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5 Best Supplements To Increase Milk Supply

If you are a breastfeeding mom looking for ways to increase your milk supply, you have probably looked into herbal supplements. There are so many lactation supplements in so many different forms it can be difficult to know which are the best supplements to increase milk supply.

In this article, I discuss my top 5 … plus a bonus

  1. Fenugreek

  2. Goats Rue

  3. Milk Thistle

  4. Blessed Thistle

  5. Shatavari

  6. Moringa

If you are seriously considering using any of these supplements, you want to speak with a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider before you start. 


person preparing herbs with a mortar and pestle


I live in a community where herbals and homeopathic remedies are commonly used for health and wellness goals as well as to treat illness. However, I knew that supplements to help milk production had gone mainstream when I saw them on the shelf at my local Target. 

Substances that include herbs and foods that can increase breast milk supply are called galactagogues.

If you are wondering if things like herbs, teas, or cookies can improve your milk production, keep reading to find out what the research says and what other moms say about supplements that help increase breast milk.


Before looking into supplements, you will want to make sure that you’ve got the whole supply and demand thing covered.

You want to send your breasts the message to make a lot of milk by stimulating them frequently. This is especially important in the early weeks of milk production.

Typically a minimum amount of stimulation will require at least eight to twelve breastfeeding or pumping sessions or a combination of the two each day. Each session needs to be at least ten to twenty minutes. 

If you are trying to make more milk, you first need to make sure you are doing the minimum.

If possible, increase breastfeeding frequency or add some pumping sessions to stimulate increased milk production. 

  • If your baby sleeps for longer stretches at night, you can try pumping two to three hours after the last feeding of the day. 
  • You can also try pumping for five to fifteen minutes right after feedings.
  • Even if you don’t express a lot of milk initially, the additional stimulation will tell your breasts to ramp up production.


Woman using an electric breast pump and looking at her phone


A good latch is essential for sufficient milk removal. If a baby does not latch well and, as a result, can’t remove enough milk, this tells your breasts to make less milk.

For a mama who is pumping, proper fit of the breast shields, also called flanges, is critical to adequate milk removal and mom’s comfort.

Related Posts

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Essential Steps To Have a Good Milk Supply



  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements.
  • Not all supplements are safe for breastfed babies.
  • When choosing the best lactation supplements, look for those classified by the FDA as “GRAS.” This stands for Generally Recognized As Safe.
  • There is not a lot of research done on supplements, but there is some. More on that in a minute.
  • What this means is that much of the information we have about supplements to boost breast milk production is from anecdotal reporting
  • Women in every culture consume specific foods and herbs traditionally believed to help increase their milk supply. 
  • There are different reasons a woman might be experiencing a low milk supply. This is part of the rationale of why a particular supplement may work for one mom and not have any effect on another. 


Most women will make as much milk as their baby needs.

Some moms will struggle with a low milk supply. 

However, not every mama who is looking for the best milk supply supplement is having trouble making enough milk for her baby.

There are a few reasons why a mom wants to boost her production.

  • A mother may make enough for her baby but has trouble pumping extra.
  • Some moms are trying to build a freezer stash.
    • A freezer stash is a good idea for every mom in the event of an emergency.
    • In preparation for going back to work


  • A mama may need to quickly increase her supply for a separation from her baby.
    • Business trip
    • Vacation
    • Planned surgery with hospitalization


  • In rare cases, a mom may need to take a medication that is not safe to breastfeed while taking it. If she has advance notice, she may be able to pump enough milk for the time she has to pump and dump. (Or find another use for the milk).




Related Posts 

Simple And Easy Guide To Building Your Breast Milk Stash

{10} Genius Ideas of What To Do With Leftover Breast Milk



Different herbs can affect your milk-making system in different ways.

  • They are affecting hormone levels, for example, increasing your prolactin levels.
  • Helping your let-down reflex
  • Correcting nutritional deficiencies


There have been a number of studies looking at whether supplements that are classified as galactagogues are effective in increasing milk supply. Most of the studies showed an improved milk supply when the galactagogues were taken (Source 1Source 2Source 3). 

However, many of the studies are considered to be of low quality. This could be because of a small number of participants or the way the research was conducted.


While herbal supplements are natural, that does not mean every herbal supplement is safe for a breastfeeding mother to take.

