Breastfeeding Remedies

Dandelion Tea

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Jolynda (Long Beach, California, USA) on 01/19/2009

Our daughter is almost seven months old and she is breastfed. When I first started nursing I would get these terrible shooting pains as soon as she latched on. It hurt so bad that I almost stopped nursing her! I went to a lactation consultant and she said it was probably thrush. Then I went to my doctor and he said I had clogged ducts and that it would eventually go away as long as I continued nursing. He gave me motrin for the pain. However, the pain stayed for over two months! Then a friend of mine suggested trying dandelion leaves or even dandelion root tea. She said that dandelions will not only help with the milk supply, but it will help the milk flow through the ducts more easily. She said we would be able to find the dandelion leaves in an Asian Market, because they are not found in the regular grocery stores. I tried the dandelion leaves as a salad. It's very bitter so you have to put a lot of dressing on it. I ate this salad for a couple of days and the pain went away! I was so relieved! Then I checked online for the dandelion root tea bags (it's caffeine free). I ordered a few boxes (30 tea bags in each box) and I drink one every day! I have not had any nursing issues since! Just make sure you follow the directions on the box. I once let my tea bag sit in the hot water longer than the suggested time and after I drank it, I had a bad stomach ache! The box I ordered says to steep tea bag in a cup of no more than 6 oz. of boiling water, press the bag and remove. It's still bitter but I add 2 scoops of honey to sweeten. Good luck to all the nursing mothers out there!

Replied by Margieson

What happened to all moms that breastfeeding their babies and then having a problem how to cure the aches of their breast, I do recommend the Dandelion Tea to drink it is such a relief and also a good source of milk supply! When my breast got engorge every time and don't know what to do, My Sister in law bought me a pack of dandelion tea and relate to me how it works and I was amazed that engorgement went away that fast!! I ordered dandelion tea in it's easy to buy from internet than searching in different supermarket. ;)

Ductal Yeast Remedies

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ky Mama (Clinton, Ky) on 03/21/2013

Hi! I usuallly use earth clinic to find natural remedies but this problem is not too common and wasn't listed here, so I did do reseach and tried many things and seem to be healed. I hope this will be helpful to other breastfeeding mothers who want to treat ductal yeast naturally.

I have a nursing one year old and was suddenly plagued with terrible, terrible pain in the breast. It was a deep, sharp shooting pain. After some studying I realized it was a yeast infection of the milk ducts. I had no visible sings of yeast infection, but that can happen. After I would nurse on the bad side, within 20 minutes I would have pain that about took my breath away. He wasn't nursing a ton and I quickly cut back on nursings on the affected side. I did not want to take Diflucon, I don't respond well to pharmaceuticals, and they are expensive, side effects, etc. Plus, for ductal yeast you have to take it for a month!

So, I started to do everything I could think of or read of that might help. Here is what seemed to knock it out.

- GSE (grapefruit seed extract) 250mg 3x day
- Garlic oil capsules (3, 3 times a day. I am sure a fresh garlic clove three times a day would have been better, but I can't stomach that.)
- Oregano oil capsules - 2, 3x day
- Vitamin C (ideally, tons - to bowel tolerance. ) I did trail off on this at some point as it tends to bother my stomach some.
- Avoid sugar. Limit carbs. (I would have some homemade whole wheat products.)
- Garlic oil - topically (mince a couple of whole bulbs (yes all the cloves in each of two bulbs) and cover it in a combination of coconut oil and olive oil. Let this set for 10 days. Strain out garlic and keep oil in fridge. Apply 3x a day. (Obviously you don't want to wait 10 days for it. Go ahead and get a little out each day- it won't be as strong but better than nothing.)

It took a month or two of treatment. Somewhere in there I found out I was pregnant and cut back the GSE to once a day and quit the oregano oil. My milk dries up when pregnant, so I can't be positive that the lack of food source for the yeast didn't have something to do with this all going away.

