Product Questions

Which Motherlove supplement is right for me?

More Milk Plus is Motherlove’s most popular and best-selling breastfeeding supplement. It contains fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle, and fennel seed. Fenugreek is the herb most recommended by lactation consultants for supporting breast milk supply; this combination helps most women within 24-48 hours. Available in a grain alcohol or alcohol-free liquid extract; and as a liquid extract concentrate in vegetarian capsules. Not for use during pregnancy.

More Milk Special Blend contains the herbs in More Milk Plus blended with goat’s rue, an herb that helps support mammary tissue development. Specially-formulated at the request of lactation consultants, this product can help support breast milk production for women who have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), did not see an increase in breast size during pregnancy, have had previous breast surgeries, or for adoptive mothers. Available in a grain alcohol or alcohol-free liquid extract and as a liquid extract concentrate in vegetarian capsules. Not for use during pregnancy.

More Milk has blessed thistle, nettle and fennel but does not contain fenugreek for those who may be sensitive to its potential side effects (usually gastric upset that may occur in either mother or baby). Not for use during pregnancy.

More Milk Two contains raspberry leaf, nettle and alfalfa - a nourishing combination of herbs that is specially formulated to safely support lactation for pregnant breastfeeding mothers. Alcohol-free and safe for use during pregnancy.

Goat’s Rue This herb is known to support lactation and the development of mammary tissue; allowing adoptive mothers to successfully breastfeed, as well as women who have had breast surgery. It is also helpful for women who did not see an increase in their breast size during pregnancy. Available in a grain alcohol base, and as a liquid extract concentrate in vegetarian capsules. Discuss product use with a healthcare professional before using during pregnancy.

Fenugreek This single herb extract is most recommended by lactation consultants to help support breast milk supply. Available in an alcohol-free liquid extract. Not for use during pregnancy.

Shatavari - A rejuvenating Ayurvedic single herb extract that helps to balance the female hormonal system. Known for its phytoestrogen properties, this herb can help with a variety of issues including menopause, increased fertility and breast milk production.

Malunggay - Known as the “miracle tree”, this single herb extract is widely recognized for its nutritional benefits. It has been used for generations by breastfeeding women to help support breast milk production.

What is the suggested use for these products?

Liquid Extracts
Under 175 lbs: 1 ml 4 times per day
Over 175 lbs: 2 mls 3 times per day

Under 175 lbs: 1 capsule 4 times per day
Over 175 lbs: 2 capsules 3 times per day

These products can be taken with a small amount (1-2 oz.) of liquid. For maximum effectiveness, avoid drinking liquids 15 minutes before or after each dosage. Most women experience a change in breast milk supply with the More Milk Plus products within 1-2 days. It does take longer, usually 2-3 weeks, to see an effect if taking goat’s rue to support mammary tissue development.

How long will my Motherlove product last at the suggested amounts?

This depends on dose and body weight, here is the approximate time each product size will last:
60 caps 10 days - 2 weeks
120 caps 20 days - 4 weeks
2 oz. 10 days - 2 weeks
4 oz. 20 days - 4 weeks

What is the difference between Motherlove's liquid extracts and Motherlove's capsules?

Initially the herbal components in all our formulas are extracted in grain alcohol and water, resulting in what is commonly known as a tincture. For our alcohol-free extracts the alcohol is then slowly removed without destroying the important herbal constituents. Organic vegetable glycerin is added in place of the alcohol; acting as a natural preservative and giving the tincture a sweeter taste. To make our capsules, we again remove the alcohol and add non-GMO soy lecithin, modified vegetable cellulose and medium chain triglycerides as a natural preservative. This is then encapsulated in a vegetarian capsule. The liquid extracts and the capsules have the same herbal strength per dose. Liquid extracts are more quickly absorbed through the mucus membranes in the mouth than the capsules, which take about 1/2 hour to digest and enter the system. Many women prefer the capsules due to the strong taste of the liquid extracts.

What is the difference between Motherlove alcohol based extracts and the alcohol-free extracts?

Initially, both products’ herbal components are extracted in alcohol and water. An alcohol/water blend is the preferred medium as it extracts the widest range of constituents from the herbs. The amount of alcohol in the finished extract is minimal and is not contraindicated in breastfeeding, but it does have a sharp taste.

In the alcohol-free products, the alcohol is slowly steamed away without removing the important herbal constituents. Organic vegetable glycerin is then added to replace the alcohol. Motherlove offers alcohol-free choices in the More Milk Plus, More Milk Special Blend, More Milk Two, and Fenugreek products. All capsules are also alcohol-free.

