The Truth About Brewer’s Yeast & Lactation
If you’re a new mother, then most likely, you’ve experienced the joys and challenges that come along with breastfeeding your infant. Perhaps your little one remains fussy after feeding, seems hungry only an hour after feeding, or seems to be struggling to get breast milk, you may be wondering if you gave a low supply.
Many moms worry about whether or not they are producing enough breast milk and often look to supplements to help boost their supply. If your baby shows signs of growing at a normal rate and is healthy, you most likely are producing enough on your own.
However, many moms are interested in supplements like brewer’s yeast.
Supplements can be confusing, and there isn’t much scientific research to back them up. Many moms swear by their benefits, while others remain unsure.
That’s why we at Greater Than, have unpacked the facts behind brewer’s yeast and its correlation to your lactation so you can make the choices best for you and your little one.
What Is Brewer’s Yeast?
As the name suggests, brewer's yeast is a type of one-celled fungus that is used in beer and bread. It can be a useful nutritional supplement because it contains vitamin B and chromium, which help your body maintain normal blood sugar levels. It is also used for energy and protein.
It is considered safe for breastfeeding women and their babies and contains many minerals and vitamins, which are beneficial for everyone. There isn’t much scientific evidence to prove definite evidence, nor is there a recommended dosage. It is considered to be a common supplement that can help boost your breast milk supply.
Brewer’s yeast is considered a galactagogue, otherwise known as aids that help increase breastfeeding mom’s breast milk supplies.
How Do You Use Brewer’s Yeast?
The most popular forms to take brewer’s yeast are powder or tablets, although other forms are available.
If you are looking for a specific dosage to take, many healthcare professionals recommend three tablespoons per day. It is recommended not to take any other supplements while you use brewer’s yeast to know if your breast milk supply is directly benefiting from taking it.
Many moms enjoy putting it in their milk-boosting smoothies or recipes containing galactagogues. If you’re looking to add it to a beverage or eat, consider adding one or two tablespoons as a powder. Having two or three tablets is also safe if you're using tablets.
Where Can You Find It?
Brewer’s yeast is common so you can find it online, at your local grocery store, and at health food stores. Always be sure to check the label and see if it is 100% brewer’s yeast or any other active ingredients.
Suppose there are other active ingredients, fillers, or additives in it. In that case, it’s important to consider looking elsewhere in order to know if your breast milk supply is increasing due to using brewer’s yeast. Otherwise, talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant if you’re considering taking a supplement with multiple ingredients.
Be aware that there are places that feed on your anxiety as a new mother, and you can try and take advantage when selling you supplements, so make sure it’s a trusted source and double-check labels for other ingredients.
What Are the Benefits of Brewer’s Yeast?
Since it has high levels of digestible protein, minerals, and vitamins, it is beneficial for increasing a healthy milk supply for breastfeeding mothers.
Some benefits of brewer's yeast beyond just helping your milk supply include:
- Boosting your energy level (without having to resort to caffeine!)
- Nourishing your skin and hair
- Helps to lower your blood sugar level
- Can help replenish ingredients you need to stay healthy, balanced, and energized to produce more milk for your baby
- If you are prone to yeast infections, it is advisable not to take it
Is Brewer’s Yeast Effective in Boosting Your Milk Supply? How Does It Help?
Since it’s considered a galactagogue, it is deemed effective in increasing your breast milk supply. Mothers do use it and feel that their breast milk supply has improved. However, some breastfeeding women use multiple supplements at once, making it hard to tell if it is effective.
Since it is considered to have so many benefits, such as high protein levels, minerals, vitamin B, amino acids, and chromium, many believe that it supports and increases a healthy milk supply. While it can specifically help give you the key ingredients needed to aid your breast milk production, it can also keep you energized and keep you balanced.
Although it remains inconclusive by researched studies on whether or not it increases breast milk production, it works great as a nutritional supplement. Brewer’s yeast has been considered to be a helpful supplement for decades, and while there is no harm in giving it a try, it’s best to consult with your doctor or lactation consultant before trying. If it works for you, it will be easy to make it a part of your daily healthy diet.
What Are the Side Effects of Brewer’s Yeast?
Brewer’s yeast is considered to be safe for you and your baby if you choose to take it. However, few clinical studies prove its effectiveness, so talking to your doctor or a board-certified lactation consultant beforehand is highly recommended.
There is not enough research done yet to have any concern for side effects from brewer’s yeast, and for many mothers, it is helpful to know that there are no known harmful complications that can arise for you or your baby.
If you have any of the following, then avoid taking brewer's yeast, such as:
- If you’re diabetic, because it stabilizes blood sugar levels and can lower it
- If you’re allergic to yeast
- If you have a weakened immune system, it can increase the risk of blood infections.
- If you are currently on medication for mental health, brewer’s yeast can interact with it in a harmful way and cause high blood pressure.
Many mothers report that brewer’s yeast has a bitter taste. In some instances, their breast milk can be affected, which causes their baby to be fussy while feeding.
There are no known harmful effects of taking brewer’s yeast, and it is a common supplement for many people who aren’t breastfeeding but remember that there isn’t much verified research to back it up entirely.
Should You Take Brewer’s Yeast?
Many moms worry they are not producing enough breast milk for their baby, so you are not alone! Brewer’s yeast has a lot of potential benefits that can help increase your milk supply, and nutrients to help you be energized to produce more breast milk, but it doesn’t always work for everyone.
Lactation consultants can help keep you informed and advise you on what is best for your breast milk supply.
Before considering taking brewer’s yeast, make sure to be aware of how often you are feeding your baby. Feeding on demand and emptying your breasts is important because your body will send signals to make more breast milk. Pumping early and often in between feedings can also help ensure you are emptying your breasts of milk.
Greater Than recommends getting approval from your doctor or lactation consultant first.
If you’re considering taking it, starting with a low dosage, monitoring any side effects, and then increasing your intake if needed is the best way to go.
Greater Than values mom’s choices. You know what is best for you and your baby at the end of the day, so taking supplements like brewer’s yeast is your personal decision. Always consult with your healthcare provider, doctor, or lactation consultant to help you make the choices best suited for you and your little one if you’re concerned about a low milk supply.