8 Tips for Managing Your Milk Flow Naturally
I feel a little silly writing this blog as I wasn’t able to breastfeed either of my babies. There is not a day goes by I don’t feel guilty for not being able to do so.
My little Gaga was born in shock. We had such a traumatic experience birthing her into this world. I tried so hard, but she was just crying and not understanding why she isn’t getting any milk. She couldn’t suck, never took a dummy, and even bottle feeding was really difficult.
My eyes fill with tears as I remember our first couple of days in the hospital.
Desperately wanted her to have the best possible start in life but after many days we have given up and fed her with a syringe with the milk I have expressed.
Then my little shark came along. Less trauma, more power and defiantly no problem with sucking. My little Rhysie couldn’t get enough, and because I had no experience I have given up to early. The pain was too much to bare and I didn’t know it will change…
With both of my babies, I carried on expressing for a couple of weeks. And at the time that was the best I could do.
The reason I'm sharing this with you is that there are so many of us carry guilt around breastfeeding. Maybe you are expecting your first baby and feel scared, or you don’t have the confidence to accomplish such a motherly task. Either way, you must know you will do the best for you and your baby at the time.
My intention was to ease your pain, confusion, fear and let you know that you are not alone. You tried your best at the time, even though you were exhausted and hormonal. I feel myself healing through writing this article, and it feels so good to share this with you.
Ten years ago no one was talking about holistic solutions, essential oils, organic foods and conscious, holistic parenting. There were no lactation consultants or doulas.
So here are 6 tips to try to make this experience a little easier for you. I wish I knew about them ten years ago. (I sure will use them for my next baby.)
1) Understand what is going on in your body. I didn’t know that the first 5 days was going to be difficult. It is meant to be like that. Swollen, tender, hot, painful breasts is a good sign!!! Oh, I wish my midwife reminded me of this. It means you’re producing milk. The pain will ease as your body will settle down. To help you with milk flow massage diluted (1 drop eo in 1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil) clary sage or basil, or geranium essential oils on your breast. Fennel essential oil is another great choice. (Always dilute and wipe your breast with coconut oil or olive oil before feeding time) Also please, do not buy your oils from the high street. They are harmful to you and your baby. Full of man made chemicals and fragrance that is very harmful for you both. I only recommend therapeutic grade doTERRA oils. Visit my upcoming Earthy Mothering workshops and classes here. Get in touch if you would like to buy some from me. I would be honored to help you.
2) If you don’t have access to mamma medicine (essential oils) settle for cabbage leaves. Pop it in your bra and wear it all day long. The sulfur in the cabbage acts as an antibiotic.
3) Take warm EPSOM salt bath every day. This will allow you to heal down under as well, but will also allow your breast to deflate a little.
4) Apply ice on your breast before feeding time. It will also help with reducing pain.
5) Lavender oil on the bottom of your feet can help with pain relief. Therapeutic Lavender oil is an effective analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
6) Gently massage your breast with coconut oil for 20 min before you try to feed your baby. Gentle circular massage movements with cooling organic coconut oil can help you approach feeding time with ease and can also help decrease some of the inflammation.
7) Use fenugreek-seed herb. Make a compress out of the mashed seeds and apply them on your breast like a mask while you are lying on your back. it is better when it is warm, but you might find more relief from the cold application. You can also prepare tea from fenugreek-seeds for the nursing mamma.
8) Finally, if you have tried everything and you feel like you can’t do this, please, please, please don’t feel guilty. You tried your best for you and your baby. Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. Your baby chooses you to be his/her mummy with or without breastfeeding skills. Either way, you are an incredible mamma. If you have it in you, don’t give up.
Love to you and your baby