Modern lifestyle is often a challenge for a lactating mother. The sustainable milk supply is drying up due to stressful life and many other factors. Therefore, breastfeeding can be a problem for many women. Almost 35 percent of women across the world give up on breastfeeding early due to low milk supply, suggests the reports.
Now there has been a raging urban myth going on about a certain drink launched by Starbucks which boosts the milk supply of lactating mothers.
This hyped drink is called Strawberry Acai Refresher on Starbucks menu. Lots of new mothers are raving about the milk boosting capacity of this drink, now famously called the “Pink Drink”.
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So, what is this Pink Drink?
Pink drink is actually named Strawberry Acai Refresher by Starbucks. It is a sweet but uncaffeinated beverage of pink color. A blend of fruit juices and coconut milk, the beverage is all the rage among new mothers. Why? Supposedly, this drink has the magical capability of increasing breast milk supply in lactating mothers.
The secret power of Pink Drink
A Facebook page called “Milky Mamas Breastfeeding Support” put up a post of a mother who claimed that the Pink Drink has drastically increased her milk supply once she started consuming it. Many other new moms swear by the magic of Pink Drink. They claim that consuming the Pink Drink has doubled their breast milk. One blogger of Baby Centre said she noticed a remarkable change in the amount of her breast milk after trying the drink.
Lactation consultant Julie Hawksley says, “While some of the ingredients such as strawberries and coconut milk have nutritional benefits, it’s unknown whether any of the ingredients in this drink contribute to increased milk supply.” Hawksley continues “It’s certainly important for breastfeeding moms to stay well hydrated to support milk production. Also, treating herself to a delicious drink at the coffee shop might brighten her mood, which can also stimulate the let-down of her milk.”
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Is the myth true?
According to many lactation consultants, drinking any fluid does not increase the breast milk supply. If you are extremely dehydrated or malnourished, then it is different. Fluids might help in increasing your milk. Some mothers believe that the coconut milk in the Pink drink increases the breast milk. That is not true as well. There is no scientific research that shows that coconut milk increases breast milk.
Wendy Wisner, a lactation consultant believes, it is all coincidence that has overhyped the Starbucks drink. “Sometimes when mothers believe something will increase their supply, it relaxes them. This relaxation can help with ‘letdown’ so the milk flows more easily. If these moms feel like it works, go for it. But moms who are having true milk supply issues shouldn’t rely on this drink to help.” So according to the naysayers, if you are having problems in breastfeeding, don’t go for the Pink Drink.
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Will they keep drinking it?
Several mothers have agreed that the myth about the Pink Drink may not be true. However, they will still drink it. Some will drink it still believing on its magical powers of increasing breast milk. On the other hand, others just want to have it because of its sweet candy like taste. It is a fact that this drink will give you a sugar rush. One woman even said that it tastes like a ‘bucket of milky sugar’.
How to increase milk supply
If not the Pink drink, there are several other ways to increase your breast milk which are medically proved. These are:
- You must breastfeed more frequently. Be quick to respond to your baby’s hints of needing milk like turning the head from side to side, opening and closing of the mouth, sucking on fingers and licking lips. Frequent breastfeeding is a sure shot way to increase your breast milk.
- You should offer both breasts to your baby while breastfeeding. Let your baby finish one side and then offer the other. This boosts up milk supply.
- Definitely avoid bottles and pacifiers until the milk supply is sufficient.
- If breastfeeding is painful for you, or if your baby is sleepy during that time, pumping can help. Pumping actually is an effective way to multiply your breast milk.
- Rest as much as possible and stop doing all the household work. This affects the milk supply.
- A healthy and balanced diet is very important for proper milk supply. Some foods that improve breast milk amount are brown rice, millets, oats, barley, almonds, sesame seeds, carrots, leafy greens, beets, apricots, green cooked papaya, figs, dates, brewers nutritional yeast, flaxseed oil and coconut oil.
- Proper hydration is another important factor that improves your milk. Drink fluids and beverages with low sugar content.
- Some medicinal herbs and medications also boost milk supply. But you should always consult your doctor before taking these to assess the risk factors.
- Proper amount of sleep is very vital for a lactating mother. Not getting sleep will adversely affect the health of the mother and the milk supply might drop.
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Starting out as a secret item, now the Pink Drink is in the Starbucks main menu year-round. Such is the popularity of this beverage! Breastfeeding mamas are convinced about its super powers and proclaiming about this drink’s ability to increase breast milk in public forums. Many women are even making up their own recipe for this magic drink. However, there is no scientific study to support this claim. Lactation consultants are of the opinion that this drink has no ingredient that helps in boosting the milk supply of a woman. Neither the coconut milk, nor the acai or other fruit juices blended in the drink increases breast milk. It is all coincidence and nothing else. It doesn’t matter what they say, if you do not mind the excessive sweetness of this drink, go for it. After all, the worse that can happen is your breast milk doesn’t increase. But hey, you get to taste a delicious beverage!
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