Some parts of breastfeeding were not so wonderful and I had ups and downs with milk flow. I was prone to clogged milk ducts and I got mastitis several times. The speed which mastitis can set in is a little frightening. Through my many experiences, I figured out that catching those clogs early was key. I was able to manage it all myself naturally, and I did!
If you would like to try a natural approach to maintaining free flowing breast milk, read on. I have come up with a list of the best ways I used to support myself to keep things flowing!
1. Drink! Drink! Drink! Water is essential! Nursing moms need to be drinking more than usual to keep up with the demands of their infant. If you are dehydrated, milk production can go down, flow can be reduced in some areas, you can experience fogginess and fatigue (more than usual), and you are more likely to get sick. You must get enough water! 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces is a normal amount of water, so you should be drinking more than that.
2. Drink pineapple juice! I thought this was weird when I first heard it! For some reason, the acid in pineapple helps keeps the milk flowing freely! I always kept a large jug of pineapple juice on hand while breastfeeding. That way, immediately upon detecting a clogged duct, I could start drinking it. I would drink a whole jug the first day.
3. Essential Oils are wonderful for the comfort and relief they bring! My favorite recipe is: 2 drops clove, 10 drops tangerine, 10 drops lavender, 1½ tsp V-6 Oil or Olive Oil. Mix and massage on the breasts and under the armpits twice daily. (I usually rub it in immediately after the baby is done nursing – it will not cause harm to the baby as long as they are pure unadulterated oils, but applying after feeding gives a little extra time for it to soak in. In case of skin irritation – use more V-6 or olive oil) I love how this keeps the milk flowing clog free! To step up milk production, try fennel, or fenugreek tea.
4. Heat! You can apply a hot compress before, during and after breastfeeding. It is soothing, and seems to help keep the milk flowing freely.
5. Massage – Wash your hands first. Massage in a clockwise motion and towards the nipple. Also massage any lumps, even though this is painful, it helps! This can be done with the heat and/or oils before, during and after breastfeeding. It is great to do this in the shower, too. Make sure to be ready for spilt milk.
6. Nurse/ pump! This is almost a given, but drain all the milk you can, any way you can! This is especially important if your baby isn’t nursing well for some reason (teething, illness).
7. Immune System Weed & Feed! This is not for your lawn – this is for your gut! Weed in the morning: Inner Defense is powerful for the immune system, and provides your body with a great defense! (Be sure to take it with food as it is very strong.) Feed in the evening: Life 9 Probiotic is the best I have ever tried – I use it every day – it re-colonizes the flora in your intestines, which strengthens your immune system, and gives your body what it needs to thrive! I have found great success with these.
You can find the Free Flowing Milk Ducts Bundle with lavender, clove, tangerine, V-6, Inner Defense, and Life 9 here!
This is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe. Please see your medical professional if you have a fever. This can be serious!