October 10, 2023

#4: How to Choose and Use Supplements While Breastfeeding

Nursing moms are always looking for ways to simplify their life while taking care of themselves and keeping a strong milk supply for baby. But when it comes to supplements, what are the guidelines for safe, effective, and nourishing options? How do you know when to supplement and what brands to trust? In this episode, we explore the critical link between breastfeeding and nutrition, when and how to use supplements, and tips for choosing safe breastfeeding supplements based on research, as well as the brands I love and trust.

About this episode

What you'll learn

  • The 3 main factors that drive and influence successful lactation
  • Why prioritizing a well-balanced diet is fundamental for breastfeeding success
  • How to identify nutritional gaps to incorporate supplements safely and effectively
  • Different types of supplements on the market
  • Debunking common myths about lactation supplements
  • 3 principles for determining when and how to use supplements
  • Criteria for selecting safe supplements
  • Brooke's recommended supplement brands for optimal breastfeeding support


READ: How to Make Breast Milk Fattier

READ: How to Eat 120g of Protein a Day

READ: Everything You Need to Know About Lactation Cookies

READ: The Best Lactation Protein Powders for Breastfeeding Moms

READ: The Best and Worst Electrolyte Supplements

Shop all Just Ingredients products HERE (use the code “thewellnourishedmama” for 10% off)

Shop all Odyssey protein bars HERE (use the code “mama10” for 10% off)

Shop all Llama Naturals vitamins HERE (use the code “mama20” for 20% off)

Grab my favorite magnesium supplement HERE

Learn all about your milk supply + best nutrition practices in my Lactation Cookbook


Today we're going to be talking all about supplements while breastfeeding. And this topic was actually requested by somebody on my email list. She wanted to just understand how, when, why, what, like all the things about supplements while you're nursing and how to do it safely, how to do it effectively, and just my personal recommendations as a certified nutritionist around this topic. 

And I actually really, really love this because if you think about it, there are so many companies and so many brands and so many influencers that will try and sell you things when you're pregnant or nursing because you're pregnant or nursing, right? 

They try and tailor it just to you and they try and make you think that this is the only way you can achieve XYZ goal or solution. And so it's kind of hard to know what's actually beneficial to you, what's safe, and if you even need it at all because they're going to make you think that you need it, right? 

So we're going to debunk all of those things today. We're also quickly going to go over the three main factors that drive and influence a successful lactation journey, whether you are breastfeeding or pumping. 

And then we're going to talk about my principles for determining how and when to use supplements, the personal criteria that I use when I am choosing a supplement, and then of course, my favorite brands because what's the point of giving you all this information if I don't actually share brands that I know, love, and trust with you. 

What drives your milk supply

So to understand how supplements influence our milk supply and if we need them, when we should use them, all those good things, we first need to understand what drives our milk supply. In other words, what are the things that get it going? 

So we're just going to keep it super surface level, just to kind of preface our conversation today around supplements and understand how all the puzzle pieces fit together. So before we can understand how and when to use supplements while nursing, it's important to first understand what drives our milk supply foundationally, so that we can kind of put all the puzzle pieces together, right? 

Because supplements are a supportive mechanism to our milk supply, but there are things that have to come first in order for us to have a good milk supply before we can even consider supplementation. 

Now, this topic I could easily go on and on and on about and like create a series of podcast episodes just about lactation science. And I probably will and I probably should. But for the sake of today's conversation, we're just going to keep it super surface level so we can understand how all the puzzle pieces fit together.

Okay. So the number one thing that you need to remember is that your milk supply is controlled by hormones. Now hormones are basically just little chemical messengers in your body that tell your body to do certain things.

We have our sex hormones. We have our hunger hormones. We have our circadian rhythm hormones. We've got a bunch of other like miscellaneous ones and then we have two specific hormones that are like make it or break it when it comes to your milk supply. 

Those are prolactin and oxytocin. Now you might recognize oxytocin because that is known as the feel good happy. love hormone and hopefully you have good amounts of that throughout your body during every phase of life. 

But when it comes to milk supply, oxytocin is responsible for the letdown reflex. In other words, oxytocin is the hormone that lets your body eject the milk whether baby is nursing at the breast or you are pumping milk out. 