Can I take an alcohol based tincture while breastfeeding?

Some women are concerned about consuming anything with alcohol in it while breastfeeding. While we understand their concerns, there are a few reasons why all of our supplements start off as an alcohol based tincture and are safe to consume while breastfeeding.

1. While there are a number of ways in which to take herbs, the most common ways are as a tea, as a dried capsule or as a liquid tincture. Motherlove’s supplements start out as an alcohol based liquid tincture since this is the best way to extract the herbal constituents, it maintains its quality over time and has a high rate of absorbability. Additionally, Motherlove’s liquid herbal extracts are more potent than dry herb blends, meaning less is needed for the same results.

2. While there is alcohol in our traditional tinctures, the amount per dose is very small—about 15 drops of alcohol per dose. This amount of alcohol does not transfer into the breastmilk. In total, the amount of alcohol in our tinctures is equivalent to drinking one glass of wine over the course of two weeks.

3. If there is still a concern about the alcohol content, Motherlove does offer alcohol-free liquid extracts and liquid capsules of many of our supplements.

What is that dark residue in my dropper?

That “gunk” is a completely normal residue resulting from herbal sediment. Because Motherlove products contain actual herb plant particles, this characteristic is typical of herbal liquid extracts, and in no way compromises the quality of the product. Sediment often collects inside and around the dropper; and shaking the bottle prior to use can help release some of the particles. The dark color is from the herbs in each product; and can vary in color from a green, to a very dark brown or black. Read more about this on our blog…

How long should I use Motherlove liquid extracts or vegetarian capsules?

Every mother’s needs vary. Some women are able to use these products for a short time to support their breast milk supply. Others, once they are meeting their supply goals, are able to decrease the amount or number of doses per day to maintain the desired supply of breast milk. Many women are able to stop taking the product all together as their bodies are able to maintain an adequate milk supply. Some women may need to use Motherlove’s lactation products the entire time they are nursing to maintain their milk supply. We encourage women to use the amount that best meets their baby’s growing demands.

What are the advantages of a liquid extract over a dried herbal supplement or tea?

Motherlove liquid extracts are made with only the highest quality certified organic herbs - picked and processed at peak potency. A liquid extract maintains this quality over time and has a high rate of absorbability. Dried powdered herbs can lose potency over time, making them less effective and requiring higher dosage amounts.

What should I do if it is not working?

Be sure you are taking the correct amount for your body weight according to the suggested use on the label. These products may be taken with 1-2 oz. of liquid. Although it is important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, for maximum effectiveness avoid drinking liquids 15 minutes before or after each dose. Drinking more liquids than specified with each use may dilute the herbs in your system. There are certain herbs (including sage, parsley, and peppermint) and medications (such as over-the-counter decongestants) that can lower milk supply. Try to avoid these while breastfeeding. Some lactation consultants also warn that some anti depressants and hormonal birth control may lower breast milk supply. As there can be many causes of low milk supply, we recommend working with a lactation consultant to help you with your particular breastfeeding situation.

Are these herbs safe?

The herbs in our products are culinary herbs traditionally used throughout the world. They have been used to safely and effectively support lactation for generations. Fenugreek and fennel are common in Middle Eastern cuisine. Fenugreek is also used to make imitation maple flavoring. Nettle, called a “storehouse of nutrition,” is a wonderful spring green when cooked and is full of valuable minerals such as iron, calcium, and other trace minerals. Blessed thistle is most often recommended to strengthen the liver.

Are there any known side effects from Motherlove products?

Commonly, fenugreek may cause increased perspiration, gas and/or loose stools, and the body may excrete a maple syrup-like smell when taking it alone. Fenugreek may lower the thyroid hormone T3 and should be avoided by women with hypothyroidism. Both fenugreek and goat’s rue can lower blood sugar levels. Women who are insulin dependent or hypoglycemic may want to consult with a health care provider prior to use. As with any ingested food or product, if adverse effects appear in mother or baby, discontinue use.

Are allergic reactions to Motherlove herbal extracts possible?

Any ingested food has the potential for allergic reaction. Motherlove’s liquid supplements do not contain any dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or gluten. The vegetarian capsules do contain non-GMO soy lecithin and coconut (tree nut). Fenugreek and goat’s rue are in the legume family, as are soy and peanuts. Those with allergies to plants in this family should use these products with caution. Discontinue use if side effects appear in mother or baby.

Are Motherlove products gluten-free?

Yes, all Motherlove products are gluten-free.

Can Motherlove products be used with other medications?

