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4 Galactagogues to Increase Your Milk Supply

4 Galactagogues to Increase Your Milk Supply

Are you a mom looking to increase your milk supply naturally?

As a momma of twins, I attempted to breastfeed for 3 weeks but had to stop due to recurring mastitis.

One of the key factors to increase your milk supply is to restore your nervous system. Along with galactagogues, you’ll want to add in nervines and adaptogens to soothe your stress as a new mom.

Worried about herbs while nursing? I get it, it can be scary. Grab this FREE checklist to learn how to know when a botanical is safe to take. Just add your email below 👇

4 Galactagogues to Boost your Milk Supply

Along with the botanicals, make sure you reach out to a lactation consultant to ensure you’re child has a good latch.

Here are the herbs mentioned in the video

#1 Marshmallow root tea

You can purchase marshmallow root {I like www.mountainroseherbs.com} bring to a boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes. This also soothes your gut lining and aids digestion.

#2 Oats and barley

Add oatmeal and barley to your diet to ease digestion and boost milk supply.

#3 Hops

Purchase hops as a tincture and add it to water to take daily

#4 Fenugreek

Look for mother’s milk tea or take a tincture or supplement.

mothers milk

4 herbs to Promote relaxation when nursing

  • lavender
  • motherwort
  • Chamomile
  • Blue vervain

Ready to learn more? Grab this FREEBIE to feel confident using herbs while nursing.

 

St. John’s Wort while Breastfeeding

St. John’s Wort while Breastfeeding

Are you considering St. John’s Wort {SJW} for postpartum depression?

It’s become the most popular alternative to pharmaceuticals for depression in Europe and the US, but is it safe while you breastfeeding?

By the end of this post, you’ll understand the risk/benefit ratio and determine if SJW is right for you and the ONE person who should not take St. john’s wort.

St. John’s Wort, What is it used for?

You can take SJW internally as a tincture or supplement for:

  • spinal injuries
  • sciatica
  • as an antiviral
  • for seasonal affective disorder
  • menopause
  • PMS
  • mild/moderate depression
  • and to decrease estrogen levels!

Of course, It takes a comprehensive approach to healing. So, you may need more than just one herb to heal PPD. Grab my freebie below to learn how!

Can you take St. John’s Wort for Postpartum depression?

Watch this video, then also check these 4 other things if you’re struggling with PPD or PPA.

  1. vitamin levels. Especially check your levels of Vitamin D & B12
  2. Have your thyroid checked
  3. Do you have “digestive issues”? Poor gut health has been associated with anxiety & depression
  4. And, are you stressed out? You may want to add adaptogens to help with the adrenal overload

Breastfeeding Herbs

When considering adding botanicals while nursing, you’ll want to look at these four factors.

#1 Herbal Safety

The lactation risk set by the Complete German Commission E. Monographs. Is the herb safe while nursing. There are 5 Categories

  • L1 safest or compatible
  • L2 safer
  • L3 moderately safe
  • L4 possible risk
  • L5 contraindicated

 

breastfeeding safety

#2 Monitor your infant for adverse symptoms

Always look for drowsiness, insomnia, irritability dry mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, and stop the botanical immediately when taking herbs while nursing.

#3 Your child’s age

Plus, Consider the age of your child as well, before adding any medications and/or supplement

  • Babies are most vulnerable to chemicals ingested by the mother if they are premies
  • By the age of 2 weeks, however, the liver is able to metabolize ingested medications
  • But, they are fully capable of ingesting chemicals/botanicals by 4-5 months as their liver function is more ideal {keep in mind if your child was underweight or a premie}

1% of the maternal dose of any medication will enter the milk and with some exceptions up to 10%

#4 Do you or your child’s father have allergies?

If you or your child’s father has allergies, you’ll want to avoid these botanicals until your child is older. The most common allergen is Chamomile.

 

Is St. John’s Wort Safe While Breastfeeding?

  • St. John’s Wort is considered a Level 2/3 by the German Commission E.; which is Safer/Moderately safe
  • There are limited studies that show no increased risk in the child’s health. Many studies have been flawed due to the poor use of extracts or questionable preparation of the product.