Now oxytocin works with prolactin to help control your milk supply. Prolactin is the hormone that is responsible for signaling your body to produce milk in the first place. Your prolactin levels begin to rise kind of like at the end of first trimester of pregnancy and they continue to rise throughout pregnancy but they are kept at bay because your progesterone and estrogen are so high and when you give birth your progesterone and estrogen levels plummet to basically zero. 

And when this happens, this is what lets prolactin take over and actually signal your body to start producing milk. Now obviously your milk takes a couple days to come in. You have colostrum and that's that magic golden milk, liquid gold as we know it, that baby gets for those first couple days. 

But after those first couple days, your milk comes in and that's because of prolactin. So prolactin and oxytocin work together to control and influence your milk supply. If your body has a hard time producing either of these hormones for whatever reason, you're going to struggle with your milk supply. 

So it's really important to know that without these two hormones, you cannot produce milk. Now, another thing that drives your milk supply is milk removal from the baby. We've often heard this as supply and demand. 

The more baby eats, the more it signals your body to make milk and then the more milk you make the more baby eats and it's just this feedback loop, right? Now, you have to remember that milk removal doesn't just mean like baby is nursing. 

You also have to remember that there are a lot of mechanics involved in that, right? So if baby has a lip, cheek or tongue tie, they can't effectively remove milk from your body and that will impact your milk supply. 

So milk removal is really, really important and it works with your prolactin and oxytocin hormones to create this whole feedback loop of producing and extracting milk. Another factor that dramatically influences your milk supply that most people forget about or don't pay enough attention to is the nutrition of the mother, right? 

And if you're looking at me being like, well, I mean, sure, but like... I don't really understand how that impacts my milk supply. Let me just make it really, really simple for you. Since your body is the one making the milk, that means that those nutrients and that milk has to come from somewhere. 

I can't remember which of Newton's laws of physics it is. So don't hold me to that. But there's a law of physics that says energy cannot be created or destroyed. It has to come from somewhere. So you can't just produce milk out of thin air or out of nothing in your body. 

That energy, those nutrients, those calories, all of those things, the liquid, the water, it all has to come from somewhere. The only place it can come from is from the energy that we put into our body and we put energy into our body by eating. 

So the nutrition of the mother directly impacts both the quality and the quantity of your milk supply. And if you're listening to this episode, you probably have a general idea of this because you want to know what supplements are going to help or hurt your milk supply. 

So that's where we're going to get at today. Okay, now lastly, before we move on, there are a lot of other external factors that impact your milk supply. I have a bunch of TikTok videos about this. That you can go watch. 

But some of them include like time of day, whether or not mom exercises, whether or not mom has chronic illness. There's a whole bunch of other things that are more minor that can impact your milk supply. But the three main ones that we've touched on are hormones, milk removal, and mom's nutrition. 

The relationship between mom’s nutrition and breastmilk 

Let's now talk about the relationship between mom's nutrition and breast milk. for whether you're breastfeeding or pumping, the milk for your baby is coming from your body, which means how you nourish yourself directly impacts the quantity and the quality of your milk. 

Now, a lot of times when I say this on social media, people are like, well, it doesn't actually matter because breast milk is made from your blood, not from your gut. And I look at them and I say, okay, but like the whole purpose of your digestive system is to break down the food in your gut and release it into your bloodstream so that it can be transported other places. 

So whatever's in your blood is directly correlated to what went into your gut prior to that, okay? So yes, and if you didn't know that, it's really fascinating. Breast milk is made from the bloodstream, but everything that's in your bloodstream is connected to what's in your gut. 

It's not like these two separate things that people try and make it as. Our body is one connected whole, right? Everything influences everything. So your bloodstream is where all the nutrients from your food are released and transported throughout your body after being digested and absorbed in your gut. 

Now, another myth that a lot of moms have been told is that they will have a good milk supply no matter if they eat well or not because their body always prioritizes baby. This is partially true. Your body will prioritize feeding baby, but it can only do that for a short amount of time until you become chronically deficient. 

If you become chronically deficient in your calories and your nutrients, your body starts to take a toll and because your body takes a toll, then your milk supply will also take a toll both in quantity and quality. 

So it's really, really important to remember that we do get a little bit of grace that baby will be taken care of first, but we can't take advantage of that and say, because that's the case, it's okay that I skip meals regularly or it's okay that I'm not drinking enough regularly. 