Other notes of interest, I think reoccuring mastitis can be cause by yeast. I have mastitis many times with this baby. He is my 9th baby. Only with my first baby 19 years ago did I have this much trouble. (I had at least 75 incidences of plugged ducts in the first year! ) Finally, at a year, nursing was so painful I could barely stand it. The nipple was cracked and bleeding and so painful. (But my baby had food intolernaces and really needed human milk. I couldn't wean him. ) I tried many things. The thing that finally knocked it out was calendula tincture. I would put a dropperful of tincture in a dixie cup of water and hold it over each nipple for a minute or longer after each nursing. It really did work. I could have done that with the ductal yeast and didn't try it. Calendula tinture could also be taken, 1 dropperful 3 x a day internally.

Replied by Mom2ten-aka-jo
(Fraser Valley, Canada)

Thank you so much for your comment about ductal yeast. I also have the same recurring blocked ducts/infections with the shooting pains. I know I have a yeast/thrush problem that I'm just barely keeping under control since I had antibiotics (apparently absolutely necessary as I for once tested positive for Group B Strep) as did my baby (he aspirated a bit of meconium) at the birth.

This is baby #10 and I've been struggling this time around with breastfeeding. It is usually my favorite baby-bonding activity but with the pain and blocked ducts and infections can't say I'm enjoying it as much this time. Still love that little guy to pieces, though! I'm going to try your suggestion of calendula tincture (pretty sure my SIL makes that one) as he does not tolerate any other milk I've given him. He broke out in the most vicious burn-like rash (only around private parts, not bottom) when I gave him a few ounces of a 'closest to breastmilk' formula a few times which took 2 weeks to clear. Also goats milk a few ounces given once a day for 3 days made him constipated, so I want to feed him as long as I can. None of my other babies had this issue.

Want to thank EarthClinic for being there for me so many times and also thank you to all you generous contributors with your wisdom. I always look for Mama To Many's contributions:) Now if he'll just sleep through the night... yawn.

Regards, Joanne

Fennel Tea

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Lucena (Uik) on 01/16/2014

Good day everyone. My daughter has her baby a week ago. She tried to breastfeed but baby kept on crying. Midwife suggested to topup every feed. When we took them home, I gave her fennel tea as I have read it here. After a couple of days, no improvement. Anyone has natural suggestion to stimulate mom's milk? thanks a lot

Replied by Mike62

Lucena: You can search raw food for breast feeding videos.

Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc. Canada)

I came across Edgar Cayce and he recommends cold pressed castor oil applied to breasts externally. Also fenugreek tea. Om

Replied by Mama To Many
(Tennessee, Usa)

Dear Lucena,

Eating oatmeal daily is very good for milk supply. You may be able to find "Mother's Milk Tea" which many find helpful. It has Blessed Thistle in it, which is good for milk supply.

Nursing a newborn every two hours, both breasts if baby is willing, is critical for the supply. Newborns should not sleep through the night for a while.

Alfalfa supplements are good, too. You can get tablets and take 4 of them three times a day.

If your daughter could see a La Leche League Leader (not sure if they are in your area, but they are international) they offer free breastfeeding support. Without their help, I would never have been able to nurse my first child. He was a poor nurser, but I ended up being able to nurse him for 2 years. Alternately, you may be able to find a Certified Lactation Consultant. While this would cost money, it is cheaper than formula in the long run.

When you say, "topup, " do you mean supplement with formula? I am surprised a midwife would suggest this. Supplementing with formula is the beginning of the end for many nursing relationships. While it may be necessary if baby is not getting enough, the formula (especially given in a bottle) is easier to take in and fills a baby up. Then baby isn't hungry as quickly and mother nurses less, so the breast makes less. A mother can use a breast pump to stimulate her milk supply and supplement breastfeeding with her own milk.

If baby is not getting enough, he will not have enough wet and poopy diapers. If that is the case, he must get formula also. (5-6 wet and 2-4 or more poopy diapers daily.)

In these situations, mom has to really want to breastfeed her baby because it is a lot of work and new moms are tired. If she doesn't want to, just let it go. Your daugther is blessed to have you helping her. Many breastfeeding moms do not have a mother's support.

Your daughter needs a lot of good nutrition at this time and her iron may be low if she bled much after birth. Blackstrap Molasses, 1 Tablespoon twice a day, would be a good idea if anemia is an issue.

