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Breastfeeding- the later months

An Aussie Mum's Guide To Eco Friendly Babies: Breastfeeding- the later months

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Breastfeeding- the later months

Just when you think you've nailed it...
I really, truly thought that after I'd gotten past the latching on issues, the initial 8 hour feeding sessions, the sore, cracked nipples and the crazy onset of lactation, I had it sorted.  "This is easy" I thought, "All smooth sailing from here."

Yeah, right!

Just before my precious babies 5 month anniversary, I came down with mastitis.  It started as a blocked duct- I took some silica (excellent for any kind of blockage) and went to a product training at work, than onto a friends for morning tea.  I really should have stayed at home...

At 11am I thought I felt a little funny.  By 11.40 I could barely move.  I had full blown mastitis and I was rudely informed as to how sick this can actually make you.  I had no idea! 

I managed to clear the infection in about 48 hours.  Unfortunately, my milk supply which had already been struggling a little went kaput.

For those who are unlucky enough to suffer Mastitis, low milk supply or both, here are some great suggestions:

Blocked Duct:
  • Warm showers or heat compresses
  • Massage the blocked duct
  • Silica (Blackmores S79 is the fastest to absorb)- it's great for all blockages
  • Lots of water
  • Feed as often as you can
  • Rest up heaps- if you get run down, this is when it turns into mastitis

  • Keep using all the recommendations for Blocked ducts
  • Soemthing to boost immune system- Olive leaf extract, Chinese herbs (I used Fusion Cold Flu Cough), Garlic (low dose or it will affect the taste of milk.  If you eat it anyway you can use a higher dose as bub will be used to the taste)
  • Try not to take things like panadol that lower body temp, unless your temp gets really high.  A rise in temperature helps your body to fight infection
Low Milk Supply:
This is my feed-express schedule, worked out with help from my nurse.  I asked to keep to a 4 hour feeding plan as more than that and bub starts to snack feed.  You can feed 2 hourly instead of expressing if your baby will still take a full feed, but still try to express within 30 minutes of finishing a feed

7am Wake up, Breastfeed until empty.  Top up with expressed breast milk (EBM) until full.  Express after feed.  
8am Offer solid food (he has about 2 tbsp)
9am Express
11am Breastfeed, EBM, Express
12pm Solids
1pm Express
3pm Breastfeed, EBM, Express
4.30pm Breastfeed (top up for night time)
6.30 Breastfeed, EBM, put bubba to bed
Express again just before I go to bed- which might be as early as 8pm!

Natural Galactagogues:
A Galactagogue is a substance that increases lactation)
  • Blessed Thistle- the number one for increasing milk
  • Fenugreek- better known as a galactagogue but may cause wind pain in baby. Dill and Aniseed will do the same.  Also used as a digestive tonic or for hayfever/inflammed or irritated mucous membranes
  • Shatavari- improes lactation and helps hormone balance.  Nourishing and toning for reproductive system and may help libido
  • Nettle- can be taken as a tea to boost milk supply and replenish teh blood- a really good one for just after the birth
  • Marshmallow- rather than increase the quantity, marshmallow will increase the quality and nutrition of breastmilk
  • Folic Acid and Vitamin A are also essential for producing adequate milk.
  • Brewers Yeast is a great food product for boosting lactation.  Try baking cookies or muffins with some brewers yeast added.
  • A diet low in protein, fat, carbs or overall calories may affect milk supply and quality- you can take fatty acid supplements like Fish oil, Flaxseed oil, Chia seeds and add protein powder to foods or drinks to increase this if you need to.
  • You also need to drink 2L or more of water a day.  You can include non-caffeinated herbal teas in this amount.
  • Plenty of rest, minimise stress.  Ok, easier said than done with a hungry baby! 
You can also call the Australian Breastfeeding Association on 1800 686 2 686 for help and advice or checkout their website here

Lastly- Talk to your partner, explain why this is so important and get as much help as you can!


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