Breastfeeding / Mastitis

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I am expecting my second child and would dearly love to breastfeed. However, last time I had to give up due to mastitis and poor milk supply. How can I best prevent this happening again?

A. Address all breastfeeding problems early – don't hesitate to contact a lactation consultant as soon as any concerns arise. Herbal medicine, such as goat's rue, nettle or milk thistle, prescribed by your registered medical herbalist, can assist not only with increased milk flow, but the content and quality of the milk. Herbal medicine can also treat and prevent mastitis and help with iron and energy levels. Withania is a wonderful herbal tonic as is Siberian ginseng which helps with stress and stamina and is safe in pregnancy and when breastfeeding.

Drink plenty of fluids and eat a trail mix of nuts and seeds, along with good quality protein sources and vegetables to provide plenty of minerals and vitamins.

Homoepathic remedies such as belladonna or phytolacca, when accurately prescribed, can also work quickly when mastitis presents.

These days many women fear they do not have enough milk supply, as they can't see how much their baby is drinking. They feel the need to supplement with formula feeds, yet their baby is still gaining weight. The breastfeeding mechanism works on supply and demand. If less milk is taken, less is produced – thus fulfilling the prophecy that your baby needs "top-up" formula. Remember the best food for your baby is breast milk.

I also make a mastitis herbal cream which works effectively – contact me if you would like this made. Apply topically over the affected area and rest up.
Cabbage leaves in the freezer are a good home remedy too. Then apply these leaves inside your bra.