Our products can be taken along with many other medications. Please consult a health care practitioner with contraindication concerns.

Are Motherlove products non-GMO?

Yes, our products are made with certified organic ingredients. Organic standards prohibit the use of GMO’s, as well as toxic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, sewage sludge, nuclear irradiation and animal drugs.

Body Care Ingredients to Avoid

It is prudent to remember that anything you put on your skin during pregnancy can potentially reach the fetus. When it comes to the delicate skin of your baby, it is even more important to use only those products that are gentle and nurturing.

The FDA has banned just nine chemicals from cosmetics compared to the European Union which has banned more than 1000. A product that is labeled as being “natural” may be mixed up with synthetic dyes or fragrances. Many expensive products are full of the same ingredients and harsh chemicals as the less expensive brands. And, many “common” synthetic ingredients are now being linked to conditions such as allergies, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, testicular abnormalities, decreased sperm counts, and breast cancer.

Shopping “natural” or “organic” is no guarantee that your products are free of dangerous chemicals. 1,4-Dioxane is often present in the leading “natural” and “organic” branded products. The use of the cancer-causing petrochemical Ethylene Oxide generates 1,4-Dioxane as a by-product, which is suspected as a kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant and respiratory toxicant.

Make sure you check the packaging of all your products. Toxic plastic #3 by its other name, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or vinyl is considered by many experts to be the most dangerous, carcinogenic plastic. Another controversial chemical is bisphenol A (BPA) used in #7 polycarbonate bottles found in hard plastic such as baby bottles. These chemicals leach into the products that they contain. For more information on all the plastic packaging codes see Smart Plastics Guide.

Motherlove uses pure ingredients and safe, recyclable packaging for our products. We are proud of the fact that our products have expiration dates. You know that they are free of “shelf life” preservatives and any artificial ingredients. You expect that from “real food”. You should expect that from your body care, as well.

Below is a list of the some of the most prevalent ingredients found in “natural” body care products and their effects on the human body.

  • Ceteareth-6 — The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel has placed a warning on this ingredient that it be excluded from products used on injured or damaged skin.
  • Coal Tar — in 1993, the FDA issued a warning to consumers about coal tar being a possible cancer risk. Coal tar appears in many hair dyes and strong dandruff and psoriasis shampoos, but the FDA failed to ban it even though studies have linked it to cancer in lab animals. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 71 hair-dye products contained ingredients derived from coal tar.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) or Triethanolamine (TEA) — These chemicals are often used as wetting agents, pH adjusters, as well as with many fatty acids to convert acid to salt (stearate), which then becomes the base for a cleanser. TEA causes allergic reactions including eye problems, hair and skin dryness. Both DEA and TEA are highly susceptible to contamination with nitrosamines, known to be potent carcinogens.
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea — The most commonly used preservatives after parabens, these are well established as a primary cause of contact dermatitis (American Academy of Dermatology). They release high amounts of formaldehyde. Two trade names for these chemicals are Germall II and Germall 115. Neither of the Germall chemicals have good anti-fungal properties, so they must be combined with other preservatives. Germall 115 releases formaldehyde at just over 10°.
  • Mineral Oil — A petroleum derivative that is found in many moisturizers and causes severe allergic reactions.
  • Parabens — Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, and Ethyl — Widely used as cosmetic preservatives and antimicrobials, even though they are known to be toxic and a leading cause of contact dermatitis. In addition, methyl paraben combines benzoic acid with the methyl group of chemicals, which are highly toxic. These can appear on labels as p-hydroxybenzoate (or PHB) esters. Some studies have shown that parabens mimic estrogen in rodents. The chemicals also have been shown to stimulate growth of human breast-cancer cells in the lab. A University of Reading study, published in the January 2004 Journal of Applied Toxicology, found that 18 of 20 breast tumors studied contained significant concentrations of parabens.
  • Petrolatum — This is a very cheap jelly made from mineral oil that causes such skin problems as photosensitivity and interference with the body’s own natural moisturizing mechanism, which leads to dry skin and chapping. Oddly enough, this product often creates the very conditions it claims to alleviate!
  • Phthalates — generally covered by the general term “fragrance,” and readily absorbed by our fingernails, skin and lungs. In July 2005, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported finding the metabolized forms of dibutyl phthalates, used in nail polish and synthetic fragrance, in every person tested in their national “body burden” study. Phthalates can lead to liver cancer and birth defects in lab animals. A study published in May 2005 from the University of Minnesota, Environmental Health Perspectives, found a connection between phthalates and genital abnormalities in baby boys.
  • Propylene Glycol — Ideally this ingredient is made up of a vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, both of which are natural. Usually however, it is a synthetic petrochemical mix used as a humectant, or substance that promotes moisture retention. In its synthetic form, it is known to cause allergic reactions, clogged pores, and blemishes.
  • PVP/VA Copolymer — This is a petroleum-derived chemical used primarily in hairsprays and other cosmetics. Since the particles may contribute to foreign bodies in the lungs of sensitive persons, it is considered toxic.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate — A synthetic substance primarily used in shampoos for its detergent and foam-building abilities. It can cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, dry skin and allergic reactions. It is frequently disguised in pseudo-natural cosmetics with the parenthetic explanation that it “comes from coconut.” In a 1983 report on the safety of sodium lauryl sulfate, The Journal of the American College of Toxicology concluded that “studies have indicated that sodium lauryl sulfate enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, lungs and the brain from skin contact.”
  • Stearalkonium Chloride — This chemical was developed by the fabric industry as a softener, and it is cheaper and easier to use in hair conditioning formulas than proteins or herbal components. It can cause allergic reactions.
  • Synthetic Colors — Synthetic colors are used to make cosmetics “pretty” and, along with hair dyes, should be avoided as they are believed to be cancer-causing agents. They appear on labels as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number; e.g., FD&C Red No. 6 / D&C Green No. 6.
  • Synthetic Fragrances — Synthetic fragrances can contain as many as 200 ingredients. There is often no way of knowing what these chemicals are since the label simply states “Fragrance”, and these items do not have to list their chemical constituents. Potential problems caused by these chemicals are headaches, dizziness, rashes, hyperpigmentation, coughing, and vomiting.
What is the difference between the Pregnant Belly Oil and the Pregnant Belly Salve?

