If you purchased some products from our lactation collection, there are a few things I'd like to cover with you. Below are a common questions & concerns that people have, while we cover these on the blog in various posts - it's helpful to have it all right here for quick reference.
A few things you should know:
Our lactation blends are made with organic ingredients.
Our capsules are vegan certified derived from plant cellulose and non-GMO. They are dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and kosher.
If you have purchased a bundled item with 2 or more products, if this is your first time trying our supplements we suggest starting with one capsule blend at a time, using for about 7-10 days. Using them solo will allow you to determine which blend is most effective for you; additionally in event of a side effect you will be able to know which product it is - which isn't possible when you combine products when first starting.
Pumping & Nursing
One supplement is not better for pumping nor is one more suited for nursing. Galactogogues work to support milk supply overall; in quantity, let down and may improve hindmilk. It's crucial to be aware supplements can not compensate for the lack of nursing/pumping sessions either.
You can combine the capsules with the Milky Mama tea. Suggested use of Milky Mama tea for maximum benefits is drinking daily, ideally 5 times a week. You may drink multiple cups during the day - it's much easier to prepare the tea by quart, allowing the tea to steep 1hr or longer if you prefer. This is called an "herbal infusion", a strong therapeutic tea. If you make a quart at a time, once it is done steeping and you have strained the leaves, it should be consumed within 48hrs for optimal freshness. Store in the refrigerator after it has finished steeping. It can be drank hot or iced. You can find additional tips on preparing loose tea here.
If you have tried one or more blends and are interested in combining products to see if it will give you better results you may absolutely do so. Some customers alternate blends daily. For example, some customers have combined products in the following ways:
a) Blend A in the morning (3 capsules), Blend B in the afternoon (3 capsules), Blend A and B in the evening(2-4 capsules).
b) Blend A & B three times during the day, 2-4 capsules total each dose.
c) Blend A on Monday, Blend B Tuesday, Blend A Wednesday, Blend B Thursday, etc.
The difference in the blends are the herbals formulas. While they all may share similar ingredients, none are exactly the same. Consider two cookie recipes with the exact same ingredients, the amount of each ingredient can vary greatly with very different outcomes. The concept is the same for herbal formulas. Some customers are looking for supplements with a specific ingredients, while others may look to avoid a certain ingredient as well. Please learn more about the ingredients we use here in our digital lactation booklet.
Ideally for absorption, it's advised to take them on an empty stomach. However not everyone can tolerate taking supplements or vitamins on an empty stomach, so if you need to take them with a meal or a drink that is fine. If you can take them on an empty stomach, great!
Transitioning & Weaning
If you are currently taking another product and want to switch from that brand to ours, if you have chronic low supply we do not suggest abruptly stoping a product and starting another as it may cause your supply dip. We do suggest continuing to take the other brand for 3 days after you have started one of our blends, then wean off of it. This will allow for time the new blend to build up on your system. However some customers do switch suddenly without any issues.
If you have taken a lactation blend and want to wean off of them, we suggest slowly decreasing the dose over 3-5 days if you are trying to maintain supply. This will allow you to determine what the minimum (if any) capsules are needed. We do have customers wean off of our blends after weeks or months of use and are able to maintain a healthy supply.
The timeframe to see results varies widely, some customers see them in less than 24hrs and some customers may take up 10 days. However most customers notice a difference within 7 days. If you are nursing, best way to measure results is baby baby's weight gain and wet diaper output. Experiences others have had are: let down quicker, let down length, fullness of breast, pumping output increase, breastmilk composition change (i.e. hindmilk increase), baby nurses longer and seems more satisfied. Some customers may experience one or many of these things.
We suggest starting with 2 capsules three times a day; ideally morning, afternoon and evening. By the 4th day if you have not seen an increase you can increase the dose to 3 capsules three times a day. If your baby is younger than 3 months, they are often more sensitive (i.e. supplements, dairy, caffeine) to things in your diet. We suggest starting at 1 capsule three times a day for 3 days and then increasing the dose if your baby can tolerate it.
We use standard size capsules, 00, for our supplements. If you have difficulty swallowing capsules you may break open the capsule if necessary and add the botanical blend to a smoothie, a drink or food for consumption.
Short-term & Long-term Use
These supplements can be used both short-term and long-term.
Some circumstances when customers use these supplements short-term are:
During growth baby spurts.
To recover from maternal illness, i.e a cold or mastitis.
Low supply due to temporarily hormonal dip related to menstrual cycle, we also suggest taking a calcium magnesium supplement during your menstrual cycle as it can help with the increase in estrogen that decreases milk production.
During times of stress that can negatively impact supply.
Returning to work or school.
Some circumstances when customers use these supplements long-term are:
When relactating after an interruption in breastfeeding or pumping, or inducing lactation.
When diagnosed with IGT (insufficient glandular tissue).
Chronic low supply due to hormonal imbalances (i.e. thyroid, PCOS).
Low supply related to insulin resistance.
Possible Side Effects
Common side effects when taking dietary supplements are occasional upset stomach or indigestion, this can occur with any supplement or vitamin. If you have a sensitive digestive system, we recommend taking supplements with or after a meal. If you are unknowingly adverse to an ingredient - you could develop topical hives/rash, if this should occur please take a picture of rash, contact us and discontinue use of the product. Reported side effects are rare, however some other side effects are in increase in bowel movements, nausea, change in bowel movement color/consistency for either mom or baby. Additionally, if you experience a headache it's often a symptom of dehydration especially when lactating. However if headache continues after hydrating well discontinue use of product and contact us. Also if you should notice any indigestion in your baby it could be an indirect result of supplements when your supply is increasing. When your supply is increasing you may experience overactive letdown, which can contribute to gassy & fussiness. You can read more about overactive letdown here and here.
It’s important to remember that herbal supplements are natural, however that does not mean they are safe for everyone. If you are taking any medications you should check with your health care provider first.
The lactation blends are NOT safe for pregnancy. Please check out our Womb Wellness tea that is safe for prenatal and postnatal use.
All of our blends work to increase milk supply. However they all do not work exactly the same for the same person as we are each are unique and can respond differently. When trying herbal supplements to increase milk production trial and error is necessary, there is not a a way to know precisely beforehand which blend will work best for you. Remember lactation supplements have their place but they can not replace the support and expert advice of a lactation consultant, we highly recommend contacting one if you are having breastfeeding issues. We can not guarantee a specific outcome or result, individual results may vary.