The five supplements that I review in this post are all considered safe for a breastfeeding mom and her baby when taken at the recommended dosages.

If you are pregnant and breastfeeding, I urge you to work one on one with a lactation consultant. Some herbs should be avoided during pregnancy.

Herbs are like any food or drug, and some people will not have any problems or issues when taking them. Other people can experience unpleasant side effects or even an allergic reaction.

If you or your baby experience an unpleasant side effect, you can try taking a lower dosage. You can also see if taking the supplement with food helps the side effects.

If you experience any kind of allergic reaction, you should stop taking it immediately.

The potential for side effects and allergic reactions is why I generally recommend trying individual herbs initially instead of combinations of herbs. If you take something with four or five different herbs in it and you have a reaction, you won’t know what is causing it.

The other aspect of herbal supplement safety is making sure you procure herbs that are from a safe source. There have been reports of herbal supplements containing heavy metals and pesticides.

One final thing to consider in terms of safety is whether an herb can interact with a medication a mother is taking. An excellent source to check on potential drug/herb interactions is the National Center For Complementary and Integrative Health’s Herb-Drug Interactions.


Some women have reported an increase in milk supply within 24 to 48 hours from when they started taking the supplement.

I encourage women to give it at least a week at the maximum recommended or tolerated dosage. If you do not see any difference before that, it probably is not working for you.

If a particular herb does not provide the increase in supply that you are looking for you can try another herbal supplement by itself or add it to what you are already taking.





I think these are the best supplements to increase milk supply based on what is used most often combined with the research.

There are many other supplements that are taken by women trying to boost their milk production, but these are the ones that I think are the top five.

The dosage recommendations come from an article by Frank Nice and the book Making More Milk.


Making More Milk second edition



Fenugreek is one of the most popular and best herbs to increase milk supply. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. It is used in imitation maple flavorings.

If you have diabetes, you should consult a healthcare professional before trying Fenugreek as it has anti-diabetic properties. 

In a study on rats, high doses of Fenugreek resulted in lowering the thyroid hormone T3. Moms who have low thyroid should consider this when deciding if they want to try it. You would definitely want to monitor your T3 levels.

There have been a handful of reports of moms with low thyroid who experienced a decrease in supply. Most of them were able to return to their previous level of milk production when they stopped taking it.

The maximum recommended amount to take is 6 grams per day. Fenugreek has the potential to cause digestive upset in you and your baby, so I don’t recommend starting with the maximum amount. 

One notable side-effect of Fenugreek is that it will give you a maple syrup smell. I can often tell a mom is taking it because of the odor when she walks into my office. I tell the mamas I work with that if their partner starts asking for pancakes, then they are on the right track.

Start with 1000-2000 mg divided into at least three doses throughout the day. If you and your little one tolerate it without any side effects, you can gradually increase the amount every two to three days.

Fenugreek can be taken in a variety of prepared forms.


Motherlove Fenugreek Alcohol-Free Tincture (2 Ounce) Lactation Supplement to Optimize Breast Milk Supply—USDA Certified Organic, Vegan, Kosher, Soy-Free
  • OPTIMIZE YOUR SUPPLY: Fenugeek is a single-herb lactation supplement to help moms optimize their breast milk supply.
  • TIME-TESTED HERBS: Fenugreek is a time-tested herb that helps support supply for nursing and pumping moms.
  • ALCOHOL-FREE TINCTURE: This organic breastfeeding supplement is a concentrated herbal extract in an alcohol-free tincture. The taste of tinctures is strong, adding each dose to a drink or food can help mask the flavor. A ring of herbal sediment in the dropper is normal, just give it a shake!
  • SUGGESTED USE: 4–6 droppersful per day. Spreading doses out throughout the day is the most important thing, such as taking each dose at a meal time or other easy-to-remember moment throughout your day. This bottle lasts roughly 2 weeks.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Fenugreek is soy-free, vegan, USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher Certified by Kof-K, and made in the USA with imported ingredients. Manufactured in an NSF-registered GMP facility. Motherlove is a certified Women-Owned B-Corp that focuses on environmental and social sustainability.



Goat’s Rue is another herb that a lot of the mothers I have worked with have taken with good results. Many of them reported that it resulted in increased breast growth.

Like Fenugreek, Goat’s Rue also has anti-diabetic effects. It is also a diuretic, so make sure you drink plenty of water if you take it.

