Emily Oster

2 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

Can I Use Galactagogues to Boost My Breast Milk Supply?

Q&A on breastfeeding

Emily Oster

2 min Read

What evidence is there around the effectiveness of consuming galactagogues for milk supply? Which, if any, are more effective? How much would one have to consume to really see a difference?

—Nursing Parent

“Galactagogues” are drugs or supplements to improve breast milk supply. Before I get into it, I want to say that I hope you — and all the other people who asked a form of this question — can feel comfortable supplementing with formula. Frantically consuming fenugreek and lactation cookies and all the rest isn’t necessarily a recipe for happy parenting. There should be no shame, judgment, or discomfort with the use of formula. (I’ve written about this a lot, but here is a link to the first excerpt from Cribsheet if you need a refresh.)

I know that wasn’t your question!

In terms of what increases milk supply, there is little or no evidence for any of the foods or herbs you commonly hear about. Studies are small or biased, and show mixed results. Certainly there is no magical finding that if you eat the right kind of oatmeal or something, you’ll be producing twice as much milk. If you want to eat a cookie, do so, but pick one because it is tasty, not because of lactation.

There is a bit of evidence for drugs — notably, domperidone and metoclopramide — that increase supply. But the effects aren’t consistent or sizable. And both drugs have side effects. Overall, these are unlikely to be recommended outside of unusual situations.

The only reliable way to increase milk supply is to nurse more and pump more, which indicates to your body that it should ramp up production. But again, please be careful with yourself here. Formula supplementation is not the enemy.

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Tag a Dad who this holiday may be tricky for. We’re sending you love. 💛

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Tag a Dad who this holiday may be tricky for. We’re sending you love. 💛
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#parentdata #postpartum #postpartumdepression #paternalmentalhealth #newparents #emilyoster

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Head to the newsletter for more and stay tuned for part two next week on naps! 🌙

#parentdata #emilyoster #childsleep #babysleep #parentingcommunity

SLEEP DATA 💤 We asked you all about your kids’ sleep—and got nearly 15,000 survey responses to better understand kids’ sleep patterns. Comment “Link” for an article that breaks down our findings!

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Head to the newsletter for more and stay tuned for part two next week on naps! 🌙

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#parentdata #emilyoster #tickseason #bugbites #bugspray

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⭐ Using bug sprays with DEET
⭐ Wearing long sleeves and pants in the woods

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#parentdata #emilyoster #tickseason #bugbites #bugspray
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👉Comment “Link” for a DM to an article that summarizes all of the best potty training advice we collected.

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We’re hiring an Associate Editor at ParentData! More details at my link in bio. Please share with the great writers and data-loving people in your network. 📊💻 ...

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Listen and subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster in your favorite podcast app 🎧

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☀️ Most importantly, limit their time out in hot weather. (They get hotter than you do!)
☀️ Keep them in the shade as much as possible when you’re out.
☀️ Long-sleeve but lightweight clothing is your friend, especially on the beach, where even in the shade you can get sunlight reflecting off different surfaces.
☀️ If you want to add a little sunscreen on their hands and feet? Go for it! But be mindful as baby skin tends to more prone to irritation.

Comment “Link” for a DM to an article on the data around sun and heat exposure for babies.

#sunsafety #babysunscreen #babyhealth #parentdata #emilyoster

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☀️ Most importantly, limit their time out in hot weather. (They get hotter than you do!)
☀️ Keep them in the shade as much as possible when you’re out.
☀️ Long-sleeve but lightweight clothing is your friend, especially on the beach, where even in the shade you can get sunlight reflecting off different surfaces.
☀️ If you want to add a little sunscreen on their hands and feet? Go for it! But be mindful as baby skin tends to more prone to irritation.

Comment “Link” for a DM to an article on the data around sun and heat exposure for babies.

#sunsafety #babysunscreen #babyhealth #parentdata #emilyoster
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