Herbs for Breastfeeding


The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk


Nursing mothers may prefer to use natural remedies and herbs for any health issues that can arise after the birth of their baby. As a mother, the care of their new baby is paramount, and a major consideration is that anything taken or used by the mother does not negatively affect the health or comfort of the baby.

Natural herbal remedies are often the safer solution they seek.

Here are a few herbal remedies that can bring relief during the breastfeeding stage.


Tender Breasts

This is a common complaint among nursing mothers. Having aching, sore breasts that feel swollen and ready to burst can be very painful. Placing raw cabbage leaves in your bra can help soothe and comfort tender, swollen breasts.

Externally applying Comfrey Cream, Evening Primrose Oil or Calendula or Marigold Cream can also bring some relief.


Cracked Nipples

This is often thought to be due to a deficiency in Vitamin C. You can certainly take some supplements but you can also moisturize with cucumber.

Herbal remedies include applying ointments, creams, or lotions made of Slippery Elm and Marshmallow, Calendula Chickweed or Comfrey.

Lanolin cream is extremely helpful for dry and cracked nipples due to breast feeding. You can also express some breast milk and massage gently.

Some midwives recommend using a dry face cloth to rub the nipples prior to birth, in order to help desensitize the nipples and prepare them for breast-feeding.


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Herbs for Mastitis

For some women, breastfeeding can cause mastitis. To find relief, making a soothing, homemade poultice can help to alleviate swollen, tender and inflamed breast tissue.

Use Comfrey Leaves and German Chamomile Flowers warmed up in a poultice. Alternatively, you can make a lotion instead by placing 10 drops of these tinctures to each cup of warm water.


Herbs to Alleviate Emotional Stress

Coping with the ever-present and amazing changes going on physically and emotionally during and after pregnancy can be hard for many women. If stress is a problem, more stress can occur as milk production is subsequently reduced.

Therefore, the more a nursing mother stresses, the less she may be able to breastfeed. To help de-stress, teas made from Chamomile, Hops, Lime Flowers or Lemon Balm can help with irritability, irrational fears and depression.

Valerian tincture or tablets may be taken under supervision from your healthcare provider. Passion Flower is also an herb relied on for calming the nerves and helping sleep to come.


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Herbs to Promote Milk Production

It can be difficult for some women to stay hydrated and relaxed enough to maintain a strong, healthy milk flow. Galactagogues refer to the class of herbs that are used to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers.

Common Galactagogues include Agnus Castus, Nettle, Fennel, Vervain, Cumin, Goat’s Rue, Basil, Aniseed, Holy Thistle, Centaury, Caraway and Raspberry.

If you are concerned about what natural solutions you can use while breastfeeding your baby, hopefully the above list of herbs will help you find relief and better enjoy the time with your baby.


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