According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, infants are recommended to be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, health, and development.

Despite this, only 40% of children aged under six months are exclusively breastfed and only 23 countries have an over 60% rate of exclusive breastfeeding.*

One of the top causes for this – lactation issues. There are many causes of decreasing breast milk supply, including stress, environmental toxins, certain medications and not breast-feeding often enough. When faced with this, mothers turn to lactation supplements to help increase their supply and boost their confidence in their breastfeeding journey.

According to Mintel, nursing mothers are interested to learn how foods can support their milk production. Lactation experts say that there are foods – name ‘lactogenic foods’ or ‘galactagogues’ – that influence the milk supply. Herbs, including fenugreek, milk thistle, fennel and blessed thistle, are common galactagogues that have been used throughout history to support lactation.

For the discerning mother who is seeking transparency in products though, what is on the market? There are numerous lactogenic foods and herbs on the market, but are they truly clean-label? Many extracts in today’s market can contain residual solvents (organic volatile chemicals such as ethanol). These trace contaminants can then be passed from the mother to the child.

Companies need to be able to ensure ingredients’ efficacy in order to meet consumer’s demand for the highest quality ingredients. Sensient Pharmaceutical’s portfolio of extracts offer endless possibilities to utilize botanical and plant based options, all while providing you and nursing mothers with the comfort of knowing our products are ultra clean-label. Consult with our technical experts on how to incorporate our extracts into your products.

*Mintel GNPD
**Sensient Primary Research: Female, Aged 21 – 73.

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