I cannot stress this enough. Another reason, and I'm going to be selfish for a second. Another reason is because I actually care more about you as the mom. And I know that might like kind of rub you the wrong way, but hear me out on this one. 

Our children cannot be loved and nourished and taken care of if we as moms are not loved and nourished and well taken care of, right? We see this in TV shows how either mom is always gone or mom has an addiction or mom has mental health problems, or mom just has to work three jobs and she's really stressed all the time, whatever it is. We always see how when mom is struggling, it affects the kids. And I feel like society has gotten to a point where we care so much about the baby that we forget to care about mom too, right? 

We work together as a team, us and our babies. And if we are not well nourished, our babies will not be well nourished. That's what this whole podcast is about, right? The well nourished mama. It's about taking care of you so that you can show up and be the best mom for your baby. 

And how you do that is by making sure that not only are you eating like the right kinds of foods and trying to have a good milk supply, but that you are prioritizing your health first because when you are taking care of, baby is taking care of. 

Now, this could be a whole other topic that I could do a whole podcast episode on. What I'm going to leave you with is basically what I'm trying to say is that you should be eating enough food and enough good quality food every single day that your body has enough nutrients to give to 100% of you and 100% of your milk supply to feed baby because baby is always going to be taken care of. 

But if you are constantly getting leftovers, it's going to take a toll not only on your supply, but it's going to create some long term health issues for you. Okay, so I cannot stress this enough. Not only does the food that you eat impact baby, but the amount of food that you eat impacts you and therefore, acts baby. 

If you are struggling to get enough food every single day because you're either really busy or you're really tired, or you have lots of littles and you just feel like you're spread too thin, I do have resources for you that break it down and make it really, really simple. 

Two of those blog posts in particular are about how to make breast milk fattier. I have 23 tips and tricks on there that you can read through that are like little tiny things you can do to just kind of help you out when you need it. 

And then the other blog post is about how to eat 120 grams of protein a day. And I actually have a free two week meal plan that goes along with that. You can access both of these blog posts as well as that free meal plan in today's show notes. 

If you go to you can also click the link in the podcast description in whatever platform you're listening on.

When should you use supplements during nursing?

Now, let's dive into when should you use supplements during nursing. I'm going to preface this by saying that I always recommend a food first approach and you cannot out-supplement a bad diet. You can't just eat packaged processed foods all day long and skip meals and then expect to supplements to work. 

Try and lay some really good foundations for your routine of when you eat, what you're eating, and all of those things to make sure that that's taken care of. And then from there, try and assess where you're lacking it nutritionally. 

Are you struggling to get enough protein? Are you struggling to get certain vitamins in your day, even though you're minerals and hydration? All of those things, once you have those foundations in place, then you can say, okay, where am I lacking? 

Where do I need some extra help on top of all of the good things I'm already doing? I want you to know that I never, ever, ever want you to blindly supplement. Okay, I don't want you to just take a supplement because someone else says you should or because that's what every other mom is taking. 

I want you to only take what you need because you know that you have a void or a lack or you are struggling in a certain area and it is tailored to you. I'll give a really quick example. I was talking to one of my clients and she is currently working with a personal trainer at her gym. 

And then she kind of like works with me on the side and between her personal trainer and me, we're trying to help her achieve her weight loss goals and her health goals in general. Now her personal trainer, because he works at a gym, offered her a whole bunch of supplements, courtesy of the gym of course, that she could purchase through the gym that were supposed to help her on her health journey. 

And I'm not saying that these are bad supplements. They're all good supplements and they all have good reasons, good purposes, but he just kind of handed her this big package of like five or six different supplements ranging from protein to creatine to amino acids to a whole bunch of like individual vitamin supplements as well as a multivitamin and said, take these, these will help you.

And when I was talking to my client one day, she was talking about how she was still struggling with like her energy levels. And she had to skip a couple of workouts because she just felt like her body wasn't there all the way. And she was struggling with headaches. And she felt like she had really, really tight muscles, like no matter how much she did physical therapy or heat or massage or whatever, she just could not get her muscles to relax. 

And so now she was having to cut back on her strength training because she was going to hurt her muscles if she kept doing it. So she just was kind of experiencing a whole bunch of these different symptoms. 

