I am consistently having conversations with lactating mothers in the store. The common story often sounds like this, “I am not making enough milk.” “My milk didn’t come in so I had to use formula.” “I had a hard time nursing.” “I gave up, I was in too much pain.” “The baby just stopped nursing suddenly.” On and on like this.
Breastfeeding has so many benefits, it’s a lot to list them all… here is a huge bunch of reasons: http://www.notmilk.com/101.html
New mothers need support so they can focus in the first few weeks of life with their new baby to master the art of breastfeeding. Almost every mother can breastfeed. The common story can, most often, be overcome. There are herbs, foods, homeopathics, balms, nursing holds, techniques, encouragement, etc., that can be essential to help a mother succeed.
It takes time for milk to arrive, sometimes more than a week! Figuring out latch takes time and patience. Stress should be managed. Proper nutrition is important for the mother. The foods mom eats can give digestion challenges to the infant (sulfur based foods for example) which turns the infant off of nursing. As well, there could be a physiological reason, such as tongue tie, preventing a good latch. There could also be unseen emotional energies blocking the mother, a mother or mother-in-law judging her or someone else working against her.
If formula must be used, the best I have come across is the following from the Weston-Price Foundation:
- 2 cups whole raw cow’s milk, preferably from pasture-fed cows
- 1/4 cup homemade liquid whey (See recipe for whey, below) Note: Do NOT use powdered whey or whey from making cheese (which will cause the formula to curdle). Use only homemade whey made from yoghurt, kefir or separated raw milk.
- 4 tablespoons lactose
- 1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis
- 2 or more tablespoons good quality cream (preferably not ultrapasteurized), more if you are using milk from Holstein cows
- 1/2 teaspoon unflavored high-vitamin or high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil or 1 teaspoon regular cod liver oil
- 1/4 teaspoon high-vitamin butter oil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon expeller-expressed sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons Frontier brand nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 teaspoons gelatin
- 1-7/8 cups filtered water
- 1/4 teaspoon acerola powder
To help with latch, here are some
great resources from Dr. Jack Newman.
Lactogenic Foods and Herbs
Based on the Book
Mother Food: A Breastfeeding Diet Guide
By Hilary Jacobson CH.HU.SI.
Dietary Guidelines Following Birth:
Getting a good start the first few weeks after birth can be helpful in supporting the onset and development of a mother’s milk supply:
- Get enough to eat. Simply eating regularly and getting enough calories will support your milk supply.
- Get enough to drink, but not too much. Between 2 – 3 quarts a day is a good goal to aim for. Some mothers discover they need much more, and some find that they need to get “just enough” fluids to maintain an optimal milk supply.
- Eat at least one warm meal per day that includes a source of protein, a portion of green salad, a grain such as millet or rice, and cooked vegetables such as yam, carrot, and fennel.
- Spice moderately with lactogenic spices, for instance with sea-salt or gomasio, with dill or caraway, or basil and marjoram, and, if tolerated, with garlic.
- Avoid food that is hard to digest such as fried or extremely fatty food.
- Take probiotic yogurt or lactobacilli supplements to protect your intestinal flora and to help prevent colic and allergy in your baby(1).
- Get healthy fats such as butter and olive oil, and remember to supplement with essential fatty acids.
- Herbs useful after birth include stinging nettle to rebuild the blood lost during birth, turmeric, to help prevent breast inflammation, oat-straw, to nurture the nerves and to help prevent nervous exhaustion. These herbs also increase milk supply, so keep an eye on your supply and reduce or increase your dosage of these herbs as necessary.
- If you lost a lot of blood during birth, avoid taking ginger for several weeks.
- A traditional Chinese remedy used in the early postpartum is homemade chicken soup, simmered with the bones for several hours and rich with chicken fat, taken only once a week—otherwise, it is said to over-stimulate the baby. This remedy is reputed to prevent depression, to restore a mother’s vitality, and to help develop an abundant milk supply.
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YumNaturals.com carries nursing teas, botanicals, homeopathics and other supplements to help support you through your nursing experience. To establish a healthy immune system it is ideal to nurse a child a minimum of 3 years! If you need any support, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to offer resources and products to serve you and your family.
Here’s to nature’s bounty,