Marie de Jolly Mama
Does brewer’s yeast promote breastfeeding?
Does brewer’s yeast promote breastfeeding? Nursing your baby and looking for natural ways to boost your milk supply?
You’ve almost certainly heard about brewer’s yeast, an old wives’ remedy renowned for its lactation-promoting qualities. But where does this belief come from and what is the scientific proof? How can brewer’s yeast help you with your breastfeeding?
We’ll tell you all about the properties of brewer’s yeast, and we’ll give you some tips to help you with your breastfeeding as time goes by… naturally!
Brewer’s yeast and breastfeeding
Beer has a reputation for being lactogenic, and mums have traditionally drunk it while breastfeeding to increase their milk supply. Beer of the alcohol-free variety, of course!
An alternative to drinking beer is the use of brewer’s yeast. Made from barley, like beer, brewer’s yeast contains malt. According to a few scientific studies, this polysaccharide raises the level of prolactin, a hormone that is involved in milk production. However the claim that brewer’s yeast boosts or promotes milk production itself, is not recognised in France.
To find out more about lactogenic foods, check out our article on Lactogenic foods and breastfeeding.
Other health benefits of brewer’s yeast
While it’s ‘lactogenic’ powers don’t work for everybody, brewer’s yeast does contain many vitamins and minerals that can be very helpful for young mums:
– The B vitamins are recommended for fighting fatigue and battling the baby blues. A lack of vitamin B9 (better known by the term ‘folate’) and B12 can contribute to the mechanisms that bring about depression.
– Brewer’s yeast is also one of the richest natural sources of B1 (thiamine), which is essential to the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.
– Its vitamin B2 and B8 (Biotin) content means it is excellent for the skin and can help fight hair loss after birth. It contains chrome, which helps to pace the delivery of sugar from food into the blood, and to stabilise glycemia (blood sugar) at a normal level.
Don’t forget that a varied, balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and minerals is essential to guarantee the quality of your baby’s breast milk.
How to increase milk production?
To increase milk production naturally, here are a few tips:
– Increase the number of feeds, using both breasts each time,
– As far as possible, avoid giving supplements to your baby, unless you are using a lactation aid (breast pump etc.). Reducing the number of feeds will bring about a drop in milk production, as the breasts will have less stimulation.
– Try to express your milk after feeding your baby (roughly one hour later),
– Hold your baby ‘skin on skin’,
– When feeding, try to squeeze your breast for a few seconds to help your baby latch on, and to stimulate milk ejection.
In the early months, it is important to feed your baby on demand, so as to establish a good supply.
As already mentioned, don’t forget to pay particular attention to your diet and to drink sufficiently. If you think you are not producing enough milk for your baby, consult a breastfeeding counsellor who will help you to find solutions to continue breastfeeding as the months go by. We tell you more on this in our article “How to increase milk supply”.
Breastfeeding: How JM products can help
We at Jolly Mama have also experienced a drop in milk supply, due to fatigue or going back to work… That’s why we had the idea of creating tasty snacks packed with vitamins and minerals, which can also help boost your milk supply and support you through baby’s growth spurts. Our organic cereal squares are a perfect complement to nursing teas…
They contain fenugreek (and other ingredients that are generally considered lactogenic, such as oatmeal or flax seeds). See our article on Lactogenic Foods.
Because healthy is good but healthy AND tasty is better, we have created them in 4 flavours: Chocka-chocolat for the chocoholics out there, Tout Mymy to stock up on antioxydants, Mega Crunch with hazelnuts and almonds for those who like a bit of crunch for their brunch, and Happy Seeds, our tasty superfood combo.