For centuries, breastfeeding was a natural way of life for women. Breastfeeding is more convenient, as the breast is readily available and there is no preparation for feeding, than bottle feeding and much less expensive (no formula, bottles and other supplies to buy). Breastfeeding is also the healthiest way to nourish our children. Mother’s milk provides protection for babies against infections (even long after breastfeeding stops). Breast milk also lowers a child’s risk of becoming obese or developing diabetes later in life. Breastfeeding builds a firm bond between mother and child, that nothing else can. By nursing, we create a peace for our babies, and become their refuge. We nurture our children & ourselves. Breastfeeding mothers also have lower rates of certain kinds of cancer.
Due to the lack of education about the benefits of breastfeeding, the lack of support from other women who have breastfed and the general and popular outlook on breastfeeding, and the rate of government programs willing to give free formula but not help women with breastfeeding support means that many options are not presented, and information is limited. Also know that you can continue to breastfeed even after you return to work or school. Employers have found that mothers who breastfeed are more productive employees who have lower rates of absenteeism.
Breastfeeding can help establish and restore families, by deepening a mother’s confidence in her ability to meet her family’s needs while she relies on the support of other family members. We, as mothers and sisters of women who are potential mothers and nurturers of our nation’s children, must become educated and learn how to support each other, in the quest to make breastfeeding a common, everyday and popular occurrence within our communities. Before the world became industrialized, women always breastfed, and babies were birthed by midwives. And there were women to help in the process, whether they were called witches, midwives, doulas, aunties, medicine women or grandmothers, and the time has come to return to these traditions.
Tips for Breastfeeding Success
*Breastfeed Early & Often - Put the baby to the breast within the first hour after birth. Until your milk supply is well established,nurse baby at least once every two hours around the clock.
*Keep Baby With You - Keep the baby close to you so that you can respond quickly to your baby's cues. Use a co-sleeper of bassinet if you are not co-sleeping. Wear baby in a sling during the day.
*Banish Bottles & Pacifiers - To avoid nipple confusion & also encourage a plentiful milk supply,do not introduce a bottle or pacifier for the first month of breastfeeding. Offer your breast when the baby fusses. Babies often nurse for comfort,as well as for nourishment.
*Get Help - Have someone else help with the household tasks while you & your baby establish your breastfeeding relationship. This is your "4th Trimester",& while you may not feel as tired & achy as you did in your 3rd Trimester,your body needs plenty of rest,food,& drink to recover from birth. Pamper yourself now,& you'll be rewarded with a speedy recovery & a thriving breastfed baby!
*Listen to Your Instincts - If someone is encouraging you to do something you know is not in your baby's best interest,trust your inner voice. Nobody knows you & your baby as well as you do. While advice from others may be well intentioned,it is up to you to decide what is right for your situation. Be informed,and stick to your instincts!
Common Herbs to Use During Breastfeeding
I trust in Wise Women Healing, as according to Susan Weed, such as in her book “Wise Woamn's Herbal for the Childbearing Year”. All that we need for health and well being, grows within the fall of our feet. The following herbs and their uses are not meant to be used as medical advice. The truly wise woman does so, in conjunction with the knowledge and understanding of her healthcare provider, be that a medical doctor, naturopath, or midwife. Here is a list of herbs used to encourage and increase the flow of mother’s milk , known as galactagogues.
*Simple teas or infusions of nourishing herbs such as Comfrey, Raspberry leaf, Nettles, Alfalfa, or Red Clover encourage a plentiful supply of breast milk and a relaxed, healthy mother. These mineral rich herbs also protect you from mineral loss during the stress of nursing and infant care. Rotate, using one for a week, to derive the unique benefits that each offers.
*Apricots, asparagus, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, pecans, and ALL leafy greens such as beet, Parsley, Watercress, and Dandelion leaves are considered helpful in increasing and sustaining lactation.
*Blessed Thistle leaves; famed for its ability to increase milk supply, Cnicus benedictus is best used as a tincture, up to 20 drops, two to four times daily, is the usual dose. It is said to remove suicidal feelings and lift depression as well. It used to be called Our Lady’s Milk Thistle. Rarely found on the east coast, Blessed Thistle is a weed in almost every west coast garden.
*Borage leaves, Borago officinalis, the leaves are most highly regarded as a tea for increasing milk flow. Half a cupful of Borage infusion at each nursing insures an abundant supply of milk, acts as a mild laxative, and soothes jangles nerves.
*Fennel/Barley Water. A combination of the two herbs not only increases the breast milk, but eases after pains and settles the digestion of mom and babe. Prepare barley water by soaking ½ cup of pearled (regular) barley in 3 cups cold water overnight or by boiling for 25 minutes. Strain out the barley and add to soup or discard. Heat a cup or two of the barley water to boiling as needed, store the rest in the refrigerator. Pour 1 cup boiling barley water over 1 tsp. Fennel seeds and steep for no longer than 30 minutes.
*Hops flowers are an old, old remedy for mothers of twins who need lots more milk.
*Humulus is best at the nighttime feedings, for as it brings more milk, it aids with sleep.
Disclaimer: All material provided at FreedomPondMoonworks.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Please consult with your Healthcare Provider if you have any questions and before applying any recommendations found on this site.
Inform yourself about breastfeeding: breast milk is every baby’s birthright.
La Leche League www.lalecheleague.org
International Lactation Consultant Association www.ilca.org
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine www.bfmed.org
Sara Spencer's Breastfeeding Guide
And please contact me with any questions & for support, including comfort in engorgement, and proper placement of the baby upon the breast: Dawnella Sutton 207-382-3126 firstname.lastname@example.org