:: In one study, women ingested 300 mg of St. John’s Wort a day and low levels of hyperforin were detected in breastmilk, however, no constitutes of the herbs was detectable in the babies plasma and no adverse effects were observed in either. Source

Lactation and medication expert Thomas Hale & Hilary Rowe authors of Medications and mothers milk suggest transfer to milk are minimal and it appears to be safe during lactation.

  • However, 1 intact in each group was reported to be colicky
  • But there was no change in milk production and weight of the infants

Who should avoid St. John’s Wort?

  • SJW is contraindicated if you’re taking SSRIs or MAOIs- a class of medication used to treat depression

Summarize

St. john’s wort can be used during breastfeeding when you purchase a standardized product from a reputable company. Standardization of the herb is to guarantee that the consumer is getting a product in which the chemistry is consistent from batch to batch.

  • Look for 300 mg 3x day to decrease postpartum depression and watch for adverse effects like colic.
  • Keep in mind, it takes a comprehensive approach to overcome postpartum depression.

Ashwagandha vs St. John’s Wort

Can’t decide where to begin? Watch this video.

 

P.S. Want to know how I recovered from PPD naturally? Grab your FREE roadmap

 

References:

  • ₁ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16566628/#:~:text=The%20only%20existing%20report%20on,John’s%20wort.
  • Romm, Aviva; Botanicals Medicine for Women’s Health pg 887
  • https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/meds/lactation_risk_cat/https://www.infantrisk.com/content/drug-entry-human-milk
11 Postpartum Vitamin & Supplements Every New Mom Should Have

11 Postpartum Vitamin & Supplements Every New Mom Should Have

Imagine recovering from pregnancy faster.

…More energy

….Better sleep

….And no constipation!

Sounds like a dream, right?

But, wait.

Consider getting tested for Vitamin levels before adding in anything new. And, of course, always consult your doctor before taking anything new.

By the end of this post, you’ll have my favorite vitamins & supplements to optimize hormone balance, energy, sleep, and thyroid health.

So, why do we need more supplements?

I know, I felt the same way. I didn’t think my body needed anything else.

You eat “healthy”, you exercise, you take some adaptogens. So why do you need more pills?

Let’s dive in.

A pregnancy, any pregnancy, can leave the body depleted. And after multiple pregnancies, your body needs deep nourishment. Click To Tweet

Consider why so many women end up with Thyroid problems, Crohn’s disease, or other Autoimmune disorders after pregnancy.

They are lacking, valuable nutrients.

Most of these vitamins are found in your daily multi-vitamin, but personally, I find using higher quality, liquid vitamins to transform your body faster.

Postnatal Vitamins

Here are my favorite nutrients for women after birth.

#1 B-Vitamins

Look for a multi-vitamin that contains a B-complex with methyl-B to support a healthy nervous system and liver detoxification or consider adding in the specific Vitamin B you need.

  • B12
    • Improves the quality of your sleep by resetting circadian rhythms.
    • Dosing: 1,000 mcg under your tongue
  • B9
    • B9 is also called folate or folic acid, is one of 8 B vitamins
  • B6-
    • Have you noticed you wake up startled in the middle of the night? This may be due to cortisol spikes.
    • Dose: Take 50-100 mg before bed to relieve night waking.

#2 Vitamin D3

The sunshine vitamin! Known to support immunity, boost mind and mood, especially for slight depression. It’s also essential for optimizing blood sugar when elevated.

Dose: 2,000 units/day up to 4,000 units/day for 3 months.

Want to know how to PREVENT postpartum depression? Grab this roadmap
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#3 Zinc

Zinc is a valuable vitamin for gut health repair and is also proven to shorten symptoms of cold symptoms by a few days. It also is a cofactor for collagen building and repair.

Pro tip: If you take a Zinc supplement on it’s own, make sure you eat something first as it can cause nausea.

Zinc Food Sources:

  • red meats (especially organ meats)
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame tahini
  • lentils
  • garbanzo beans
  • cashews
  • quinoa
  • seafood
  • leafy vegetables
  • root vegetables

Dosing: Zinc Citrate 30mg/day or Zinc carnosine to heal gastric inflammation 30 mg/day

#4 Vitamin C

Not only can it reduce the number of colds you have, Vitamin C is a cofactor for Collagen building and repairing; which you need for your pelvic floor and abdominal region rehab after a pregnancy.

