The delicious blend of Starbucks’ Strawberry Acai Refresher and coconut milk is undeniably an Instagram-worthy caffeinated concoction. But could Starbucks’ Pink Drink boost breast milk supply, too? Some nursing mamas think so, and they’ve got many others wondering if science makes sense.
The conversation began when nursing mom Laura Galvin posted a picture of a leaked-through t-shirt to the Milky Mamas breastfeeding support Facebook group—and according to Galvin, Starbucks’ Pink Drink deserves 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 coconutty 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 Birth 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.)
“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.”
We’ll cheers a Pink Drink to that!