Galactagogues are pharmaceutical or herbal medicines that are thought to increase the production of milk.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before trying a galactagogue:

  • Frequent and effective breastfeeding or milk expression is the most important factor in increasing milk supply. If the breast isn't drained thoroughly or often enough, a galactagogue won't help.

  • Natural is not a synonym for safe. All medicines, including herbal ones, may cause side effects or drug interactions. Please talk to your health care provider before trying any herbal or pharmaceutical treatments.

  • There is little research to support the effectiveness of galactagogues. Few quality studies have been done, and the results have been inconclusive. Due to possible side effects and lack of evidence for galactagogues' effectiveness, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine does not currently recommend any specific galactagogues.

LLL Sources

The Breastfeeding Answer Book: Galactagogues supplement to The Breastfeeding Answer Book, March 2012 - Discusses pharmaceutical galactagogues (domperidone and metoclopramide/Reglan)

Non-LLL Sources

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine: Protocol on The Use of Galactagogues in Initiating or Augmenting the Rate of Maternal Milk Secretion, 2011 - Covers both pharmaceutical and herbal galactagogues
Health Canada: Domperidone safety warning addressed to health care professionals
Kellymom: What is a galactagogue? Do I need one?
Fenugreek Seed for Increasing Milk Supply
Prescription drugs used for increasing milk supply
Oatmeal for increasing milk supply Galactagogues to Increase Milk Production
has short sections on
• alfalfa
• blessed thistle
• fennel
• fenugreek
• nettle
• goat's rue
• shatavari
with dosage recommendations

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General: galactagogues
Herbal galactagogues: alfalfa
blessed thistle
goat's rue
lactation cookies
mother's milk tea
Pharmaceutical galactagogues: domperidone
metformin (possible treatment for low supply caused by PCOS)

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