The 6 Best Breastfeeding Teas of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Best breastfeeding teas to support lactation

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Earth Mama Milkmaid Tea at Amazon

"100% organic Milkmaid tea bags support milk supply with ingredients including fenugreek and fennel."

Best Budget: Traditional Medicinals Mother’s Milk at Amazon

"Its primary ingredients include fennel, anise, coriander, fenugreek and blessed thistle."

Best Sweet-Tasting: Bell #32 Nursing Mother's Tea at Amazon

"While there are no added sugars or sweeteners, it does contain marshmallow root along with fenugreek and milk thistle."

Best Citrus-Flavored: DavidsTea Organic Baby’s Little Helper at davidstea.com

"This lemony, caffeine-free tea comes in both prepackaged sachets and loose leaf. "

Best Fenugreek-Free: Legendairy Milk Tea-Tas at legendairymilk.com

"Tea-Tas uses ixbut—an herb used by Mayan women—in place of fenugreek. "

Best Loose Leaf Tea: Milkies Nursing Time Tea at Amazon

"Loose-leaf tea ensures maximum freshness, which means optimal nutrition and lactogenic benefits."

Whether you are a low producer, a new mom questioning her supply, or just overwhelmed—breastfeeding can feel stressful. Luckily, there are relaxing teas that may boost your supply. Generations upon generations of women look to galactagogues—such as herbs, foods, and supplements—to boost their milk supply.

Different combinations of plants that stimulate and support breast milk production and promote relaxation have been passed down from generation to generation. One of the most common and traditional ways to prepare these herbs is by making tea. Tea is an easy way to reap the benefits from powerful herbs while providing the hydration necessary to create breast milk. The primary herbs with reported lactogenic properties include alfalfa, blessed thistle, fennel, fenugreek, goat's rue, milk thistle, and stinging nettle.

While these products are considered safe for consumption in amounts traditionally found in food, it should be noted that herbs, supplements, and medicinal teas are not regulated by the FDA. Some herbs and supplements are known to interact with medications, and some infants can be sensitive to dietary changes, so it is important to speak with your doctor before including these teas in your diet.

Here, the best breastfeeding teas:

Best Overall: Earth Mama Milkmaid Tea

Earth Mama Milkmaid Tea

Courtesy of Amazon

Earth Mama is a plant-based company supporting expecting and postpartum mothers as well as their little ones. Their 100% organic Milkmaid tea bags support milk supply with ingredients including fenugreek, fennel, red raspberry, stinging nettle, milk thistle, orange peel, anise, caraway, and alfalfa.

Each box contains 16 individually-wrapped, caffeine-free bags of tea. The kosher and non-GMO tea tastes great hot or iced, but you definitely need to like licorice, as the flavor is intense.

Best Budget: Traditional Medicinals Mother’s Milk

Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milk Women's Tea

Courtesy of Amazon

If you’re on a budget, look no further than Mother’s Milk. Often considered the original commercially available lactation tea, Traditional Medicinals’ Mother’s Milk recipe has been on retail shelves since 1974. Its primary ingredients include fennel, anise, coriander, fenugreek, and blessed thistle.

Traditional Medicinals' Organic Mother's Milk tea uses medicinal-grade, USDA Organic herbs that are clinically tested for safety. 

Good to Know

When adding a lactation tea to your routine, always look for any indications of sensitivity in the baby, such as fussiness or gas. Certain ingredients may cause changes in breast milk that cause discomfort in the baby. Be sure to check the product label for any known sensitivities or allergies that your baby may have, such as dairy, soy, or gluten.

Best Sweet-Tasting: Bell #32 Nursing Mother's Tea

Bell #32 Nursing Mother's Tea

Courtesy of evitamins

If you are not a fan of strong herbal and floral flavors in your tea and steer more towards the sweeter things, Bell’s Nursing Mother’s Tea might just be the product for you. While there are no added sugars or sweeteners, this tasty tea does contain marshmallow root along with fenugreek and milk thistle.

The subtle sweet flavor can be noted for those who prefer a less herby taste. According to the National Institutes of Health, marshmallow root is a purported galactagogue and it is considered "GRAS" (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA.

Best Citrus-Flavored: DavidsTea Organic Baby’s Little Helper

Davids Tea Organic Baby’s Little Helper

Courtesy of Davids Tea

DavidsTea Organic Baby’s Little Helper provides variety with a fresh citrus aroma. DavidsTea adds lemon balm to their product, which is otherwise fenugreek and fennel heavy, providing a light and citrusy flavor. The sweet and warming tea comes in both prepackaged sachets and loose-leaf, which allows for an easy, on-the-go option as well as a heavy steep when desired.

The USDA Organic tea is caffeine-free and provides additional calming benefits from the fresh lemon balm. In fact, small studies show that consuming lemon balm in tea may be associated with improved mood and cognitive performance. That's perfect for moms who are stressed and tired!

Best Fenugreek-Free: Legendairy Milk Tea-Tas

Legendairy Milk Tea-Tas

Courtesy of Natural Baby Company

Fenugreek, like all herbs on this list, are considered safe in the amounts commonly found in food. Not much research has been completed on intake greater than amounts commonly found in food, but based on research that exists, fenugreek is not recommended for consumption while pregnant. Some providers do not recommend fenugreek while nursing. For this reason, it's important to have a fenugreek-free product on a list of breastfeeding teas.

