot to pump when it's time, or it could be that we are not around when baby needs to nurse (hence the need of these!).
When you do not express milk from your engorged breasts when need be, the body will naturally think that it has more than enough. The result is, it will automatically wean down your milk supply. If you don't do something to boost your supply back up, your milk supply will slowly run out until nothing's left anymore (this is how mothers wean off when breast milk is not required anymore). We told you, the body is an amazing thing itself!
2. Top 5 Best Products to Increase Milk Supply
3. What Are the Ingredients and Are They Safe for Mother and Baby?
Now that you know what are the best products to increase breast milk, do you want to know more about what goes into them? They are, after all, external supplements that go into your body and your baby will consume it too through your breast milk.
The most common galactagogues that are found in lactation supplements are:
4. A Word of Caution
While lactation supplements are generally safe with limited side effects, you should always check with your doctor or lactation consultant first before you consume any of these off the counter breastfeeding supplements.
Also, moderation is key as oversupply is a real possibility. You will still need to pump regularly because, well, supply and demand. Remember, these supplements work to boost your milk supply only, they are not meant to retain your supply level. Even the best lactation supplement will not be able to maintain your milk production if you do not pump regularly.
And lastly, breastfeeding supplements are meant to be taken post natal (note how some brands label them as "postnatal breastfeeding supplement"). They are generally not safe in pregnancy and you should avoid them if you think you are pregnant (there are other vitamins you can, and are encouraged to take). You can build your milk supply afterwards, not before baby is born. Again, always consult your doctor if you are to consume anything supplementary - it is always better safe than sorry!
Other breastfeeding know-how you should familiarise yourself with: