As a naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist, I love to learn about the incredible health enhancing properties of food and herbs. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t acknowledge the gift that real, wholefoods can give each and everyone of us and I mean this on all levels whether it is sharing your grandmothers favourite dessert with her or cooking up an amazing superfood salad. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually food can benefit us all.
As herbalists we use literally hundreds of herbs. I had over 200 liquid herbal extracts in my dispensary when I was practicing. Each and everyone of them have their specific uses; their own qualities and actions they exert on the body. To make learning them all a tad easier they were grouped in to ‘actions’. Although most herbs have more than one specific action on the body they usually have one or two major actions.
So, we have ‘sedatives’, ‘carminatives’, ‘stress adaptogenics’, ‘immune boostings’, ‘anti-bacterial’, ‘lymphatic’, ‘glactagogue’ herbs… and the list goes on.
Wait… Galacta-WHAT! What is a glactagogue?
The true definition of this Greek word is ‘a substance that promotes lactation in humans and other animals. It may be synthetic, plant-derived or endogenous.’
Thats a pretty neat substance, just awesome! Herbs and foods that can help breastfeeding women. There are many herbs and foods that as naturopathic practitioners, we could use to assist mothers during their breastfeeding years whether it was to stimulate and boost production or to generally support them through this very taxing time and ensure that they can produce enough milk for their little ones for as long as they desire.
So we put them to work in our Tanker Toppers
We have utilized three very well know galactagogues in our Tanker Toppers (along with many other nourishing ingredients which we feel makes them even better for mums) those being Oats, Brewers Yeast and Flaxseed Meal. These three foods have been advocated by midwives, lactations consultants and have been used by mums for hundreds of years.
- Is naturally high in the energy producing B complex vitamins, which are essential for breaking down carbohydrates, fats and protein for energy production. They also support the nervous system and help maintain digestion. They make your food into fuel.
- Contains the blood sugar balancing nutrient chromium, perfect to help keep you running all day long and free from sugar lows.
- Is packed with the anti-oxidant selenium, imperative to keeping you young!
- Is rich is iron, a very important nutrient commonly deficient in new mums
- Contains a decent amount of protein so it will naturally assist in supporting natural grown and repair of the body’s cells.
- Has been recommended by midwives and folk health care providers for hundreds of years. It is one of the most traditional galactagogues going around
- Are another excellent source of iron. Studies show that low iron levels can decrease a milk supply and adding foods high in iron can drastically increase milk supply in many women.
- Have all the personality of common comfort food. The warmth and relaxing effects of eating oats may encourage a faster let-down, which in turn will build a healthy milk supply.
- Whole oats are among the many foods that are shown to lower cholesterol.
- Are full of fibre. Great for your bowels but also it is known that when raising farm animals fibre is often increased in their feed as the most common method to increase milk return
- Like Brewers yeast, breastfeeding mums worldwide have consumed oats for years to help boost their breast milk supply.
- These little glossy beauties are rich in the essential fat omega 3. Most nursing mothers are deficient in these good fats as all of their stores are usually sent to the breast milk for their babies.
- Every new mum needs to consume more not only for themselves but also for their babies as omega 3 fats are essential for the healthy brain development of infants and children.
- Flaxseeds are also high in fibre, protein, magnesium, calcium, zinc and protein – a superb superfood for sure!
Some other Galactagogues:
- Fennel seeds
- Fennel bulb
- Fenugreek seeds
- Green Papaya
- St Mary’s Thistle
- Goat’s Rue
So how long will it take for Lactation Biscuits to work and boost your milk supply?
Prior to releasing our power tankers we ran trail focus groups with some local mamas and asked them about their thoughts on the products, one question answered almost unanimously was “did you notice any difference in your milk supply” which was answered with “within 5-6 hours”. We had another mama who said she didn't notice any difference in her supply while eating them but when she stopped the supply dropped dramatically.
Every woman is different, yet we have mummas constantly telling us, to their own surprise, about how fast they saw a response and the impact it had. Here’s what they had to say about how quick lactation biscuits worked for them:
Hi guys. My friend send me some of your tanker toppers which arrived yesterday morning. I had 3 yesterday and already my milk has gone insane. My 9 week old son has decided to go on a breast strike which has been going on for over a week now .
I've been pumping and over the past few days have had to top up with formula which I have HATED. No longer will I have to do this! The increase has been consistently 50 - 60mls more each pump. Crazy! Just wanted to say a huge thank you.
I received the order yesterday and had my first cookie and today have been swimming in milk! Fabulous product. I really don't expect it to work so quick. I ate one and thought 'oh well if they don't work they're a delicious snack' but wow I certainly had milk to go with those cookies haha!!
A quick shoutout to @franjoskitchen for making such amazing (and totally delicious!!) lactation cookies!! After 3 nights of cluster feeding ALL NIGHT and of hardly any sleep, I tried a sample cookie I was given in the Baobag by the @matermothers hospital. After just one biscuit my milk supply was boosted 10 fold and this little babe did 4 hourly feeds over night and I will be heading out today to stock up!!! This mumma is feeling much more refreshed this morning that is for sure!! So to all the breastfeeding mumma's out there, I would highly recommend you give @franjoskitchen lactation cookies a try! You will not regret it!!
“No, thank you!! I’m already pumping over 50ml more than usual [in less than a week] in each session while I’m at work because of these!!”
I love how quickly these work! I eat 3 after my 9am feed and I'm literally bursting with fullness by his 2pm feed all the way through to his night feeds. They have worked amazingly and taste delicious and can't wait to receive my ordered tins. Thank you for sharing and making an incredible product to help us Mummas!
As you can see, we love Galactagogues and as mums ourselves couldn’t have made it through the first stages of motherhood without them. Depending on your situation and supply levels you may go about introducing Galactagogues into your diet more in a number of ways such as liquid herbal medicines, herbal tablets, herbal teas and food (diet) inclusion. Please always consult a herbal medicine or naturopathic practitioner for nutritional and or herbal supplementation.
Photo by @gowildmama