Increasing Breast Milk Production with Garlic
According to Stephanie Brown, a former About.com Parenting Guide who focuses on babies and toddlers, studies have shown that after breastfeeding mothers consume garlic, their babies nurse longer and consume more milk.
As the law of "supply and demand" applies to nursing (the more your baby nurses, the more milk you produce), eating garlic should boost your milk supply. But Brown says it doesn't always work that way. Apparently, it's only mothers who eat garlic infrequently whose babies nurse more when they do consume it. Babies who regularly drink "garlicky milk" don't respond in the same way.
Brown suggests eating garlic only once a week or every other week if you want to use it to maintain your milk supply. She also advises mothers who are not regular garlic eaters give garlic a try if they need to tempt a sick or finicky baby into nursing or nursing more. On the other hand, some babies don't like the flavor of garlic, and will nurse less if they taste it in breast milk.
Nursing mothers who are concerned about their milk supply should consult their doctor or a lactation specialist, who may suggest herbal remedies or prescription medications for breastfeeding.
Herbalists say garlic's strong antifungal and antibiotic properties may help nursing babies avoid thrush, and nursing mothers avoid mastitis. However, most don't suggest nursing mothers take large amounts of garlic (as in supplements) when nursing, as garlic's effect on breastfeeding infants in large quantities is unknown.
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