I hope things work out for your daughter and grand-baby!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Lucena: First of all, when you "top up" with other milks, the mother's milk production will diminish. You may think the baby isn't getting enough, but he probably is. Still, to "produce" more milk there are two tricks:

1. Drink plenty.

2. Feed often. Mother's milk works by "supply and demand". So if she will express a bit in between feedings (you can save and freeze it for a bottle when needed, or just throw it away) which will stimulate MORE milk production.

For more info on anything to do with nursing, I highly recommend getting hooked on to a La Leche League chapter in your area and reading their book on breastfeeding.

Replied by Mahi
(Delhi, India)

To produce more breast milk you can give your daughter fenugreek tea or fenugreek seeds. You can get it that from Indian store or online. Take 1 spoon of funugreek and make a tea you have to boil for 15min or you can give her seeds directly. Try to search on internet you are going to find more information on it.

Replied by Pam

An old remedy to increase milk production is a beer a day. The hops in the beer are supposed to increase hormone production in the breast feeding mom. The darker beers are supposed to be better.

Replied by Lucena

Thank you very much for all your suggestions. Yes, the midwife recommended infant formula since the baby cries a lot after breastfeed, given in tiny cup.

I let mother and baby sleep together in bed at night which is soothing for both, an act against UK rules.

Started with fenugreek seeds, frequent feeds. Daughter was on Blackstrap Molasses for the whole term of pregnancy so she did not bleed much and her blood test came back good. Let's see after a couple of days. Again thanks a lot.

Replied by Mama To Many
(Tennessee, Usa)

Dear Lucena,

Very good idea to be giving the formula in a cup instead of a bottle. That really helps a lot. Also, having mom and baby sleep together is very good for establishing breastfeeding. I didn't know if was against UK rules. That is dreadful. I had all of my babies next to me at night. It made nursing so much easier and babies did so well, too.

I hope it works out! Let us know!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Lucena, in this part of the world, when babies cry a lot AFTER nursing, they tell the mothers to drink chamomile tea.

Gentian Violet for Thrush

3 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Sylvia (Centurion, South Africa) on 03/04/2013

I used Gentian Violet for thrush on my nipples while breastfeeding when my baby was about 11 months. It stained her teeth purple and when the thrush was cured (about 4 weeks) her teeth was not only stained but was completely brittle and broke off! She is 18 months now and her top 4 teeth has disintegrated to stumps 1 mm from the gums. She had a healthy diet so could the Gentian Violet have caused the damage to her milkteeth?

Replied by Joy
(Battleground, Wash)

I have never used this treatment , BUT "dental issues" I seek answers for all the time. The teeth can remineralize themselves given the right nutrients and minerals.

I read in a childrens site in Earth Clinic .... --- Ted commented about a childs teeth that were deteriorating, HOW to treat them , to help restore them. Wish I were better at attaching things from the site to help you find it faster but saw it yesterday after MY Heart went out to your post..... Keep your hope alive!

My teeth also are responding well to brushing with organic, virgin coconut oil , removes the sensitivity, and fights bacteria, some books say add baking soda in the mix when brushing teeth with it. I also added a multi mineral complex to my diet recently.

Gentian Violet for Thrush
Posted by Karen McSpadden (Virginia Beach, Virginia) on 11/29/2008

Natural Breastfeeding Thrush Remedy

In response to the issue of persistent thrush while breastfeeding, I would strongly recommend Gentian Violet. You can pick it up at most drugstores for a couple dollars and it's one of the most effective remedies in my own (frustrating and painful) personal experience with thrush. My daughter and I passed it back and forth for a while and Gentian Violet was the thing that cured it most efficiently.

You paint your nipples and the inside of the baby's mouth three times a day for three days. It's safe to use frequently. Be forewarned-- your nipples (and your baby's mouth) will be a very bright purple so plan to wear breast pads or an old t-shirt during the treatment. Also, I found that once my daughter was older-- over a year, I believe-- she wouldn't nurse from my breasts if they were purple. She didn't seem to be bothered by it when she was younger.

Whenever I have used this remedy, I have had relief from thrush and the accompanying nipple soreness.

Good luck!