And she was frustrated because she's like, I feel like I'm doing all the right things. I'm trying to eat well. I'm trying to prioritize exercise. I'm taking my supplements. I just don't understand why I don't feel great and why things aren't really going the way that I want. 

So I said, oh, well, I didn't know you were taking a bunch of supplements. Why don't you show me what you're taking? I didn't know that her personal trainer had prescribed like all of these different things. 

So we looked at her supplements and I looked at her and I was like, do you even know what half of these are? She's like, no, but I know that they're supposed to help me. And I was like, okay. And I was like, okay, let's start with your vitamins. 

So we looked at her multivitamin and then she was taking two other like individual vitamins. I think one of them was vitamin D and then another one was calcium. And then she also had a multivitamin. And I was like, okay, let's look at how all of these add up. 

Turns out that her multivitamin had enough vitamin D in it that she was overdoing her vitamin D because she was also taking an individual vitamin D supplement. And that was causing some problems. So we got rid of that and then... 

She was taking a bunch of other things and it was kind of like putting her body into overdrive. And then on top of all of that, she was under hydrated. And when I say under hydrated, I don't mean like water wise, I mean mineral wise, like electrolytes. 

And so the combination of overdoing it in certain vitamins, minerals and macronutrients and then underdoing it in other areas, that combined was what was creating all of these problems. And I looked at her and I was like, I'm not saying that these supplements are bad and I'm not saying that your personal trainer is bad or that you shouldn't trust him. 

I'm just saying you shouldn't blindly supplement because now we know where you're lacking, where your deficiencies and everything else sits. And so now we can figure out what your body actually needs. 

And I'm telling you within one week of changing the types of supplements that she was using, as well as how many altogether, most of her symptoms went away. And she felt so much better. And she's like, oh my gosh, like I had no idea that I couldn't just like take whatever. 

And I was like, yeah, you can't just take whatever and expect it to like work as well as it should. So that was a really long tangent to say, never blindly supplement. Okay. Only supplement. If you know that you are lacking somewhere and you need the help. 

Now supplements can include vitamins and pills, protein powders, protein bars, snacks, electrolyte drinks, powders of the sort, teas, and then like specific ingredients you can add to your food, like brewers yeast, for example.

I might be forgetting some, but that's a pretty comprehensive list of the different types of supplements that you could take while you are breastfeeding or nursing for specific reasons. Now there are specific lactation supplements out there that are marketed towards moms that are breastfeeding like brewers yeast or lactation cookies. And in my opinion, these are only helpful if the foundational principles of a good milk supply are in place, right? Your hormones, the milk removal and your nutrition. 

We can't out supplement a poor diet. Okay. Get that nailed into your head. So you only need lactation supplements. If you feel like you've got those foundations in place and you still need a little bit of help and even that sometimes you don't even need to have the marketed as lactation, right? It's not like the only supplements that you can take while you're breastfeeding are lactation supplements. There's a whole bunch of other things out there. Okay?

If you want to learn more about lactation supplements, especially like lactation cookies, because those are really, really popular, I actually wrote an entire blog post all about the science behind lactation cookies and all of the questions and answers that I have been asked about them, the science behind them, the difference between like store-bought lactation cookies and homemade lactation cookies, because you know, store-bought and homemade are not created equal. 

So if you want to learn more about like specific lactation supplements like that, the lactation cookies blog post is a really, really good place to start. And if you don't want to read, but you want the best option, My homemade recipe for lactation cookies is the solution for you because it was developed by me, a certified nutritionist who actually knows what she's doing. 

And I explain in the blog post as well as like my TikTok videos about it, about how I developed the recipe and why the recipe actually works. So I will make sure to link that in the show notes for you as well. 

Now I'm going to reinforce this one more time. You don't need to have specific lactation supplements to see a difference in your milk supply. I talk about this in my lactation cookies blog post. I also talk about this in my blog post where I did a meta analysis of the best protein powders for breastfeeding moms. That will also be linked in the show notes.

But I will give a really quick example here just to kind of illustrate this point. So the purpose of using protein powder as a helpful supplement during nursing is to give you a boost in protein and all the benefits that come with it like amino acids and things like that. Because this is the case, it doesn't actually matter if you use a quote lactation protein powder or not because the most important part is the protein. The brands that market it as a lactation supplement have added nutrients that are beneficial to your supply, but you should already be getting the majority of those nutrients from your diet and your prenatal vitamins anyway. So it doesn't actually matter.

