Is there a secret Starbucks drink that boosts your milk supply?
Here's the truth, mama.
TikTok has a new star and it’s not a dancing teen or a mom with a squeaky oven. It’s a Starbucks “secret menu” item that could (possibly) boost a mama’s milk supply (or just be a delicious placebo).
TikTokkers call it the “Cosmo and Wanda” (a name inspired by the duo of fairy godparents in the animated series The Fairly OddParents) but your barista might know it as a Strawberry Matcha, according to Pop Sugar. It’s not technically on the menu, but you can order it off the so-called “secret menu”.
Like its ancestor the Pink Drink, this concoction can contain coconut milk, which has some nursing mamas wondering if it could help boost milk supply (while providing a caffeine boost).
Here’s what you need to know about Starbucks’ Strawberry Matcha & breastfeeding:
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The “Cosmo and Wanda” is just the Pink Drink with vanilla cold foam and a scoop of matcha powder blended into the cold foam. The original Pink Drink is a delicious blend of Starbucks’ Strawberry Acai Refresher and coconut milk.
When the Pink Drink went viral back in 2017 mamas started wondering if it could boost breast milk supply and the discussion is resurfacing as the Strawberry Matcha has become the drink of 2020. If you get a Strawberry Matcha with coconut milk could it help boost breastmilk supply?
This internet legend started mama Laura Galvin posted a picture of a leaked-through t-shirt to the Milky Mamas breastfeeding support Facebook group in 2017—and according to Galvin, Starbucks’ Pink Drink deserved the credit for her increased milk supply. (In fact, Galvin said she suddenly had so much extra milk that she was looking to donate to a local milk bank. Talk about a “double pump!”)
Naturally, that got the attention of other breastfeeding mamas—especially those looking for any excuse to drive through Starbucks.
When Pink Drink-loving moms realized they weren’t alone in thinking the coconut beverage was helping them pump more, the conversations in Facebook groups dedicated to breastfeeding blossomed.
Of course, a few Facebook posts don’t prove the moms’ hypothesis, and there hasn’t been any actual scientific study of how the Pink Drink impacts breastfeeding. What we do know is that galactogogues—aka, foods and supplements known to increase milk production—certainly do exist (lactation cookies, anyone?) and the Pink Drink could be an accidental one.
“Anecdotally, some women have reported that coconut milk helps boost their milk supply, and since the drink is made with coconut milk it might,” said Diana Spalding, midwife and Motherly’s Digital Education Editor.
On top of that, the moms who simply believe the drink will help them may actually experience those benefits: Studies show that anxiety is linked to reduced breast milk supplies. On the other hand, moms who are laid-back and confident about producing enough milk may find it much easier to get their flow on. Plus, simply hydrating adequately helps with milk supply—so that could be another factor. (Because anyone who gets a Pink Drink is sure to slurp it down much more enthusiastically than another glass of water.)
Really, as far as Spalding is concerned, the only downside is the amount of sugar in Pink Drinks, which pack 24 grams into a grande. Thankfully, many homemade versions are great lower-sugar options.
“Like most things, everything in moderation,” Spalding said. “I wouldn’t go crazy with the drink. But, if you love it and find it helps your milk supply, the occasional treat is great.”
So if you want a secret menu treat, the Pink Drink or the “Cosmo and Wanda” (as long as it’s made with coconut milk) could be a refreshing choice, but it’s probably not going to make you leak through your shirt.
[A version of this post was originally published August 1, 2017.]