Do Lactation Shakes Work?
Breastfeeding women have so much to think about. In between changing nappies and trying to fit in naps, they also have to try and fill their bodies with the fuel they need to keep a healthy milk supply.
Of course, the busyness of those early months means it's hard, if not impossible, to get that nutrition solely through meals. So, when mums are struggling with milk supply, it's natural they turn to quick and easy supplements, like lactation shakes.
But do lactation shakes work? And, should breastfeeding mums keep them on hand?
What are Lactation Shakes?
A lactation shake is a supplement shake that contains galactagogues. Galactagogues are foods and herbs which stimulate milk production.
The medical definition of a galactagogue is an agent that promotes the secretion of milk. Galactagogues typically work by increasing prolactin levels. (Prolactin is the hormone responsible for milk production).
Foods such as oats, yoghurt, almond milk, almonds, salmon and sweet potato are all examples of galactagogues. Lactation shakes often incorporate herbal galactagogues such as milk thistle and fenugreek to give mummas a quick and easy milk supply boost.
The Evidence for Lactation Shakes
There is a proven link between galactagogues and milk production. There is also a powerful amount of anecdotal evidence from mums who have improved their milk supply through lactation shakes.
Consuming lactation shakes containing galactagogues is one of the easiest ways breastfeeding women can fuel their bodies with milk-producing nutrients. But, of course, if mums are already filling their plates with foods like oats, almond milk and salmon, the benefits will be even more powerful.
What To Look For In A Lactation Shake
Of course, not all lactation shakes are the same. To find the right one for you and your bub, you should look for the following, along with galactagogues: No Artificial Chemicals, Soy Hormones, Gluten, Dairy or Artificial Sweeteners.
If a lactation shake contains any of the listed ingredients, chances are it will leave you feeling sluggish. And that's the last thing a sleep-deprived mumma needs. Instead, find a lactation shake that only uses natural, healthy ingredients that will boost your milk supply without affecting your energy levels.
More Than Galactagogues: The ideal lactation shake will do more than boost your milk supply. If you're going to invest in a lactation aid, why not find something that gives you a more holistic health boost. By choosing a shake that contains vitamins, minerals, fibre, probiotics and antioxidants, as well as protein and superfoods, you'll be making an investment in your health that goes far beyond how much breast milk you produce.
No Whey or Soy Protein: Shakes containing whey or soy protein can cause bloating, gas and other digestive issues. New mums don't have time for bloating and gas so choose a shake that utilises organic pea and brown rice protein instead.
Watch The Sugar: Some lactation shakes can contain more than 40 grams of processed sugar. If your shake contains that much sugar, you can almost guarantee that the adverse health effects will far outweigh any increase in milk production. Instead, aim for low sugar options that derive sweetness from fruit, not processed sugar.
How Many Lactation Shakes Can I Have A Day?
A lactation shake in the morning is perfect for breastfeeding mums. Busy schedules mean breakfast is often the meal that mums will skip, so it makes sense to give your body the quick boost it needs in the morning. Be sure to bulk it up with foods like banana, nut butter, oats or Greek yoghurt to ensure it fills you up and provides the energy you need.
Having your shake in the morning also means you can use lunch and dinner to incorporate healthy foods into your diet. For example, a lunch of salmon and greens and a dinner of brown rice, sweet potato and legumes will mean that you'll be boosting your milk supply with galactagogues all day.
The afternoon is an excellent time for a 'lactation shake snack'. This means you mix your shake only with milk, or your favourite milk alternative. It will give you a boost of energy and should get you through to dinner.
How Else Can I Boost My Milk Supply?
Health is holistic, so, in addition to lactation shakes and diet, there are some other methods you should incorporate if you want to boost your milk supply:
Increase Skin-To-Skin Time:
Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for milk ejection, and spending time stripping down and making skin contact is one ofthe most powerful ways to trigger this hormone.
Try Feeding or Pumping More Often:
Breastfeeding is about supply and demand. The more demand, the more milk you will produce. So, if you feel you aren't making as much milk as you usually do, it's time to ramp up the feeds. The best part is, you can make the process a lot of fun by taking a nursing holiday, where you relax on the couch and watch movies while bub feeds as much as possible.
Take care of yourself:
Your energy requirements are higher when you're breastfeeding. Your baby is relying on you for 100% of their nutrition. So, you need to try your best to eat enough food and not skip meals. Aim for a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high protein foods and good sources of healthy fats. Drink plenty of water and rest (as much as you can).
Why In Shape Mummy Is The Ultimate Superfood Shake for Breastfeeding
The In Shape Mummy Health Shake is jam-packed with lactation aids, including organic milk thistle and organic fenugreek. Along with 25 minerals, probiotics and organic brown rice and pea protein to nourish you and your bub.
These shakes are an easy and effective way to not only get the nutrients you need but to also help naturally boost your milk supply, especially when you're short on time. It's an all-in-one solution that tastes amazing.
On top of giving you a powerful dose of galactagogues, In Shape Mummy will also help you reach your post-birth weight loss goals. Breastfeeding mums can replace one meal and one snack per day with an In Shape Mummy Health Shake (for example breaskfast and an afternoon snack) and enjoy a healthy milk supply.
So, lactation shakes do work to provide you with essential nutrients for breastfeeding and are a a great tool to have in a breastfeeding mum's survival kit. When used as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, an In Shape Mummy Health Shake will give you the boost that busy breastfeeding mums need to power through their days.
For extra support, join our Facebook Group. The In Shape Mummy Breastfeeding Support Group.
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