Another really good example is how it'll say, oh, it's fortified with all these vitamins and blah, blah, blah, and there's nine vegetables in there. But when you look at the ratio of that vegetable blend or that vitamin blend in comparison to the serving size, it's like the vegetable blend is like 0 .5% of like the actual serving. 

So they can claim that there's nine vegetables in there. nine vegetables in there, but only 0 .5% of the serving size contains all nine of those vegetables. So it's important to understand that marketing is effective in the sense that they're going to tell you what you want to hear, but oftentimes if you're not aware or educated or just like take the time to read, it can be misleading. 

So you don't have to have lactation supplements to have a good milk supply. There are plenty of supplements out there that can be just as effective and more affordable, mind you, than like what would be marketed as a lactation supplement. 

Okay, but I digress. Back to when you should be using supplements. Here are my three principles to knowing when to use a supplement. Number one, top off. This means I've done my best throughout the day to prioritize whole foods, and I just need a little boost to make sure I get all the nutrients I need at the end of the day, whether it's specific vitamins and minerals, or just getting in those last few calories. 

A good example of this might be a protein shake for dessert. I've tried really hard to get the majority of my protein from animal sources and some plant -based sources and getting protein at every meal and every snack. And maybe by the end of the day, I realized, oh, I'm still a little bit low on protein, and I'm starting to crave all the carbs. I need to make sure that I get enough protein because protein is one of the most important nutrients for a good milk supply. So I might have a protein milkshake or something for dessert.

I have one of those recipes in my lactation cookbook, by the way. It tastes just like the chocolate -dipped strawberry blizzard from Dairy Queen. It is amazing. There's 25 grams of protein in it. Okay, totally possible to have your cake needed, too. So that's a really good example of top-off, meaning you try to rest throughout the whole day and you recognize, oh, man, like I'm still missing a little bit. I need some help.

Or maybe, you know, you can't always wait till the end of the day. Maybe you wake up at the beginning of your day and you know that you're going out to dinner at a specific restaurant and you're going to want to get your favorite dish and your favorite dish isn't going to have a ton of protein, but you don't want to not eat your favorite dish because it's a special occasion and it's your favorite dish. 

So you could, like, get your protein shake in for your snack before you go out to dinner or something like that, right? Like, you're thinking about, okay, I just, I want to make sure that I'm getting enough. 

I'm going to use the supplement to top off so that I'm not, you know, spending a ton of extra money eating out, trying to get protein. or I'm not stressing at home trying to make all these meals. Okay. 

The second principle is convenience. So this is if I'm running out the door and I know I won't be home to make a snack, but I know I'm going to need something before I can have a meal again. Or a really good example is during a night feeding when hunger strikes. 

I know you know this was literally me for the first nine months postpartum with my first baby. I could not survive if I didn't eat something in the middle of the night during one of the night feedings. 

So I grabbed like I had a stash of like rx bars and protein bars and a whole bunch of other like packaged quote supplement snacks that I kept on hand just for convenience because I wasn't going to like wake out of my restful sleep because you always get restful sleep as a mom, right? 

I wasn't going to get out of my restful sleep and go feed my baby and then walk to the kitchen, turn on all the lights and make myself something. Okay, so convenience is another really good way to know when to use a supplement, but it's not as a meal replacement, right? 

It's for convenience and it's trying to give you a break from all the stress of preparing meals and snacks and such. And number three is preemptively, and I kind of talked about this a little bit earlier, but the idea that you are taking your supplement in advance to make sure that you're covered. 

But instead of like the protein example, I'll give you an example of my magnesium supplement. So I know that no matter how hard I try, I will not get enough magnesium to meet my needs and my baby's needs just from my diet, especially because it's one of the first minerals to get used up if I'm stressed or physically maxed out. 

And so I take a magnesium supplement every day to make sure that I am getting enough magnesium. And if I happen to like have a really good day with my diet, then that's awesome. But like, I don't have to stress about getting enough magnesium every day because I'm taking that supplement preemptively, right? 