Vitamin C Food sources:

  • citrus fruits
  • strawberries
  • rose hips
  • dark leafy greens

#5 Magnesium

Known as the calming mineral and one of the most depleted minerals most people have, Magnesium can help reduce constipation, detox the liver, and helps with muscle relaxation; especially during a stressful time like raising small children.

Pro tip>> Take Magnesium citrate at night to produce a soft bowel movement in the morning. If you get diarrhea, back off on the dosing and add in Mg Glycinate to total the daily amount.

Magnesium Glycinate is the preferred daily dose form. If you do not struggle with constipation, take Magnesium Citrate at night.

Daily Dose: 300-1200 mg/day

#6 Selenium

If you’ve had positive thyroids antibodies prior to pregnancy, you can reduce your risk of postpartum hypothyroidism by 50% by adding in 200 mg of selenium to your diet.

Food Sources of Selenium

  • brazil nuts – Just 1-3 nuts can provide enough nutrients to support your thyroid health.
  • oysters
  • mushrooms
  • fish
  • sunflower seeds
  • beef
  • lamb and chicken

Postpartum Supplements

#1 Collagen

Your pregnancy and birth have probably been one of the most transformative experiences you’ll ever have in your lifetime. Collagen is essentials for rebuilding bones, teeth, skin, join surfaces, and healing the unique injured you’ve incurred due to pregnancy.

After birth, your pelvic floor muscles and your abdominal area and have sustained an injury and need to heal. Eating foods high in collagen can speed healing.

A C-section is the only abdominal surgery where the patient is given no rehabilitation and is sent home with a new baby to care for.- Burrell Education Click To Tweet

Collagen Food Sources

  • Bone broth
  • chopped organ meats like liver
  • Bulletproof Collagen protein powder

#2 Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids are one of the many building blocks to aid collagen repair.

Look for foods with Lysine and Proline that are found in:

  • meat
  • egg whites
  • Vegetarians can seek sources of wheat germ and peanuts

#3 Probiotics

The gut-brain axis is the specific pathway that involves the neural, endocrine, and immune system. It has been hypothesized that restoring your gut flora can relieve anxiety, alleviate depression, reduce inflammatory cytokines, and reduces HPA axis overstimulation.

Basically; you heal your gut, you’ll heal your mood.

Look for probiotics that contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species; to reduce the stress response.

Struggling with anxiety and depression?

  • Bifidobacterium infants and B. long are found to be beneficial in reducing depression, irritability, and anxiety.

Dosing: 1-2 capsules a day with a minimum of 10 billion CFUs daily

#4 Omega 3’s

Omega3 fatty acids are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), these are found in fatty fish and have been shown to reduce inflammation, protect the nervous system, boost your mind and mood.

Dose: 850 EPA/200 DHA 1-2 x day

Omega 3 Food sources:

  • Fish {wild salmon and sardines}
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • grass-fed beef
  • pasture-raised eggs

If you don’t eat fish, algae-based vegetarian Omega 3 sources are available.

#5 Adaptogens

Are you taking adaptogens yet? These are the life-changing group of botanicals that help us “Adapt around stress.”

If you’re breastfeeding considering starting with these three herbs:

#1 Tulsi

Tulsi is the Sanskrit name for the Holy Basil plant and is known today as an adaptogen. It has been used to support a healthy response to stress, maintain blood sugar levels, and nourish the mind and spirit.

#2 Ashwagandha

Referred to as winter cherry, Ashwagandha is considered a Level 1 safe herb to take while breastfeeding. The translation is roughly, “the smell and strength of a horse” suggesting it’s aphrodisiac properties, but I feel your sleep improves immensely allowing you to withstand the whole day with stamina.

#3 Stinging nettle tea

Known as one of the most nutritious herbs for expecting and nursing mothers, Stinging nettles can help boost your nutritional content after birth.

The sting of the nettle disappears when you cook stinging nettles or drink as a tea. Personally, I love the kiss of the nettles each year, signaling the beginning of Spring.

Dose: Make a cup of stinging nettle tea at night with milky oat tops. Let it steep all night long. In the morning, strain and drink all day.

