Top Lactation Helpers, for Moms; Enhance Milk Production and Comfort

One of the concerns among breastfeeding moms is whether they are generating enough milk to meet their baby's needs. Luckily, there are aids that can help improve milk supply and make breastfeeding more comfortable.

Among the favored aids for breastfeeding moms are lactation supplements. These supplements, also known as galactagogues, are specifically formulated to boost milk production and enhance milk flow. Various types of lactation supplements exist, including those made from herbs, vitamins, and minerals. However, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements to ensure their safety for both you and your baby.

Another beneficial tool for breastfeeding moms is incorporating foods into their diet. These foods are believed to stimulate milk supply. Examples of foods include grains, leafy greens, carrots, papayas, and blueberries. By including these nourishing foods in your meals, you can help ensure that you're receiving the nutrients necessary to produce milk for your little one.

Enhancing Milk Production in a Way

While breastfeeding is a natural process, some mothers may face challenges with low milk supply. Thankfully, there are methods to enhance the production of breast milk. Here are some ways to naturally boost milk supply:

  1. Breastfeed frequently: The most effective way to increase milk supply is by breastfeeding your baby more often and on demand. Nursing from both breasts and switching sides can also help stimulate milk production.
  2. Galactagogues: These are substances known to promote milk production. Popular galactagogues include fenugreek, fennel, blessed thistle, alfalfa, milk thistle, and goat's rue. You can find them in various forms. Incorporate them into lactation cookies or teas.
  3. Herbs: Certain herbs like moringa, shatavari, garlic, anise, and sage have been traditionally used for centuries to boost breast milk production. You can consume them as supplements, add them to your meals or brew them into lactation teas.
  4. Nutrition: A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein is crucial for milk production. Including foods like oats, flaxseed, eggs, and leafy greens in your diet can help increase your milk supply. Additionally, postnatal vitamins can provide nutrients that support lactation.
  5. Stimulation: Stimulating the nipples triggers the release of a hormone which stimulates the production of breast milk. There are ways to increase breast milk production naturally, including breastfeeding, using a breast pump, or manually stimulating the breasts.

To prevent clogged milk ducts and enhance milk flow, you can incorporate lecithin into your diet. Lecithin is a type of fat that can be obtained through supplements or in foods like eggs and soybeans.

Including nutrients like choline and beta-carotene in your meals is beneficial for lactation. Foods such as potatoes, carrots, and leafy greens are good sources of these nutrients.

If you're looking for a remedy to inflammation and support milk production, marshmallow root can be taken in supplement form or brewed into tea.

It's important to understand that every mother's body is unique, so what works for one may not work for another when it comes to increasing breast milk supply. If you're experiencing issues with milk supply, it's recommended to seek guidance from a lactation consultant or healthcare provider who can provide advice.

For new mothers facing challenges with breastfeeding, seeking lactation support can make a difference. A qualified lactation consultant or specialist can offer guidance and assistance in improving breastfeeding techniques, addressing concerns or issues, and ultimately increasing milk supply.

Keep in mind that not all lactation consultants or specialists possess the same level of expertise and experience. It is advisable to seek assistance from professionals who have been certified by organizations like the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) or the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP). These certifications ensure that the experts have undergone training and meet standards of knowledge and expertise.

Pediatricians can also provide support and guidance for breastfeeding mothers. They can monitor the baby's growth and development, offer advice on breastfeeding techniques and address any concerns about the baby's health or well-being.

For mothers facing milk supply challenges in breastfeeding, lactation aids can be helpful. These aids assist in supplementing a baby's feeding with expressed breast milk, formula or glucose water without relying on a nipple.

One commonly used lactation aid is a nursing system (SNS). It allows a mother to supplement her baby's feeding while still breastfeeding. The SNS includes a container for the supplement and a thin tube connected to the mother's breast. The tube is placed in the baby's mouth enabling them to receive both breast milk and supplemental feeds through it.

Breast pumps are also tools used as lactation aids. Breast pumps can be used for purposes such as increasing milk supply, stimulating milk production or relieving engorgement. There are different types of breast pumps including manual and electric ones. Some pumps even allow mothers to go hands-free, enabling them to pump while multitasking.

In some situations, healthcare providers may prescribe medications to help boost milk supply. These medications work by stimulating the hormones responsible for milk production. However, it's crucial for mothers to discuss the risks and benefits of these medications with their healthcare provider before using them.

There might be cases where formula supplementation becomes necessary for babies. In such situations, it is important for mothers to choose a formula that suits their baby's age and needs. It is equally important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when preparing and feeding the formula.

When it comes to breastfeeding safety and precautions, there are a few points to remember;

  1. Practice hygiene: Before breastfeeding or pumping make sure you wash your hands properly. Additionally, clean your breast pump and bottles after each use.
  2. Stay hydrated: Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while breastfeeding:

  1. Stay hydrated: It's generally recommended to have a glass of water each time you breastfeed.
  2. Maintain a balanced diet: Eating a variety of foods is important for both you and your baby's well-being. Include iron-rich options like spinach and red meat to help prevent iron deficiency anemia.
  3. Consult your doctor: If you have any health concerns such as high blood pressure or asthma it's best to discuss them with your doctor before breastfeeding. They can provide advice and suggest any necessary precautions or medications.
  4. Pay attention to the latch: A proper latch is crucial for breastfeeding success. Look for signs that your baby is latched correctly such as their mouth being wide open and their sucking motion encompassing both the nipple and the areola.
  5. Consider medication interactions: It's important to be aware that certain medications may impact your ability to breastfeed or could be transferred through breast milk to your baby. Always consult with your doctor before taking any medication while breastfeeding.
  6. Be mindful of food sensitivities: Some babies may have sensitivities to foods like dairy or gluten which can cause colic or digestive issues. If you notice symptoms in your baby consider eliminating these foods from your diet as an experiment.

Remember every individual situation may vary so it's always best to seek guidance from healthcare professionals for advice during this journey of breastfeeding.

Use caution when using lactation aids: While herbal supplements and lactation teas may assist in increasing milk supply their effectiveness is not yet firmly established. It's important to consult with your doctor before trying any lactation aids especially if you have a history of cancer or are taking medications that affect hormone levels.

Exercise caution with caffeine and peppermint; Although moderate consumption of caffeine and peppermint is generally considered safe they can potentially impact milk supply and lead to colic in infants. It is advisable to limit your intake of these substances while breastfeeding.

Adhere to sleep guidelines; The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing infants on their backs for sleep and avoiding loose bedding or overheating in order to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

By following these safety measures you can help promote the health and happiness of both yourself and your baby throughout the breastfeeding journey.

Email Jack Newman at, or Edith Kernerman at or consult: Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding (called The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers in the USA) or our DVD, Dr. Jack Newman’s Visual Guide to Breastfeeding; or The Latch Book and Other Keys to Breastfeeding Success; or L-eat Latch & Transfer Tool, or the GamePlan for Protecting and Supporting Breastfeeding in the First 24 Hours of Life and Beyond.  See our website at  To make an appointment email and respond to the auto reply or call 416-498-0002. 

Handout Jaundice Revised May 2008
Written and Revised by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC 1995-2005

 This handout may be copied and distributed without further permission,
on the condition that  it is not used in any context that violates
the International WHO Code on The Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes


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