I also want the benefits of better digestion, sleep, and muscle recovery that come from magnesium. So I take it every day no matter what, because I don't like the variability of my diet, even as a nutritionist, right? 

I'm human. I'm a mom. I'm not perfect. I just, I can't do it with my diet alone. So that's a really good example of how to supplement preemptively, meaning you do it kind of like as a non -negotiable every day. 

And it's kind of that fail safe to get mixed in with the variability of your diet, right? Now, because I want to make sure that my disclaimer's always there, please, please, please consult with your doctor before making decisions about supplementation, especially if it's preemptively, like what I talked about with magnesium, and consider your unique situation. 

So just because I take magnesium, doesn't mean you have to take magnesium, okay? I want you to only supplement in the areas that you feel you need, and I want you to actually think about like why you're taking it, right? 

Another example of preemptive supplementation is electrolytes. Electrolites, oh my goodness, they are heaven sent, and I wish I like had a better understanding of them before these last couple months, but I went down a rabbit hole of electrolytes at the beginning of my second trimester of this pregnancy. So probably, I guess it'd be like almost six months now, because I'm about to have my baby. But I went down this rabbit hole of electrolytes and I could not figure out why I was so freaking tired all the time, even though I was exercising, even though I was sleeping, even though I was eating really well. 

Turns out I was low in electrolytes. And I was like, wait, how can I be low in electrolytes? Like I have a really good diet. I'm drinking lots of water. I just needed help. And another thing that I forgot to consider is that pregnancy and postpartum are an increased stressor on my body. 

And so not only were my electrolyte needs higher because I was pregnant, but they also get depleted faster because I'm pregnant. And so I was like, all right, well, just to like save me the headache of trying to be perfect with my diet and to make sure that like my bases are always covered, I'm just going to take electrolytes every single day. 

And so that's what I do. I use the Redmond Relight electrolyte powder. It is a little bit on the saltier side. So that's something to consider. But it's a super clean brand. And they have a really, really good ratio between the electrolytes, which is something I talk about in my blog post. 

So my magnesium and my electrolytes are two supplements that I just take every day, no matter what, to make sure that I'm covering all my bases. If you want to learn more about electrolytes, because I told you I went down a rabbit hole, I wrote, I get really in depth into this stuff. I wrote a 7000 word blog post about electrolytes. I know it's a lot. If you told me in college that I had to write a 7 ,000 word essay, I'd be like, no, I'd rather drop out. Here I am doing it for a living. 

So if you want to learn about the benefits of electrolytes, what electrolytes are, how to know if you're deficient, when you should take them, and what brands I do and do not recommend, I did another meta analysis on this blog post as well. 

I will have that linked in the show notes so that you can learn about electrolytes. And I also have discount codes for a couple brands, all that good stuff. So basically, today's show notes are going to be really jam -packed full of lots of resources. 

So make sure that you are like clicking to go to the show notes and getting everything that you need. 

How to choose a safe supplement for breastfeeding

All right, for the grand finale topic of this episode, we are going to talk about how to choose a safe supplement. 

So far, we've talked about the basics of our milk supply, how nutrition relates to health. to our milk supply and when to supplement. Now we're gonna talk about how to choose a safe supplement. Now this obviously depends on the type of supplement, but for the most part, here are some of the criteria that I follow when choosing a breastfeeding safe supplement. 

Number one, minimal ingredients, less is more, okay? The shorter the ingredients list, the better, and the more stuff that you can pronounce and describe to your toddler, the better. Number two, no artificial or synthetic stuff. 

This includes ingredients, sweeteners, dyes, preservatives, all those things. These things aren't gonna kill you. They're not gonna kill your baby. They're not gonna give your baby some crazy disease like right off the bat. 

They're just not good for you. And studies are starting to come out and show that there are negative long -term health effects from all of this artificial and synthetic stuff that's in our food. So just try and avoid it. 

There's plenty of brands out there that are clean, that don't have any artificial or synthetic stuff in it. So I promise it's not as hard as it sounds to achieve this one. Number three, is there research behind it? 

So a lot of times people will try and mark it like a specific herb to you or I don't know, something like creatine, right? My husband takes creatine. He's in the military. He works out twice a day. He's jacked. 

But like, is there research behind creatine and breastfeeding? Like, are there negative effects? Did they notice that the baby became more colicky if mom was taking creatine or pre -workout or things like that? 