Conclusion

Optimizing adrenal and thyroid health is essential to restoring your body after birth.

Improving elimination will reduce the number of hormones floating around in your body and gently support liver function so you sleep better and have fewer episodes of PMS and PMDD going forward.

Along with a great nighttime routine, {and sleep routine for the kids}, you can easily return to pre-conception levels of energy and healing.

P.S. >>Want to know how to PREVENT postpartum depression? Grab this roadmap

Click here to subscribe

 

 


References:

16 Herbs Every Breastfeeding Mom Should Know About

16 Herbs Every Breastfeeding Mom Should Know About

What if you knew all the natural remedies that were safe to use during breastfeeding?

But, here’s the thing.. breastfeeding is not always that blissful.

Chances are you’ve tried breastfeeding and now struggling with one of the many challenges we face in motherhood.

But don’t worry, botanicals can provide great support during this season of your life.

And don’t forget.. you need herbs to help soothe your stress to enhance let-down and reduce the chances of mastitis.

If you're struggling with milk supply, address your stress first. Click To Tweet

So how can you make breastfeeding a little easier?

In this post, I’m going to share my favorite herbal remedies to help you increase your milk supply and soothe sore nipples.

How do you increase your milk supply?

Galactagogues are the main category of herbs that enhance milk production, but you’ll also want to address your stress with botanicals that soothe your anxiety in order to increase milk supply.

  • #1 Address your stress
  • #2 Add galactagogues

12 Galactagogues Herbs To Increase Your Milk Supply

  1. Marshmallow Root (Althea Officinalis)lactation
  2. Dill (Anethum graveolum)
  3. Oats (Avena sativa) A cup of oatmeal every morning may help soothe digestion and increase milk supply!
  4. Caraway (Carum carvi)
  5. Blessed thistle (Cnicus benefictus)
  6. Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare)
  7. Goat’s rue (Galega officinalis)
  8. Barley (Hordeum vlugare)
  9. Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  10. Anise seed (not Star anise) Pimpinella anisum
  11. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
  12. Chaste berry (Vitex angus castus)

 

4 Steps to increase your milk supply?

  1. Try eating oatmeal in the morning.
  2. Make Lactation cookies. Recipe here or Bars here
  3. Drink tea of stinging nettles and milky oat tops or purchase Our Lady Of La Leche Tea
  4. Don’t forget to address your stress as well with adaptogens!

Too much milk? Try these herbs to decrease your milk supply.

Adaptogens to Boost Milk Supply?

Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help us “adapt” to stress. They are life-changing for the momma struggling with the baby blues or PPD

Wondering if you’re struggling with Postpartum Depression? Grab this FREEBIE to nourish your body after baby.

——–

Ashwagandha while Breastfeeding

#13 Ashwagandha Tincture (Withania somnifera)

Known as a Category 1, safe adaptogen during breastfeeding, Ashwagandha can help reduce stress and ease the anxiety that may be causing the inflammation during breastfeeding. You can purchase a tincture here.

 

If you’re breastfeeding, you may encounter mastitis or plugged ducts. See this has a sign of your body is doing too much. I know it’s hard to breastfeed and raise children, see if you can ask for help. Try these herbal remedies, and then see the doctor if it doesn’t resolve.

 

breastfeeding5 Symptoms of Mastitis

  • fever as high as 104
  • local redness, hard tender inflamed area
  • chills
  • achiness
  • exhaustion

Diabetes, steroid use, and oral contraceptives may also increase the risk of candida mastitis {foryeast infections; read this post https://taragregorio.com/yeast-infections/ to see natural remedies for a yeast infection}

Herbal Treatment For Mastitis

If you are experiencing recurrent breast infections, you may want to be evaluated for adequate nutritional intake.
Particularly see if you are low in:

  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Protein
  • Vitamin c

Along with good nutrition, consider adding an adaptogen to support your immune system during this stressful time.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) Tincture are considered safe adaptogens during breastfeeding.

Along with supporting your immune system with adaptogens, consider these tips to avoid mastitis.

