Growing up, both Alex and I have had our fair share of allergic reactions. Even as an adult, the list just keeps increasing in length for me whilst Alex’s has thankfully just stayed at one (throat sweets, would you believe). Whilst a family history of allergies can increase your child’s risk of developing allergies themselves, exclusive breast/chestfeeding may help prevent asthma, eczema and allergies in high-risk children. So, imagine my shock when we were told that I had to cut all dairy when Alice was just a few weeks old. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I knew all about milk allergy as I’ve had lactose intolerance since I was 12. Because of this, until Lactofree and lactase enzyme capsules came onto the market, I was stuck trying to live with using soya milk (yuck!) or deal with the consequences of having milk (not the best idea either).
Alice’s diagnosis of CMPA (short for Cows Milk Protein Allergy) came as a bit of a shock. Still, thankfully I’ve adjusted really well, especially as I tend to use almond and coconut milk anyway. However, as Alice has an immediate reaction to milk products and other problems with her weight, we’re under a dietitian at the hospital who has just been incredible. Not only have we been on a milk-free weaning workshop, but we’ve also been given information leaflets on everything we need to do to help Alice move safely onto food until her body no longer reacts to milk. But one thing no one talks to you about when you’re breast/chestfeeding is that increasing milk supply when on a dairy-free diet is something that can get a bit tricky.
Most people have heard of the feed every so often advice to increase milk supply, but on top of that is also a whole market for lactation products that claim to help boost milk supply. Unfortunately, most of these contain milk; however, there are a few dairy-free products, so I decided to put them to the test! I power pump in the mornings anyway, which helps keep my supply going for Alice, but I have added the following products into my diet:
Most people in the lactation world will have heard of Boobbix. They’ve won countless awards, have been featured in parenting magazines, in various social media posts and are seen as some sort of magic cure for all milk-supply issues! Whilst most of the range isn’t suitable for those allergic to dairy or those who are breast/chestfeeding CMPA babies, there are a few products that you can use from the range:
- Boobbix Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies: This was the first product I tried from the Boobbix range and is the one I adore the most! Not only do they taste amazing, but the concoction of fenugreek, brewer’s yeast, oats and flaxseed have definitely helped in further increasing milk supply on top of power-pumping and pumping after feeding Alice. I tend to have 1 or 2 a day, depending on what else I have to eat that day.
- Boobbix Hot Chocolate Powder: The hot chocolate powders are the only products in the range that can be consumed whilst pregnant as it doesn’t contain fenugreek. If I’d known that before I had Alice, a pack of hot chocolate powder would’ve been going into my hospital bag! The hot chocolate does have a bit of an aftertaste which takes a little getting used to, but once you’re past that stage, it’s like a little hug in a mug full of goodness for your milk supply! Bit of tip if you’re consuming this a night, though – make sure you have pads or catches on to catch any leaks!
- Boobbix Granola: Like the cookies, the granola contains fenugreek, oats, flaxseed and oats. All the flavours are dairy-free and go with everything from coconut milk to yoghurt, and it is even good for a tasty snack on the go! The only flavour I’m yet to try is the maple and pecan one which I’m hoping will be back in stock soon as I’m a big fan of anything that has pecans in.
The other thing I love about Boobbix is that they have made it very clear on their products that they don’t replace frequently feeding on both sides and pumping before, during or after feeds. Instead, their products are merely an aid to help in increasing milk supply on top of the usual things you should be doing, but in my experience, they definitely work. Before using Boobbix, I was lucky to get 3 ounces of milk over a 1-hour power pumping session; I now get anywhere from 5 to 8 ounces over the same time.
If you’re a tea lover, this is another good product to try, especially if you don’t want the calories that come with cookies (just make sure that you’re getting enough calories in your diet as breast/chestfeeding exclusive burns around 500 calories a day!). Not only is the tea is caffeine-free, which is great if you’re trying to limit your caffeine intake, but it’s full of ingredients known to aid milk supply, such as fenugreek seed, anise, nettle leaf, lemon verbena and rosemary. I tend to have a cup of this either in the morning with breakfast or mid-morning if I’ve had a coffee with breakfast instead.
If the idea of using food and drink doesn’t suit you, or you’ve tried that route, but nothing seems to work even when doing things like power-pumping, then fenugreek capsules could be the answer. I used these temporarily when Alice was really poorly in hospital, which almost killed off my milk supply (thanks to stress!), but I quickly got onto cookies and tea, which suited Alice and me much better. However, whilst fenugreek capsules definitely helped my supply, they had one very undesirable side effect on both Alice and me – gas! Unfortunately, it’s a well-known side effect which is why it’s advised to limit the amount of fenugreek in your diet to avoid it. However, if you can get past that, then it’s definitely an option!
Like the creators of Boobbix say, no product can ever replace frequent feeding, correct positioning and regular pumping to maintain milk supply. Lactation products are merely aids to help with increasing supply on top of already doing these things, but they can definitely be a solution!
Do you have a go-to product that helps your milk supply? Let us know in the comments to help others who need some guidance on what is available!
This post contains affiliate links. This means that we receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products when you click on a link. This does not affect you as the consumer or the price of the product or service. It is also not a paid for promotion or a collaboration/advert.