In the old days, mothers who weren’t able to produce enough to feed their babies might enlist a wet nurse, or try a home remedy like herbs or a special tea. Nowadays, a popular way to increase supply is with specially formulated nutritional supplements. UpSpring is a company that makes adding a supplement to your diet delicious and easy.
There are several different options:
- Herbal Supplement Drink Powder (Chocolate, Berry and Chai Tea)
- Cookie Mixes (Oatmeal Raisin, Double Chocolate Chip)
- Supplement Capsules
Prominent in the supplements that I received for review are two natural ingredients known to boost supply: fenugreek and blessed thistle. Fenugreek and blessed thistle have been used by nursing mothers centuries and are the most clinically studied herbs shown to help promote a healthy supply. The herbs are super-concentrated, and you’ll never find artificial ingredients added to UpSpring Milkflow products.
Cookie Mixes (Oatmeal Raisin, Double Chocolate Chip): These only take a few minutes to mix up and they baked in about 10 minutes or so. The recipe on the bag calls for 4 tablespoons of butter, margarine or coconut oil and 1 egg, but I found the batter to be extremely dry as is. There was no way to form them in balls; they would fall apart. I added about two more tablespoons of oil and they formed up well after that. The mix makes about 2 dozen and you can eat from 2-4 each day.
They have a crispy texture, and are very tasty. The double chocolate ones have a nice, rich flavor; I don’t feel like I’m taking a supplement at all. I enjoy one cookie after breakfast and another during the afternoon for a snack. The fact that they also contain iron and folic acid is a big plus for women still in their childbearing years.
Herbal Supplement Drink Powder (Chocolate, Berry and Chai Tea): Just add this powder to 8-10 ounces of water or juice and you have a hydrating beverage that contains 1800 mg of fenugreek. It also contains wholesome ingredients like anise, beets and carrots. I definitely prefer this to taking a lot of pills or capsules. Upspring is gluten-free and uses stevia leaf extract for a touch of natural sweetness.
Here’s a smoothie recipe, courtesy of UpSpring, which incorporates their drink powder. Enjoy this any time of day with the added benefits of protein, vitamins and antioxidants.
- Milkflow Berry Drink Mix (1 packet)
- 1 cup Mixed Berries (Blueberries, Blackberries & Strawberries)
- 3/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1 cup Orange Juice or Water
- 1 cup Ice
Directions: Add the berries, Milkflow Berry Drink Mix, yogurt, honey, liquid and ice to your blender. Mix and enjoy!
One thing that some families will have to consider with Milkflow supplements is cost. The 18 count drink powder is $14.97 and that lasts you about 9 days, so the cost really adds up per month if you’re having to use long-term. The cookies, at $19.99 per mix, are also pricey. Two dozen might last you 6-10 days, so a month’s supply will be close to sixty dollars. It would be nice if UpSpring could get the price point lower, making successful breastfeeding more affordable and accessible for families.
Of course, the easiest way to boost production is more frequent feeding, but experienced mothers and lactation consultants know that sometimes a boost may be needed even beyond that. My own supply dropped off last month thanks to a painful plugged duct, and after I got it resolved it was the perfect time to try these products. I noticed results within the first 24 hours, and Camille quickly stopped being fussy and more satisfied.
Now, Fenugreek does not work for everyone. Years ago, when I tried it in capsule form, I remember my lactation consultant giving me a heads up about this fact.
Have you tried any supplements while nursing? What worked for you?