  1. Use compresses of hot water, ginger root, or chamomile infusion.
  2. Apply a poultice of freshly grated raw potato 2-3x day.
  3. Take 1/2-1 tsp. of Echinacea tincture every 2-4 hours.
  4. For high fever, drink teas of elderflower and spearmint.
  5. To reduce muscle tension drink teas of lemon balm, chamomile, and catnip.
  6. To relieve pain tinctures of crampbark, passionflower and hops tinctures can promote sleep and relieve pain.

👉 Read this post for more remedies for mastitis: https://taragregorio.com/5-natural-remedies-for-mastitis/

2 Botanicals For Sore, Cracked Nipples

Some amount of discomfort will occur with breastfeeding, especially within the first week of latching. Nipples may become sore, cracked, and may even bleed.

Contact a lactation consultant or midwife if there is continued difficulty or infections due to latching.

Consider adding in these botanicals, to soothe your nipples.

#14 Calendula
Calendula is used topically and EXTERNALLY for the treatment of minor inflammations of the skin. Typically used as an oil or salve. Apply to cracked, dry nipples to prevent infection and soothe inflammation.

Caution: The oil or salve may stain clothing and although there are no known risks with minimal ingestion, wipe off your nipple before breastfeeding again.

#15 Chamomile
Chamomile salve EXTERNALLY.

The German Commission E. approves chamomile for the use of skin inflammation and bacterial skin diseases. Chamomile Matricaria oil has demonstrated activity against Candida albicans at the concentration of .7%.¹

Taking preventative steps to support your immune system, rest, and apply an herbal salve will prevent cracked nipples which increase your risk of mastitis.

>>>Euphorical Herbals has amazing products for your time of breastfeeding.

Additional tips to reduce cracked nipples

  • Ensure proper latching
  • If nipples are sore or cracked, gently rinse and pat dry after each feeding
  • Avoid the use of breast pads, when possible, and spend time without a bra
  • Wash nursing bras regularly to avoid infection
  • Treat oral thrush in the newborn with yogurt and probiotics to prevent the spread to the nipple
  • Apply an herbal salve several times a day after nursing and wipe off before nursing again
  • When there is an infection, use an antimicrobial – like Echinacea internally – to support the mother’s immune system

3 Herbs For Plugged Ducts & Mastitis

Milk ducts can become inflamed, tender, and distended creating a ‘plugged duct’.

In mastitis, the plugged duct is accompanied by infection.

Phytolacca Homeopathy

Phytolacca 30C

Personally, I liked to take homeopathic medicine when I had mastitis. Along with Echinacea, this helped resolve the inflammation within minutes. If you are having these symptoms, consider Phytolacca as a remedy. Click here to purchase.

Dosing: Take 2 tablets, wait 20 minutes, take another 2 and you should see improvement.

Phytolacca Symptoms: “For sore, cracked nipples, which hurt when the baby nurses. One of the most commonly used remedies for mastitis, especially where the pains radiate from the affected area and the breast is hard and lumpy. The patient may feel heavy with flu-like symptoms, or may have a breast abscess threatening.” ¹

#16 Echinacea Tincture Internally breastfeeding remedies

Boost your immunity with Echinacea tincture. In Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years, Susan Weed recommends a dose of a 1/2 drop for every pound of body weight (so a 130 lb woman would take 65 drops).

 

You want safe, effective herbal remedies.

Pin the images as well, so you remember!

Conclusion

Botanicals can provide great support during this season of your life when used correctly. Particularly if you’re getting recurring infections; like mastitis – you’ll want to explore how you can boost your immunity safely.

Stress is one of the most overlooked pieces of the puzzle during postpartum time. Don’t forget to take time for yourself and ask for help.

Warmly~

Tara

P.S. Want to know how to nourish your body and avoid postpartum depletion? Grab this freebie to learn how 👇

 

 


References:

  • ¹https://www.homeopathycenter.org/breastfeeding
  • https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Breastfeeding/Pages/Benefits-of-Breastfeeding.aspx
  • https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/115/2/496.full
  • https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/fenugreek/
  • https://lllusa.org/
  • ¹Romm, Aviva, Botanical Medicine For Women’s Health
Obsessed with natural remedies, Tara Gregorio is a Certified Women’s Herbal Educator located in Cold Spring, NY. She loves helping women reduce their medications with botanicals. Her favorite herbal recipes can be found on Pinterest and Instagram. https://taragregorio.com/
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