So just trying to consider, is there research behind it to say that they have noticed XYZ when mom eats this and then there's some... something with baby. And if not, if there's no research, that doesn't necessarily mean you can't have it. 

It just means you should be extra careful and just use your best discretion. And if you don't want to do that, then you can either talk to your doctor or just say, if there's no research, I don't want any part of it.

Okay, but research is really important because sometimes you're like, Oh, this should be good. But they've actually like done research and found that it does affect baby negatively, right? A good example would be caffeine. 

You can have caffeine while your breastfeeding, but there is a limit as to how much you can have. And there are guidelines about when you should have caffeine in your day because of how it affects your milk supply and how it affects baby long term. 

So that's a good example about research. Fourth criteria is third party testing. This one isn't necessarily like a must have, but for me, it's always really, really good, especially because Supplements are not heavily regulated by the FDA and companies aren't required to say every single little thing that's in their supplement. 

There's a lot that they can fudge about. There's a lot that they can lie about. There's a lot that they can just like not put on their ingredient label and on their like product label. And they're not going to get in trouble for it. 

So having independent third party testing is always really, really good because that shows that the brand went through extra quote unnecessary steps to make sure that their product is a good product. 

Now, this can also be really important if you have like celiac disease, for example. And, you know, you can't have anything that's been cross contaminated with a gluten. Something really important for you might be an independent third party certification saying that this is certified gluten free and it meets all these criteria, right? 

That could be something really important to you. And at the end of the day, again, it's up to your discretion. I'm not like googling every single brand out there. Usually you can kind of tell just by looking at the product.

And if you do it enough, you can kind of like get through the marketing tactics. Like for example, half the supplements out there, they say non GMO on them, but all of the ingredients that are in the supplement are not naturally GMO ingredients. 

So the non GMO like doesn't mean anything, but it's just a fancy marketing label that they put on there to make you think that it's better. So just keep that in mind when it comes to third party testing. 

Well, I don't know if you can tell that I'm like out of breath and talking a little bit faster. I'm currently standing up in my room right now because I don't have anywhere to comfortably sit. and I'm also nine months pregnant. 

So standing for a really long period of time and then talking makes me really out of breath. So I apologize if my breathing or my pace of speech is starting to get to you. But that's why I sound out of breath because I'm just standing and talking while nine months pregnant. 

Okay, criteria number five recommended by a certified expert. This could be me, it could be a registered dietician, it could be your doctor, it could be a health practitioner. It could be someone on social media, but not an influencer, right?

They're not experts, they're influencers. So making sure that they have credentials and all the things. If the expert is recommending a supplement and they can tell you the reasons why and they can show you research behind it. 

in regards to how the supplement will affect your milk supply, that that's a really good way to decide if something is a good option for you. And above all, always consult with your doctor. Do you have to have permission to have protein powder from your OBGYN? 

No, but if you don't know a lot about ingredients or nutrition labels or you just want to be safe, I'm gonna tell you because it's a disclaimer and this is a health and wellness podcast to always consult with your doctor before beginning any new health regimen supplementation, all the things, okay? 

Now, before we wrap up, let's talk about some of my brands and the different types of supplements that I take, that I recommend to clients, that I recommend to followers, all of that good stuff.

Some of my favorite protein brands are:

  • Just Ingredients (use code for 10% off)
  • Odyssey (use code MAMA10 for 10% off)
  • Clean Simple Eats
  • Quest
  • Majka

Some of my favorite vitamin companies are:

  • Llama Naturals (use code MAMA20 for 20% off)
  • BiOptimizers
  • Nature Wise (prenatal)

Other supplement brands include:

  • Mommy Knows Best
  • Redmond (electrolytes, salt)
  • Earth Mama

With that, that wraps up today's episode all about supplements and breastfeeding, nursing, pumping, whatever you want to call it. I find that a lot of the times I say breastfeeding because that's kind of my default. 

That's what I do and that's what I coach moms in. I am not an expert in pumping by any means, but I want you to know that like the majority of the time, if I say breastfeeding, I'm usually referring to nursing. 

So all of these tips apply to you if you are an exclusively pumping mom. I don't want you to feel left out. I'm sorry if I'm not super good at interchanging, nursing and breastfeeding and all the things.