Breastfeeding tea has picked up a reputation for being a milk booster for nursing moms. Often, moms struggling in their journey go straight to supplements and foods that are said to help maintain or increase one’s breast milk supply.
There’s a problem here, though.
What’s not widely known is that “milk boosters” like fenugreek (an ingredient in most supplements and nursing teas) and other herbs can do more harm than good and may even end up decreasing milk supply.
That’s hardly what we’re trying to do.
And before I started learning more, I didn’t know there was any downside to these supplements. In fact, when I was nursing my first son, I was told to try fenugreek to boost my supply.
You know, it’s a little confusing when leaders in this industry are divided on a topic like this. But I figure it’s our job to find out all we can and then make our own decision based on our personal preferences, unique needs, and good ol’ intuition.
So I’ll talk about what breastfeeding tea is, what it’s supposed to do, and whether or not it’s something you should consider if you’re looking to increase your supply.
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What is Breastfeeding Tea?
Breastfeeding tea is a pretty common product these days. It’s simply herbs blended in various ways that you use to infuse hot water (also known as steeping.)
There are several types and brands on the market and these products are marketed as being breast milk boosters – something that’ll increase breast milk supply.
Use it same as you would any other tea.
Steep either loose leaf tea or tea bags in hot water and drink.
Types of Breastfeeding Tea
These teas are typically herbal, caffeine free, and contain specialty herbal blends of blessed thistle, fenugreek, fennel and anise seeds, caraway seeds, spearmint leaf, licorice root and more.
Yes, these are considered galactagogues – herbs thought to increase milk supply – but there’s no guarantee they’re safe. And just because something hasn’t been proven harmful doesn’t mean it’s safe to consume or that it’ll increase supply.
The main difference between one brand and another is the blend of herbs used which will influence the flavor of the tea. No matter what the brand, you’ll have the choice of loose leaf tea or tea bags.
As for taste, it’s a good idea to check out what other buyers say to get an idea of how a particular breastfeeding tea tastes.
Clicking on any image or the buttons below will take you to more information about the product and its reviews.
Does Breastfeeding Tea Actually Increase Milk Supply?
For some women, yes. Some women have reported that when they drink breastfeeding tea or other supplements intended for boosting milk supply, their milk supply increases.
Others, however, have reported no change whatsoever or worse, a decrease in supply.
There is truly nothing so sad as a mom losing her milk supply when she’s simply trying to increase it for her baby.
So, unfortunately, my answer to this question here is: it might.
Why You Should Consider Avoiding Breastfeeding Tea
Are you willing to take the chance that breastfeeding tea could dry up your milk supply?
If this were to happen, you could work with a lactation consultant to get your supply back up. In the meantime, you’re looking at supplementing with formula or donated breast milk, and you’ll need patience – it can take time to get your supply back up just to where it was in the first place.
However, if you’re at your wit’s end, a milk booster could help.
I don’t plan on using these because the last thing in the world I would want is for my supply to dry up and especially not because I tried breastfeeding teas and other “milk boosters.”
The decision is up to you, though. For some moms, supplements work! But, me, personally? I don’t plan to use any kind of breastfeeding supplement.
If you’re considering using breastfeeding teas or any other supplement, I would recommend seeking out the advice of a lactation pro in your area or online.
Frustrating, right? We should be able to depend on the promises made by those promoting breastfeeding tea.
Increase my supply? “Please!”
Make sure my baby is getting enough breast milk? “Sign me up!”
It’s not that simple, though.
The uncomfortable truth is that these teas may not be unsafe, but they’re not proven safe. And while some moms might see an increase in supply after drinking an herbal-infused milk booster, others will see their supply dry up.
If you are wanting to make sure your baby is getting enough, watch the diapers. 4-6 wet diapers a day tells you they’re getting milk.
If you’re wanting to increase your supply, put Baby to the breast frequently – on demand. Eat a healthy diet, get in some loving movement daily, and practice stress reduction techniques.
And if you’re struggling, please seek out the advice of a lactation consultant and/or a support group like La Leche League. Hospitals also have breastfeeding support groups, so investigate your options.