Holistically Treating Low Milk Supply
By Kristi Patrice Carter
If you are a new mother or well into your breastfeeding process and you are having trouble producing milk, you are probably seeking a solution. However, if you are like most of us, you don’t want to take any type of medication that may affect you or be passed to your nursing infant. However, there are several holistic approaches that may work well for stimulating your milk production without any adverse affects.
Fenugreek: By and far, the most recommended natural choice by lactation counselors to increase milk flow and production, fenugreek is available in alcohol based liniment formula as well as ointment, gel and oils. There are no known contraindications or side effects.
Fennel: Often used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, fennel is also an excellent herbal solution to increase and stimulate milk production. For some women, fennel causes allergic reactions and dermatitis. If taken in oil form, there are no known contraindications.
Lactuca Virosa: Also known as wild lettuce, lactuca virosa is an effective homeopathic method of stimulating milk supply. There are no known side effects, although it is a strong sedative if taken in large doses. When taken in combination with alfalfa, an increase in milk supply as much as 50% has been reported.
Garlic: If you recall from times past, it was once thought that garlic was responsible for colicky babies if a mother ate it while breastfeeding. In current times, this has been proven to be a myth. However, in the research it was discovered that garlic is an excellent holistic approach to enhance breastfeeding.
Goat’s Rue: Goat’s rue is a popular choice with holistic lactation consultants. It has a solid track record of successfully increasing milk production without any ill side effects.
Milk Thistle: Milk thistle has been used historically to increase milk supply. There are no known side effects or ill effects from taking milk thistle, although common reported effects do include mild diarrhea.
Chaste Tree: You may know chaste tree as an excellent herbal remedy for women to treat dysmenorrheal by regulating the menstrual cycle. However, has also been known to assist in milk production although it should be used with caution, and perhaps only after other holistic methods are tried. Chaste tree is reported to cause rashes and itching. Additionally, chaste tree contains a high level of natural alcoholic content and should be used in moderation and careful attention paid to any adverse side affects.
It is true that like many drugs, herbal medications do not enter breast milk in most instances; you should also take caution with any herbal medication you take to stimulate milk production. It is always advisable to consult a doctor, holistic practitioner or herbalist before undertaking any holistic regime for increasing milk production.