What are some herbal medicines you can use when you’re breastfeeding?
11/30/2019 // Melissa Smith // Views

The use of herbal medicines has grown considerably over the years. In a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers looked at the prevalence and beneficial effects of herbal medicine use during breastfeeding. They found that some breastfeeding mothers take herbal medicines, but not for increasing the production and supply of breast milk.

The researchers, who were from the University of Sierra Leone and the University of Technology Sydney, carried out a cross-sectional study among 378 breastfeeding mothers. They visited public healthcare facilities in western Sierra Leone.

They used descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis for data analysis. Out of all the participants, 140 of them used herbal medicines during breastfeeding. However, only three of them used herbal medicine to improve breastfeeding.

The researchers found that dietary changes, not herbal medicines, were the most common method used to increase breast milk supply. Cassava leaves sauce and tubers were the most common dietary addition.

They also found that mothers with children over six months old were more likely to use herbal medicines than those with younger children. This could be associated with several factors, such as the mothers’ concern that younger infants are more likely to experience an overdose or adverse events from indirect ingestion of herbal medicine. The use of medications, including herbal medicine, is always a concern among breastfeeding women.

As for those who used herbal medicine, the researchers thought that breastfeeding mothers might have used it only to treat their own conditions and maintaining their own health and wellbeing, not for increasing breast milk supply. Among herbal medicine users, only 16 of them disclosed their herbal medicine use to their conventional healthcare providers as most of them thought that it was not necessary information.


Herbal medicines for increasing low breast milk production

Breastfeeding is important because it offers many health benefits both for the mother and child. Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from eczema during adolescence than those who were not. Breastfeeding mothers also tend to become attentive mothers. However, some women may experience a decline in their breast milk supply because of several factors such as too much stress and menstrual period. Here are several breastfeeding herbs that may help:

  • Alfalfa – Alfalfa, one of the oldest and most cultivated crops in history, is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is also low in saturated fat and rich in fiber and protein. In addition, it is said to increase milk production, making it a great addition to your breastfeeding diet.
  • Fennel – Fennel is a sweet, licorice-tasting herb that has both culinary and medicinal uses. In addition to treating digestive problems and menstrual issues, this herb can help increase milk production in breastfeeding moms.
  • Garlic – Garlic is a common ingredient for numerous recipes, but it can also be used for increasing milk supply. However, it may also affect the flavor of your breast milk.
  • Ginger – Fresh ginger is a great addition to your diet not only because for increasing your breast milk supply but also improving your overall health. This herb offers many other health benefits like relieving motion sickness or treating digestive problems.
  • Goat’s rue – Belonging to the same plant family as fenugreek, goat’s rue, in its dried form, is said to be a safe supplement. This herb has properties that may help a mother build up breast tissue and produce more breast milk. Avoid consuming fresh goat’s rue as it is dangerous and should never be used.

Read more studies on the use of herbal medicines of women at WomensHealth.news.

Sources include:



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