How To Create Your Own Custom Herbal Regimen To Increase Milk Production
In our article on lactation herbs we discussed that there’s two basic ways to get started with herbs for milk production. Either get a high quality, commercially produced, herbal blend from a reputable company that stands behind their product with a guarantee (like Supply Max) or create your mix of herbs for milk production.
If the do-it-yourself method of mixing herbs for milk production sounds exciting, this article will share the best practices for systematically selecting and testing each herb. The first place to start is with our huge list of 23 herbs for milk production to get an overview of each of the herbs, what they do and to see each herb’s contraindications.
Once you’ve gone through the list, the next step is to select
4 to 6 herbs as the beginning herbal regimen you’ll try. Also select another 3 to 5 herbs that you are interested in; you’ll want to systematically test these herbs to see if they increase your milk production. Be sure to always acquire high quality herbs, because with herbal products you often get what you pay for. Always try to order from mid to high end manufacturers willing to stand behind their herbs with a guarantee.
If you have no idea where to begin with your herbal regimen seek the advice of a trained herbalist. Go to maps.google.com and search for “herbalist near your-zipcode” replacing “your-zipcode” with your actual zipcode and a list of herbalists in your area will pop up. Call around and inquire about their knowledge of using herbs to increase breast milk supply.
While you are waiting for your herbs to arrive. You need to know your milk supply baseline so that you can tell how much the herbs are helping. If you haven’t done so already, measure your milk supply. The results of this test will be your baseline you’ll use to see how much the herbs for milk production are helping.
Once your herbs arrive, take them according to the directions on the bottles. You may wish to start with half the recommend dose for a couple of days and increase to the full doses, just to test if you or your baby has any sensitivity to any of the herbs for milk production. If you are using fresh or dried herbs from a local source, make a tea by simmering 3 tablespoons of each herb for 20 minutes over low heat with 4 cups of water. (You can simmer all the herbs at one time.) This herbal solution can be added to juice or regular tea or coffee to make it more palatable. Drink the 4 cups of herbal solution each day. It usually takes just 2 to 3 days for herbs for milk production to start working their magic, however I recommend a one week testing / tweaking cycle. Here’s how it works:
To get the maximum benefit from your custom herb regimen, you need to track and test like a Nobel prize scientist, because if you don’t, you’ll have no idea what works and what doesn’t. You’ll be like pharmacy mom with a counter full of herbs for milk production randomly taking this and that with no rhyme or reason to your methods. Take your beginning regimen for one week (it’s fine if the first two days are at half dose). Then do another milk supply test. Compare your supply to your baseline supply from before you started taking the herbs. Now add a new herb and test again in one week. Only change one thing at a time so you know the results are from the one thing that you changed. You can either add an herb for milk production, remove an herb, or change the dosing of an herb – but remember, only one change at a time so you know exactly what is contributing to your results.
Be sure to record all your data: milk production, herbs, dosage, times of day you took the herbs, note any missed dosages, or anything else that could adversely affect your milk supply tests (an illness for instance).
Continue this weekly testing and tweaking schedule. If an herb doesn’t seem to have made a difference, stop taking it and continue to test new herbs. If an herb increased your milk production, keep taking it. Once you are through testing all the herbs for milk production you have bought there’s lots more testing you can keep doing. For instance:
Try removing one of the herbs from your beginning regimen, if your milk production goes down, add it back in, but if it doesn’t change, stop taking it since it’s not helping. You’ll probably have some herbs that didn’t seem to help, retest them, but this time double the dose. Some herbs just don’t make any difference if they’re taken in too low of a dose. Buy several new herbs and test them.
Keep going as long as your inner scientist is having fun. This is really a process suited to an ana- lytical / scientific mind. If that’s not you, but you still want to do some customizing, check out our ready made formulas for various breastfeeding situations, all using herbs for milk production.