Tea-Tas uses ixbut—an herb used by Mayan women postpartum—in place of fenugreek to stimulate and increase mother's milk. This tea can be prepared hot or iced and tastes great with or without honey or your favorite natural sweetener.

Best Loose Leaf Tea: Milkies Nursing Time Tea

Milkies Nursing Time Tea

Courtesy of Amazon

If you were a tea drinker before breastfeeding, Milkies Nursing Time Tea an excellent option for you. It is a loose-leaf tea that is perfect for mothers out there who like their tea to be super flavorful and strong. Loose-leaf tea ensures maximum freshness, which means optimal nutrition and lactogenic benefits.

Nursing Time Tea comes in a resealable bag containing a one month supply of about two to three servings per day. Lemon verbena creates a lemon-forward flavor mixed in with lactogenic ingredients, including fennel seed, goat's rue, alfalfa, anise, and blessed thistle. 

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a great-tasting and effective breastfeeding tea, try Earth Mama’s Milkmaid Tea (view at Amazon).

What to Look for in Breastfeeding Teas

Safety

Talk with your physician or pediatrician before including any galactagogue in your diet to ensure safety for both you and your little one. 

Form

Tea comes in single-serve sachets or as loose leaves. Consider how you prefer to prepare your tea, and what is most convenient for you.

Taste

Research shows that flavors in a mom’s diet transfer to breast milk. This could be good or bad for your little one. Make sure you are staying in tune with their feeding cues to identify if they are enjoying the taste of the teas or not. If a baby is exhibiting fussy behavior or appears to be uncomfortable, consider your diet, including supplemental beverages such as teas. Always speak with your pediatrician before adding a galactagogue to your routine.

Ingredients

Always take a look at the ingredients panel of a breastfeeding tea to ensure you know exactly what is in the product. Some teas use artificial sweeteners, which you may want to avoid. Consider what the active lactogenic ingredients are, and discuss their safety with your pediatrician and maternal health care provider.

FAQs

Is it safe to drink herbal nursing tea when you're breastfeeding?

Herbal breastfeeding teas are generally considered safe, but there are always exceptions. Because there are many different brands and stores that offer herbal nursing teas, read labels carefully and check to make sure each ingredient is safe. Many of the herbs used in nursing teas have been used as medications throughout history.

Just as with any other drug, herbs can have side effects when taken in large doses. Always consult your doctor or a lactation consultant before using any herbal supplements, including teas, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How do I prepare and use an herbal breastfeeding tea?

Once you have found a tea that is deemed safe by your healthcare practitioner, you’ll want to slowly integrate it. When you start a new herb or tea, it is always best to begin by taking a small amount and gradually increasing it over a few days. A slower, gradual start can help to prevent or minimize the risk of side effects. Dosages vary depending on the person. A small amount may work very well for some women while very high doses will not work at all for others.

Tea can be made by the cup or by the pot. Check the directions on the package, because they may vary from these. The amount of time the herbs steep (sit in hot water) will determine the strength of the tea and varies depending on the herbs used. In general, steep one to three minutes for a weaker tea and five minutes or longer for a stronger dose. Some herbs are bitter, so you may not want to steep them too long.

By the Cup: Pour 1 cup (8 oz) of boiling water over one tea bag or 1 teaspoon of dried herb. Cover and steep for the desired amount of time.

By the Pot: Add one tea bag or 1 teaspoon of dried herbs per cup of boiling water in your teapot. Allow the tea to remain in the pot for the desired length of time and then remove the tea bags or strain the tea to remove the loose herbs. Do not drink the entire pot of tea in one sitting. Divide it into portions and drink it a few times throughout the day.

Most teas can be consumed multiple times in a day. However, even tea can be dangerous depending on the dose or how much you drink. It is not recommended to drink more than 32 ounces per day. Check the safety guidelines on the tea you purchase and confirm with your health care provider.

Which herbs work best for increasing milk supply?

The common breastfeeding herbs for nursing teas are fenugreek, blessed thistle, fennel, stinging nettle, goat's rue, alfalfa, milk thistle, anise, marshmallow root, red raspberry leaf, coriander, caraway, and verbena. Combining herbs that increase breast milk production with herbs that support relaxation and others that provide a pleasant flavor can create a tasty, soothing blend. 

You can choose to make your own tea by using the herbs that you prefer or the ones that work the best for you. If you do prepare your own blend, make sure you purchase high-quality herbs from a reliable source. If you do not wish to make your own, you can purchase a commercially prepared nursing tea at a grocery store, pharmacy, vitamin shop, or online.

Note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate herbs, so you may not be able to determine if they have been contaminated, they contain unknown additives, or they have been misidentified. Some herbs are even toxic. It’s extremely important to get your herbs and herbal mixtures from a source that has a safety protocol in place and can prove there has been no contamination.

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Navigating the postpartum world can be an overwhelming and oversaturated market. There are so many products out there that claim to help with this or that, and a Registered Dietitian can help you navigate that market by providing evidence-based recommendations. Lauren Cohen, MS, RD, LDN hopes that, by narrowing down some options, you and your physician can make an informed decision about including galactagogues, such as breastfeeding teas, into your diet.

In assembling this list of breastfeeding teas, Lauren looked to guidance from the FDA, NIH, and multiple research studies to ensure that the ingredients are recognized as safe and approved for use in breastfeeding women.

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Article Sources
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