Breastfeeding: Tips & Tricks for Natural Lactation Support

Becoming a mama is the greatest journey of your entire life. It can be both joyous and utter chaos at the same time. And, if you choose to breastfeed your baby, it can be an even bigger emotional roller coaster. Will your baby latch? Will your milk supply be enough? What if the baby has issues eating? Through my time as a mom, I’ve spent countless hours researching natural methods for everything under the sun when it comes to my baby. One thing particularly close to my heart is breastfeeding. So, let’s dive in and look at the best tips and tricks for natural lactation support.

Looking for self care tips for moms? Click here to read more.

 

Tips for Managing Through the First Few Weeks of Breastfeeding.

 
If you are reading this before having a baby or just after having your precious little one, the first few weeks of breastfeeding can be extremely overwhelming, painful, and difficult. I do not say this to make you discouraged or for you to feel this has to be your reality. I say it so that you can know that if this does happen that you are not alone. My own experience has helped me learn some amazing tips for natural lactation support. And, I want to share those with you here. 
 
  • Check baby’s latch. Have a lactation consultant, doula or midwife check your baby’s latch. If everything looks fine, feel confident the pain you may be experiencing will improve as your nipples get used to the constant sucking and pressure.  
 
  • Use a nipple cream between each feeding. Earth Mama Angel Baby makes a great nipple butter as well as booby tubes that function as cloth ice packs to help cool the breast between feedings
 
  • Catch letdown. The haakaa device is such a wonderful letdown catcher for the side that the baby is not feeding on. This will allow you to begin building up a significant freezer stash just from catching the letdown
 
  • Breathe in and know. Your milk supply may be on the heavy side for a few weeks/months. This is a blessing. So, use this opportunity to build up your freezer stash. But also know that it won’t last forever. As the weeks go by, your breasts won’t feel so full. They won’t leak everywhere. And this entire process becomes much easier. 
 

Food Tips to Increase Milk Supply 

 
What you eat can make all the difference when it comes to breastfeeding. 
 
  • A hearty breakfast full of all macronutrients (fats, carbs, and protein) is key. Breakfast sets us up for the rest of the day. Oats are beneficial for milk production. So, oatmeal becomes an ideal breakfast. 
 
Example breakfast. Oatmeal made with coconut milk, organic butter, flax seeds, chia seeds, peanut butter & blueberries
 
This is not the time to try to skip meals or consume less food. Food is our source of calories. And calories are the energy our bodies need to be able to create milk for the baby. 
 
  • Consume moderate levels of protein throughout the day. Some great sources are nuts and seeds, cheese, greek yogurt, nut butter, bites of chicken/salmon/beef. And, if needed, a clean protein drink to fill in the gaps that food/time can’t provide. 
Want to learn more about how much Protein you need? Click here!
 
  • Drink 80-120 ounces of water daily. Hydration is so important. 
 
  • Season your food with Pink Himalayan sea salt. The minerals within this salt are super helpful. If you aren’t interested in adding salt then consider a mineral supplement. 
 
  • Consume hydrating liquids. Add Coconut water (nature’s ultimate electrolytes) or Superieur Electrolytes to your water. Made from pink Himalayan sea salt + bamboo, they’re sure to keep you well hydrated. 
 

Herbal Support for Breastfeeding

 
Herbs are another great way to increase your supply. Make sure you get high-quality herbs from reputable sources. Here are a few of my favorites:
 
  • Milk Rich herbal tincture by Wishgarden Herbs.
 
 
  • Fenugreek is an age-old herbal recommendation for mamas to help with milk supply. But, from personal and a few anecdotal experiences, women have reported their babies went on nursing strikes once mama started using this herb. It changed the taste or smell of the mom so the babies did not desire to nurse. Be sure to watch for any symptoms like this and stop using it if this occurs. The above two formulas both contain fenugreek.
 
  • Infusions. Red raspberry leaf, nettle & oat straw. To make these: 1 ounce of dried herb to 1 quart of boiling water. Leave covered overnight & begin drinking the next morning. For best keeping, place into the fridge if not consumed within a few hours.   
 
  • Brewer’s yeast. Wow! This was my single biggest lactation ally. Recipe below for how I got in my brewer’s yeast daily:  
 
Ingredients
 
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup ground or milled flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
  • 1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
 
Instructions: Mix all ingredients together and form into balls. Consume daily. Store in the refrigerator. 
 

Other Breastfeeding Tips and Tricks 

 
  • Wear your baby as much as possible. This allows for skin to skin contact. 
 
  • Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. The more you feed or pump, the more you will make. Allow the baby to nurse on demand. 
 
  • If you are away from the baby, anytime he/she is eating, it is best if you can pump to make up for the bottle he/she just received. 
 
  • Power pumping. If you can, once the baby has been laid down to bed at night, begin pumping. 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, 10 minutes on, and so on. This will take a few days for your body to respond by beginning to produce more milk, but it does work.  
 
  • Make sure your thyroid is functioning properly. This could be tested through lab work at your doctor’s office. Oftentimes after pregnancy our thyroids can become a bit sluggish. 
 
  • I do suggest for mamas to please continue their pregnancy vitamins. The baby that you were growing inside of your body is now being grown from your milk. So, continue giving him/her those nutrients.
 
  • Try your best not to stress. You are a great mama.   
 

If You Get Mastitis

 
If mastitis occurs, I encourage you to try Wishgarden’s Happy Ducts Herbal Formula at the very first sign of it. This product contains nature’s immune and lymph duct support to move the infection out of the body. Avoid consuming sugar during this time. Lastly, consider applying a comfrey or calendula poultice on the outside of the breast. Here’s a great recipe to make on your own:
 
Directions: 
 
  1. Grind dried herbs into a powder with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Add enough warm water to make a paste. The paste should be thick enough to be applied to the affected area, but it shouldn’t be stiff.
  3. Spread the herbal mixture over a piece of gauze, cotton or muslin that is large enough for the affected area.
  4. Clean the affected area before placing the poultice on it.
  5. Wrap the poultice with a towel or plastic wrap and secure it into place.
  6. Keep the poultice on for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours depending on your needs. And, apply a fresh poultice as needed.
 
If your breastfeeding journey comes to an end, I do have a recommendation for one of the cleanest formulas on the market to help you and baby ease that transition.

Want to Learn More about Breastfeeding?

 
If you’re still left with questions, ask me. I am here for you. You can schedule a consultation with me by clicking here.
And, of course, all of Nutrition World’s experts are here to help you live your best life. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you achieve optimal health and vitality. You can even schedule a wellness consultation where we can consult with you online! But, please understand that we are not medical professionals. And, we cannot offer medical treatment. Please visit your medical professional for medical advice.
 
Best wishes,
 
Cady
 
MS in Holistic Nutrition 
 
***The information & topics discussed in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA or any medical professional. It is not aimed to replace any advice you may receive from your medical practitioner. The intention behind this information is to raise awareness of health topics for your greater good.***
Disclaimer. The information on this website and the topics discussed have not been evaluated by the FDA. Or, any one of the medical profession. And it is not aimed to replace any advice you may receive from your medical practitioner. Nutrition World assumes no responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of any purchaser or reader of any of these materials. Nutrition World is not a doctor, nor does it claim to be. Please consult your physician before beginning any health regimen. If you are being treated for any medical illness, check with your medical professional before starting any protocol