Linda Hanna, my lactation consultant, is definitely one of my heroes. I spoke about her on my site regarding her incredible support with breastfeeding the first time around with Brooks. The harsh reality that my son was born with tooth combined with being a first time mom was enough to push anyone over the edge. Linda was a lifesaver during this Momma’s time of need.
Just before Scarlett was born, you can better believe I was dialing Linda’s number like a crazy person to make sure she would be available when the time came! Linda is truly gifted and I feel incredibly lucky that I got to work with her. I feel like it’s a horrible myth that breastfeeding is super easy for every mom. There is nothing worse than struggling with milk production while your post partum hormones are raging through your body.
Below is a blurb from Linda, giving advice on milk production and some information on herbs that are helpful for lactation.
Take it away, Linda…
Most important when helping a nursing mother to increase her milk production is a discussion regarding her nutritional intake. I will often suggest the help of a Registered Dietician or Nutrition Specialist with expertise in the area of maternity and post delivery nutrition. I would even consider a counselor who is familiar with an Ayurvedic diet, the consideration for mind, body and spirit healing. Once the nutrition and fluid consumption is reviewed and planned the addition of specific herbal products known for their powerful influence on milk production can be added. The dosage of these herbal products can be increased and decreased as needed over the time a mother is taking them as her milk production increases or decreases.
Although there are a number of companies that produce the various herbal tinctures it is important to make ensure you are purchasing product with the proper ingredients. Read the label carefully.
Goats Rue is a commonly used herbal supplement to support increasing milk supply acts upon the glandular tissue by increasing not only the tissue but also increasing the potential of the tissue to make more milk. Although there is no specific research showing its complete effectiveness in doing this, anecdotally results seem very impressive when mothers compare their milk supply before taking and after taking Goats Rue.
Another powerful herb is Galactagogue from India known as Shatavari. This herbal is known by a few other names although this is the most familiar one. Shatavari has been shown to increase the density of the mammary tissue, which results in increased production and potential for increased flow, seen also as increased leaking and flow while nursing or pumping milk.
Another herbal supplement known for its possible effect on the milk flow from the breast is an herb plant known as Malunggay, or by another name Moringa.
Taken in combination or separately depending on the needs of the mother and / or her milk production mothers typically report seeing results within 3-5 days of starting an herbal supplementation program.
There are other dietary changes that can help support milk supply such as barley and wheatgrass or wheat products, coconut and brewers yeast, alfalfa, hops, and other types of grains. Consideration for the mother’s gastrointestinal history as well as the baby's medical history should be taken into account when introducing new foods and herbals into the mothers diet. Speaking with an expert in these areas is advised.
Thank you, Linda for that amazing information. I hope it helps my readers as much as you have helped me!
What is MORE amazing is that Linda Hanna is in the process of launching a new and in my opinion, much needed app called, Mahmee. Mahmee is a postpartum healthcare app offering super-personalized, on-demand care and education to new mothers with infants 0-12 months old. Got a sore nipple or low milk supply? You can create your own physician-approved care plan to treat it, or start a text or video chat with a registered nurse. Forget endless online searches for answers to breastfeeding or baby care questions -- the Mahmee app learns what matters most to you and evolves with you and your baby, so you get the right clinical advice, right when you need it. The company has an amazing team of OB/GYNs, pediatricians, neonatologists and postpartum care experts led by my very own lactation consultant and award-winning maternal healthcare specialist, Linda M. Hanna, RNC, MSN/Ed., IBCLC. Mahmee launches this summer! Learn more and sign up here.
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.