Olive Garden is known for endless pasta bowls, salad, and bread sticks, but increasing your breast milk supply? That's not exactly a perk they advertise. But it turns out, your favorite Italian restaurant chain could help you in your breastfeeding success. In fact, the Olive Garden order that could increase your milk supply isn't even that hard to order — it's basically everything on the menu.
If eggplant Parmesan can send women into labor, why can't Italian food increase your milk supply, right? There's got to be some connection between babies and pasta, but I can't be sure it's the same for both jump starting labor and helping your milk volume. But when it comes to increasing your milk supply, there's one galactagogue that could help you out and it's present in virtually every Olive Garden dish — garlic.
But hey, it's not for the reason you think. Don't think of garlic as something you have to take ten times a day in order to increase your milk supply. It's important to remember how your milk production works. Lori Isenstadt, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and owner of All About Breastfeeding tells Romper that if you want to make more milk, you have to remove more milk. Your body is receiving the signal to make milk because your baby is nursing. The more you nurse, the more milk your body makes in order to meet your baby's demands.
There's no research to back up any claims that a certain food can magically increase your milk supply. According to Kelly Mom, galactagogues have been known to help increase milk supply, but they work best when they are also paired with more frequent milk removal from your breasts. Whether it's through increased nursing or pumping, you have to let your body know your baby needs more milk — you can't rely on an herb or food.
So how can an Olive Garden dish featuring garlic increase your milk supply? It's easy — garlic can help you remove more milk from your breasts, giving your body the signal to amp up production.
A study conducted in 1993 focused on the effects of garlic on a breastfeeding mother. The study found that, when compared to babies who had been introduced to garlic in their mother's milk before, babies who had no exposure to garlic in their mother's milk before actually nursed for a significantly longer time after their mother ingested garlic capsules. The study also compared nursing sessions between the two groups of babies — they nursed after their mother took a placebo, and then they nursed after she ingested the garlic capsule. When comparing the garlic nursing sessions to the ones involving the placebo, researchers found that the babies breastfed for a much longer time after their mother ate garlic.
Following the literal laws of "supply and demand" within your body, you can safely assume that if you eat garlic, there's a chance your baby is going to nurse for a longer amount of time. And the more milk your baby removes? The more milk your body makes in an effort to keep up with your little one's demands.
It's not the alfredo sauce that's going to increase your breast milk supply and it's not the eggplant Parmesan or the lasagna — it's the garlic. So pick your favorite Olive Garden order, be sure it has some garlic (chances are, it does), and enjoy a rib-sticking Italian mean knowing that it's going to make your milk supply, and your baby, very happy. Prego.