Replied by Mmiller
(Tracy, Ca)

I experienced thrush with my first daughter and now my second. Gentian Violet is the way to go. As previously stated it is VERY messy. If you rub the area around baby's mouth with oil (I use coconut oil) it keeps the skin clean. Also, soak any stained fabrics overnight in one of the oxy-type laundry cleaners.I use two scoops to a bathroom sink of HOT water. It has worked every time so far however, every so often I need to soak stubborn stains two days. Wash normally after soaking.

Multiple Remedies

Posted by Lauren (Carlsbad, Ca) on 12/19/2010

I am currently breast-feeding a 6 month old and am taking a lot of supplements, so I wanted to see if anyone thought I was over doing it or if something I am doing could be harmful to my 6 month old. I have pretty much researched everything, but since I don't have a family practitioner to ask, I thought I'd get earthclinic users feedback.

I put 1 tbls molasses in my morning coffee and 1 tbls in rooibos tea at night. I drink 1 to 2 tbls of ACV in hot water 1-2x day and add coconut oil to toast and whatever else I cook during the day. I take a probiotic (10 billion strains), D3 (3000-4000 iu), B-complex, fish oil (1000 mg), magnesium (400 mg). I was taking a mulit-vitamin but stopped because I didn't want to overdo the iron. As a side note, my infant is perfectly healthy, calm and happy, so I can't say anything is directly affecting him. Thanks for any feedback. Lauren


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Carrie (Woodinville, Wa) on 10/12/2009

New to nursing burning problems in breasts

Eat pineapple, 2-3 day cure. don't take the drugs.

Do not wait for the mastitis to go away by itself. Contact your health care provider immediately for treatment with antibiotics that are safe for you and your baby. It is very important that you continue nursing often during this time. Your milk is not infected and will not harm your baby. Also, complete the entire treatment of antibiotics (seven to 10 days) so the infection does not come back. Consider contacting a lactation consultant to teach you how to prevent mastitis from happening again.

No no no, just pineapple canned works too not just fresh

Replied by Shannon
(South Park, Pa)

I had a clogged milk duct for two days, with a fever and all...since this is my fourth child, I am accustomed to soaking it in warm water for about 15 minutes, massaging it, then immediately feeding my child, and that has always worked for me. This time it didn't. I read about the pineapple remedy on this site, happened to have a pineapple on my counter, so I ate a fourth of it, thinking "It couldn't hurt."

Much to my surprise, the clog gradually got smaller and less painful throughout the day. By morning, it was completely gone. Thank you so much Earth Clinic! I was afraid I'd have to go on antibiotics and stop breastfeeding (although they may now have some that are "ok" to take while breastfeeding?).

Replied by Kathleen
(Glenwood, Nova Scotia)

I've been reading some of the recent posts [I only recently found Earth Clinic], came upon this one from a recent mom, and thought it might provide a good opportunity to address a few 'milk-related' issues I've noticed here,[as a recent reader] and elsewhere, where 'milk'/'dairy' have apparently had quite a wicked reputation for awhile now -

We have milking animals, -due in large part to one of those childhood 'fascinations'-that just never quit, I'm speaking of the one that comes when a toddler first asks, 'what's curds and whey?', and the answer received just doesn't 'pass muster', so that it's years -maybe years and years- before they ever even get to, 'what's a 'tuffet'?' I don't precisely recall how it went in our house, long ago, but I think it went something like this. 'curds and whey' means 'cheese'. [I LOVED cheese]. 'How do you make cheese??' to which, the busy young mother of the toddler replied: 'Oh, no one MAKES cheese.' which put it, for me, in the early years of Religion scholarship, in the same category as 'manna from Heaven', and/or 'grace' [another mystery] what Mary might be 'full of...' but let's leave this, or we'll never get to the clogged milk duct' or the 'milk is bad' posts, and it's vital that we do. 'vital' being the operative word here, because in fact, milk is VERY LINKED TO 'LIFE', 'TO 'HEALTH', -and it is a rather recent a 'modern' phenom that it now seems to be doing quite the opposite.

