What Is Mother's Milk Tea and How Does It Work?

Trying to boost your milk supply? Learn how Mother's Milk tea might help.
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ByJeanne Cygnus, IBCLC, RLC
Lactation Specialist
Jul 2017
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Mother’s milk tea is an herbal tea meant to help increase a mother’s milk supply. Its main milk-boosting ingredient is fenugreek, along with fennel, anise, coriander and blessed thistle—herbs that have traditionally been used as galactagogues (aka milk-making aids).

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), studies suggest (but haven’t proven) that fenugreek may increase milk production in breastfeeding women, and some moms find that sipping a few cups of Mother’s Milk tea every day is an easy way to help their bodies make more milk. Some drink it hot, some drink it iced and some mix it with apple juice to help cut the slight bitter taste.

You can find mother’s milk tea at many drugstores and grocery stores, but remember that the tea is meant for boosting your supply, not for maintaining it. Once your milk is at a level that suits you and baby, you can give the herbal remedy a rest. (Most women find that their supply stays up once they stop taking fenugreek.)

One disadvantage of the tea? There’s no way to know the exact dose you’re getting. This may be fine if you’re just giving your supply a little boost, but if you’re really focusing on increasing your supply, it’s a better idea to take a form of fenugreek where the dosage is known, controlled and (most likely) higher. In this case, look for capsules, powder or tinctures.

Talk to your doctor before taking this or any other supplements or medications (herbal or not). And don’t take fenugreek while pregnant: According to the NCCIH, fenugreek can affect uterine contractions.

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