Galactagogues!? What are they?

Galactagogues!? What are they?

What is a Galactagogue?

Galactagogue (pronounced ga-lac-ta-gog) is a substance that can help to increase milk supply. The word in Greek, ‘Galact’,  means milk and ‘agogue’ means leading to or promoting. It works by increasing you Prolactin levels in your body. Prolactin is one of the many horomones involved in milk production.

Galactagogues work best when you frequently empty your breast. I read in an article, that to make them really useful you have to empty your breast 8 times in a 24 hour period. Galactagogues, taken alongside a balanced diet and with plenty of water, can support your milk supply. You must also consider that when breastfeeding you burn an extra 500 cal.


Galactagogues may be useful…

  • When you start to get your period back, which can vary from person to person
  • You are exclusively pumping for your baby
  • You are not sure why your milk supply is low
  • You are pumping to feed a prem or sick baby
  • You want to start breastfeeding a baby that you haven’t given birth to
  • Your milk has declined due to hormone birth control
  • You are pregnant


Natural foods, which are Galactagogues, found in the pantry, consist of Oats, Almonds, Brown rice, Ground Flaxseed, Garlic, Ginger, leafy green vegetables, and Barley. Brewer’s yeast, Shatavari, Maca, Moring are other galactagogues however they are not a common pantry item.  

Herbs like Alfalfa, Blessed Thistle, Fennel, Fenugreek, Goats Rue, Milk Thistle, and Nettle are some of the well-known galactagogue herbs.



Peppermint and sage should be avoided as they can stop milk production.

Our Lactation cookies contain Oats, Flaxseed and Brewers Yeast which is what can make them work.

The Breastfeeding Tea Co teas contain Nettle, Red Raspberry Leaf,  Caraway, Goats Rue, Fennel, Aniseed,Vervain, Blessed Thistle, Lemongrass, Alfalfa.

 The Milk Pantry contains Brewers Yeast and Ground Flaxseed.


If you need any help or are concerned about what is going on with your milk supply get in touch with a lactation consultant. I have put a link below of all the lactation consultants in New Zealand.

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