Both of these products help to prevent stretch marks and are made with the same healing herbs. The Pregnant Belly Salve has the addition of shea butter and beeswax, making it a thicker consistency. We find that the salve is more popular, but both are equally effective.

How often should I use the Pregnant Belly Oil or Salve?

We recommend using it in the morning and the evening or anytime your belly feels tight and itchy. Any oil based product can stain your clothing, so let the oil absorb before getting dressed. As your pregnancy progresses, pamper other parts of your body with these products. Hips and breasts can get stretch marks too!

Does the Pregnant Belly Salve or Oil work on existing stretch marks?

Although moisturizing can help stretch marks fade, it is very difficult to get rid of existing stretch marks completely. Use this product to help prevent new marks by keeping your skin supple while you grow.

What is a Sitz Bath?

This is a shallow bath that new moms use with what is known as a sitz bath pan, a basin that fits over your toilet seat. This allows women to sit in healing herbs and warm water after childbirth; helping to soothe sore perineal muscles and ease discomfort.

What is the difference between the Sitz Bath products?

Both of our sitz bath products contain the same healing herbs. We offer a convenient Sitz Bath Soak, where one ounce of these pre-steeped herbs can be added directly to a half gallon of warm water. We also make a Sitz Bath Spray, which women can spray directly on to their skin, with no need to stop and sit in a bath. Perfect for frequent use!

Does Motherlove's Nipple Cream need to be removed prior to breastfeeding?

Our Nipple Cream is 100% Certified USDA Organic. All the ingredients are safe for ingestion and does not need to be washed off prior to breastfeeding.

Why no lanolin?

Lanolin is a natural wax coating on sheep wool that is removed by boiling the wool and collecting the wax. Sheep may often be treated with a pesticide dip which contains chemicals such as DDT, lindane, and diazinon to control parasites. Because we are dedicated to avoiding toxins in products made for women and their babies, we have chosen not use this ingredient in our products.

What is thrush?

Thrush is a yeast infection that grows in moist places, such as in the folds of a baby’s skin. It appears as red, irritated patches on the neck, armpits, and thighs; and as white patches on the tongue and insides of the cheeks. It can also appear as a diaper rash that is difficult to clear. When thrush spreads to a nursing mother’s milk ducts, it can make nursing painful. The nipples are red, itchy, cracked, and sometimes have white patches. We use Oregon Grape Root and Myrrh in our Diaper Balm; as both are antibacterial, antifungal, and very effective on a yeast caused diaper rash. Although it is safe to use on nursing nipples, we do not recommend putting it directly into your baby’s mouth.

Is the Diaper Balm safe to use with cloth diapers?

Yes! Diaper Balm does not contain zinc oxide, a common ingredient in diaper rash creams. This white substance creates a moisture barrier that can cause cloth diapers to not be as absorbent. Diaper Balm is cloth diaper-safe.