Moms who have trouble producing enough milk have been known to try any harebrained scheme or old wives' tales to get their milk supply flowing. There are tons of milk supply-boosting recipes out there for mamas coping with breastfeeding difficulties and many moms swear by certain foods to keep the milk flowing.
Some moms can only breastfeed on one side, due to trouble making milk. And if you've found yourself in the same boat of worrying you can't produce enough, you probably already know all about galactogogues—foods and supplements that moms swear help produce more milk—such as oatmeal, brewer's yeast, fenugreek, flaxseed and alfalfa, to name a few.
The newest trick some moms say they swear by is a coffee-free drink from Starbucks known as the "Pink Drink." What could possibly cause this drink to help you produce more breastmilk?
Well, it's got coconut milk, which has electrolytes, for one thing. But it could very well also be in your head—sort of.
“Confidence is a really important part of breastfeeding, and when moms are stressed or anxious, it’s harder for their babies to get milk,” Dr. Allison Stuebe, the Medical Director of Lactation Services at UNC Health Care, told Today.com. “If it tastes good and makes people happy and relaxed, it could very well help with milk flow.”
Aside from the confidence factor, it could be that you're dehydrated and the Pink Drink is just rehydrating you. (How many times have you forgotten to drink or eat as a new mom? Probably many.)
The Starbucks creation is a mix of the Strawberry Acai Refreshers beverage mixed with coconut milk and freeze-dried strawberries (which are mostly for visual effect). A 16-ounce grande Pink Drink has 140 calories and 24 grams of sugar, whereas a 12-ounce can of Coke has 150 calories and 39 grams of sugar, so it's only marginally better for you than drinking soda.
Some moms told Lifehacker their milk came in so strong, they leaked, sprayed or their babies couldn't keep up. However, a note of caution: Not all moms who have tried the Starbucks Pink Drink have gotten the desired results. Is it worth a try? Absolutely. If it doesn't work for you, the worst case scenario is that you're out $6 and the time it took you to get to and from Starbucks.
If you find you're still having a tough time, you might want to meet with a lactation consultant, try breastfeeding in a different position or check with your doctor to see if there's a medical reason you're not producing enough milk. And if you still can't make enough, you can always supplement with formula while still breastfeeding as much as you're able. Fed is best!