Goat’s Rue Preparation Options:

A typical dosage is one to two ml of the tincture taken up to three times a day. To be able to pinpoint any reactions start with the lower dosage and work your way up.


Motherlove Goat’s Rue (120 Liquid caps) Lactation Supplement for Breast Tissue Development & Supporting Breast Milk Supply —Non-GMO, Organic Herbs, Vegan, Kosher, Soy-Free
  • MAMMARY TISSUE GROWTH: Goat's rue is a time-tested herb known to optimize breast milk supply and build mammary tissue. Formulated for moms who didn't increase in breast size during pregnancy, delivered prematurely, or plan to relactate or adoptive feed.
  • FENUGREEK ALTERNATIVE: Goat's Rue is a great option for nursing or pumping moms who want supply support and have a sensitivity to the herb, fenugreek seed.
  • LIQUID CAPSULE: This breastfeeding supplement has the power of a tincture with the convenience of a liquid capsule. This bottle lasts roughly 4 weeks.
  • SUGGESTED USE: 4–6 capsules per day. Spreading doses out throughout the day is the most important thing, such as taking each dose at a meal time or other easy-to-remember moment throughout your day. Please allow two weeks of consistent use to see the full effects of goat's rue.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Goat's Rue is soy-free (now made with sunflower lecithin), vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher Certified by Kof-K, made with only USDA Certified Organic herbs, and is made in the USA with imported ingredients. Manufactured in an NSF-registered GMP facility. Motherlove is a certified Women-Owned B-Corp that focuses on environmental and social sustainability.



Shatavari is a common supplement taken by women in both China and India.

There has been some promising research on Shatavari.

Shatavari preparation options:

The commonly recommended dosage is 500 mg to 1000 mg twice a day.


Motherlove Shatavari (120 Liquid caps) Lactation Supplement to Support Breast Milk Supply During Menstruation—Non-GMO, Organic Herbs, Vegan, Kosher
  • SUPPORT YOUR SUPPLY: Shatavari is a single-herb lactation supplement to help moms support their breast milk supply. Moms find it especially supportive around the return of their period during their postpartum phase.
  • MONTHLY SUPPLY DIPS: Many moms experience a dip in supply that correlates with their menstrual cycle. Some moms will take this herb during their cycle, or to support supply in general.
  • LIQUID CAPSULE: This breastfeeding supplement has the power of a tincture with the convenience of a liquid capsule. This bottle lasts roughly 4 weeks.
  • SUGGESTED USE: 4–6 capsules per day, or as recommended by your healthcare practitioner. Spreading doses out throughout the day is the most important thing, such as taking each dose at a meal time or other easy-to-remember moment throughout your day.
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: Shatavari is made with organic herbs and sunflower lecithin. It is vegan, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher Certified by Kof-K, and is made in the USA with imported ingredients. Manufactured in an NSF-registered GMP facility. Motherlove is a certified Women-Owned B-Corp that focuses on environmental and social sustainability. Motherlove can only provide customer service and guarantee quality for products that are sold by Motherlove.



Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), is another traditional galactagogue. Like several other herbal supplements, it has anti-diabetic properties. Some people take it because of its protective effect on the liver. Do not use Milk Thistle if you are allergic to daisies, artichokes, common thistle, or kiwi.

Milk Thistle Preparation Options:

The max dosage is 1000 mg taken up to three times daily.


Gaia Herbs Milk Thistle - Liver Supplement & Cleanse Support for Maintaining Healthy Liver Function* - 120 Vegan Capsules (40-Day Supply)
  • Supports a Healthy Liver: Helps maintain liver function to support your overall long term well-being
  • Potent, Premium Ingredients: Our Milk Thistle is extracted to preserve optimal potency
  • Convenient Herbal Supplement Capsules: Use this formula at home or on the go to support the liver
  • Purity-Tested: Our Milk Thistle supplement is vegan, gluten-free and proudly made in NC, USA
  • Our Story: Since 1987, our purpose has been to connect people, plants, and planet to create healing



Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus) – not to be confused with Milk Thistle – helps to increase prolactin which helps boost milk production. Blessed Thistle is also used to treat coughs and flus, and helps improve digestion (it contains Cnicin which helps your body produce more gastric acid and saliva).

Preparation Options include:


Moringa is a plant that has several research studies supporting its use as a galactagogue. It is also called Malunggay.

