Breastfeeding can be an amazing experience for both mothers and babies. In addition to the immense bonding that happens, nursing can improve the wellness of the mother and has great health benefits for the baby. These 3 tips can be helpful in promoting wellness of mothers and flow of breast milk, helping this most precious time go even better.
Tip #1 Drink plenty of water
Because water makes up so much of our physical body, sufficient water intake is important for all of us. It becomes increasingly more important for nursing mothers. It is recommended to be our healthiest, humans drink half of our body’s weight in fluid ounces (except for those with specific medical conditions, on certain medications and advised otherwise by their doctor). Because nursing mothers are producing and releasing more fluids, they must stay hydrated. Mothers should drink a large cup of room temperature water each time they nurse. They should also make sure to drink when thirsty (sounds obvious, but mothers can get really busy with forgetting their own needs) and make sure to at bare minimum drink their weight in fluid ounces daily, plus what they can tell intuitively their body needs.
Tip #2 Less stress, more rest
From a Traditional Asian Medicine standpoint, there are many meridians or energy pathways that run through the breast. One of the meridians, the Liver Channel can be particularly affected by stress. While having a baby can be one of the most amazing and magical times ever, it can also be quite stressful. Stress can make it harder for energy to flow through the liver channel, which can decrease the flow of breast milk. Stress can also decrease the quality of sleep, which is important for making blood, which from a Traditional Asian Medicine standpoint breast milk is a byproduct of blood. While the key remedy here is to eliminate the source of the stress, that may be out of the mother’s control. To help remedy the negative impact of stress on the body, the mother can apply a few drops of lavender essential oil massage her ears with it, in particular massaging the ear lobes. She can also rub a few drops of lavender into the bottom of her feet to help relieve stress and promote better quality sleep.
Tip #3 Nutrition
Good nutrition is essential for nursing mothers to have healthy mind, body and spirit. Carrots and sweet potatoes, when regularly consumed can help to promote the production of breast milk. Alfalfa leaf is a rich source of nutrients and enzymes. It also can promote lactation and is safe for the baby. For those who eat meat, organic chicken and grass fed lamb can also help to promote lactation.
Enjoy and take good care.
Love being a woman!