When you understand how cheesemaking works, you'll quickly see why and how this is happening in the world of our epoch, which is a very sick, very impaired bio-eco-system, biosphere, and why environmental problems are now so widespread, that life-giving milk now being blamed! In fact, the problems are occurring because the human body is at the perfect temperature for cheesemaking, and acids both environmental acids, and dietary acids- quickly leach calcium from the bones, essentially creating a 'cheese-like' bloodstream. Many of the most prevalent toxins (sulphur dioxide -'sour gas'-, and many of the chemicals used in the oil industry --'ring compounds' -- like the benzenes - compound the problem, by almost acting like a 'salt','on top of AllThis' and then, on top of that, we've got the individual problems associated with 'fat', -in anything to do with 'milk' and 'cheese', we're talking about 'butter fat' which is the cell-loving, wonderfully permeable stuff that makes babies grow and by the way, -die, which is how we learned about AllThis here, under the 'Cloud' of targeted Pollution that quickly took out the finest youngstock.. But that's another Long Story, and you just want to know about 'clogged milk ducts' which, of course, can move on to abcess/mastitis ['things don't flow'conditions..] ll related to 'cheesemaking', as just described. [I apologize if this is sounding complex, or worse, incomprehensible, because it's actually very very simple].

Our bones need the calcium we get from 'dairy'; babies NEED 'butterfat', as do all animal young, in order to grow. What we have to know how to do is to regulate the 'cheesemaking' that is done in our bodies, constantly, as a response to environmental and dietary acid levels, so that the bloodstream can continue to flow, and 'breathe'. This isn't as difficult for adults as it is for youngsters. Adults can and should cut down on butter fat, which soaks into the cell walls [which is why it's so great on lobster, and potatoes] use olive oil, instead [which doesn't do this, and thus cuts the risk of sudden 'inflammation']. And if you use mostly already-soured milk, you'll be at much lower risk for the sudden changes wrought by environmental acids [and they can be very sudden, with widespread, dramatic, and ill effects] on bone-level calcium. You need to keep the body's 'cheesemaking' pores, inside and out, clean. Vinegar and lemon juice are very very useful for this, and outside, I know of nothing better than 3% foodgrade hydrogen peroxide. In fact, this is the first year I've used this in warm water [probably fifteen parts water to 1 part 3%hp, but this is approximate; I'm not going to say I measure it at 5 o'clock every morning], in a wash of the udders, before and after milking [other years, we've used iodine, but they stopped making the product we've long used, so we just happened to switch to 'what we had'] and this is the first year along with dietary changes that now include vinegar and whey in their diets- this is the first year I haven't seen even one of those little 'milk duct clog bumps' SO, I would advise:

-see if you can get a reading on the butterfat content of your own milk, and try to adjust this, if it's too high, a real favor for both you and your infant.

-add things [aplenty!] like vinegar and whey and yogurt [in place of milk] and add brewer's yeast to your diet; baking soda and molasses are also useful. In fact, anytime a milker has a problem here, I drench her with whey, molasses, vinegar and baking soda, and 'fizz it outta there'..

-gradually [it's hard to do this 'cold turkey'] replace all the the fats you use presently with olive oil. For the past ten years, we've used only olive oil, with butter, now, only rarely, and really, the benefits are noteworthy.

I'm rather busy here, but I will try to post our very easy recipe for 'curds and whey' over the next couple of days. The addition of whey to the diet -well, you'll consider it a 'Moment', when you first begin to use whey in your cooking and baking, and it's as easy as it is 'heart-y', beneficial.

I'm sorry if this isn't too easy to grasp. Looking it over, I'm thinking that if I said this to a child who asked: what's 'curds and whey'? or, 'how do you MAKE cheese'? ...they'd probably run the other way and say to their own youngster, eventually ' no body MAKES cheese'..

Well, in fact, *every body MAKES cheese*... and believe me, it's in your very BEST INTEREST to know as much as you can about how it is done.

Good Luck.

Replied by Kathleen
(Glenwood, Nova Scotia)

Significant typo re [farming] udder wash on my earlier ['cheesemaking'] reply, although the way I gave it only would have made the wash, 'ineffective'; it would have worse the other way around. (someone in the past has addressed the 'diluting issues' with Hydrogen peroxide. -

Anyway, with 3% hp, I use one part hp to 5 parts water; with 35% hp, I use one part hp to [more conservatively here, because you don't mistakes with this product] approximately 15 parts.

The point I had wanted to make is that hp is, in our recent experience, superior to an iodine wash in this procedure -and for daily use, I think the same thing can be said for us -

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