Clogged milk ducts?  How do you keep them flowing freely?

As a mother of 7 children, I have experienced the delight of breastfeeding each and every one of them for at least a year.   I loved my time breastfeeding.  The connection I made with my babies while they looked up into my eyes filled me with joy.  The benefits of breastfeeding 1-2 years is well documented for both baby and mother.  It is not only fulfilling, it promotes the health of both!

Some parts of breastfeeding, however, 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.  These were acutely painful and made nursing difficult at times.  And when mastitis hit, it took me down.  Thankfully, through trial and error, I figured out that catching those clogs early was key, and that I could  manage it all myself, and I did!  I love DIY, and this worked so well, I just had to share with other moms!

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!

2.  Drink pineapple juice!   What?   For some reason, the acid in pineapple helps keeps the milk flowing freely!  I always keep a large jug of pineapple juice on hand.

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 it gives a little extra time 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 essential oil, fenugreek tea, and eating oats.

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.  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.

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!  It is best taken on an empty stomach, and then eating shortly after.  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 this.

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This is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.

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