It is a common food eaten in the Philippines.

Moringa Preparation Options:

The usual dosage is up to 250 mg to 350 mg taken two to three times a day.

If you take the blood thinner warfarin, Moringa should be taken with caution.




As I said, you want to make sure you are purchasing your herbs to increase milk supply from a reputable company. This will ensure both safety and effectiveness.

These are two companies that I feel comfortable recommending:

I also recommend choosing an organic option whenever possible.


Herbal supplements come in a variety of preparations.

  • Capsules or tablets
  • Tinctures
  • Teas
  • Powders

In my experience, tinctures seemed to produce the best effect on the milk supply. They are strong flavors and often not very pleasant tasting. Taking it with a small amount of a strong-tasting juice like cherry or pomegranate can mask the taste.

Teas can help in your efforts to stay well-hydrated. However, the freshness of the herbs and how long it is brewed for will impact its effectiveness.

Some lactation teas that you can find at the store or online often do not have the herbs in amounts that will significantly impact milk supply. 


Just attention. Pretty international girl standing in semi position and choosing pills for skincare



The length of time you take a lactation supplement will depend on your motivation to increase your milk supply.

Herbal Supplements For Low Milk Supply

If you had a low supply, I would recommend continuing to take the supplement for at least a month once you produce a full milk supply. After a month, you can try gradually decreasing the dosage.

If your supply maintains, you should continue to gradually decrease how much you are taking until you are completely weaned off of the supplement.

If your supply begins to decrease, you can just increase the dosage again. Some mothers do find they have to take the supplement for the entire duration of their breastfeeding experience. 

You can try weaning off of it at a later date as well.

Supplements Taken To Temporarily Increase Supply

If you were trying to boost your breast milk production to build your freezer stash or in preparation for a separation from your baby, you can stop taking the herbs when you reach your goal.

Dealing With The Middle Of The Work Week Drop In Supply

Some mamas who work a four or five-day workweek notice their milk supply seems to drop as the week progresses. If this is what is happening to you, try taking the supplement at the start of the workweek. You can probably stop it after you pass the middle of the week and resume again at the beginning of the next week.


There are a plethora of galactagogue blends that combine several different herbs.

If you have taken the different herbs safely, these blends have been effective in many mothers.

They are certainly worth a try.

Some popular blends:


Motherlove More Milk Special Blend (60 Liquid caps) Herbal Lactation Supplement w/Goat’s Rue to Build Breast Tissue & Support Breast Milk Supply—Non-GMO, Organic Herbs, Vegan, Kosher, Soy-Free
  • Ideal For Mothers Who Did Not See Increased Breast Size During Pregnancy, Have Had Breast Surgeries, Or For Adoptive Mothers Who Wish To Breastfeed
  • BREAST TISSUE GROWTH: Great things take time; Because goat's rue assists in tissue development, it can take up to three weeks to begin to see results; However, the other galactagogues in this herbal lactation blend—fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle, and fennel—tend to be faster acting
  • MOTHERLOVE CARES: As a women-owned, family-run, Certified B Corp, Motherlove cares about people and the planet over profit; This product is made in the USA with imported ingredients, vegan, non-GMO, made with USDA Certified Organic herbs, and Kosher Certified by Kof-K; Manufactured in an NSF-registered GMP facility
  • SPECIAL BLEND FOR SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: The herb goat's rue has been used for generations and helps support mammary tissue development; This blend is intended for you if you did not see a change in cup size during pregnancy, have had previous breast surgeries, wish to relactate, or are an adoptive mom who wants to breastfeed



Pinterest is full of cookie recipes that promise to increase supply. These tasty treats are also available premade.

They often contain herbs like Fenugreek as well as other foods purported to have galactagogue properties. However, the amounts of herbs in them may not be enough to make a significant difference.

Many moms swear by them, so it is possible they can help you make more milk.

Be aware of how many calories and how much sugar may be in them. If you make your own with herbal powder you will have more control over the amount of sugar in them.

Related Post

15 Natural Ways To Increase Your Milk Supply For Proven Results 



Nursing moms who are looking for the ideal supplements for milk production have many to choose from. 

Because a mama doesn’t always know the reason for a low milk supply finding the best supplement to increase her milk production may take some trial and error. The information in this post should give you the knowledge to use herbal galactagogues effectively and safely.




Supplements for Milk Supply