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Nourishing Your Milk Supply with Village for Mama, Leila Armour.

Beautiful mama, postpartum doula, holistic nutrition expert and iconic author of Village For Mama, Leila Armour shares her wisdom with our Mammae Motherhood on the use of herbal & whole food milk-nourishing galactagogues throughout your breastfeeding journey. 

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There is no denying the magic of breastmilk and its unequalled ability to provide our babies with the ideal components for proper development and growth. Despite breastfeeding going beyond nourishment (it plays a central role in promoting and protecting a child's physical, emotional and neurological development), nourishing the mother is deeply essential for both mother and baby.

Breast milk composition varies feed by feed and even minute to minute to meet the nutritional requirements of the newborn. It is incredible what our bodies are capable of creating, however, our bodies require targeted and wholesome support throughout this unique journey into motherhood. 

A mothers diet can significantly impact breast milk and nutritional stores, so much so, mindful eating and hydration during a mothers breastfeeding season is incredibly important. Focusing on balanced meals with carbohydrates to build milk supply, healthy fats to nourish breastmilk and balance hormones are all essential considerations to supporting mother and baby through diet. Protein is also crucial for breastfeeding mothers because without adequate intake, the body will have to mobilise lean tissue to support milk production.

If certain micronutrients aren’t being met through a mothers diet, her body will mobilise her own stores to ensure her breast milk is nutritionally complete. This can lead to postpartum depletion which may present as a whole range of symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue and in some cases postpartum depression.

Breastfeeding can be overwhelming for a lot of new mums with milk supply being one of the leading causes of stress around breastfeeding once an effective latch is established. Beyond nourishing breastmilk, a mother’s diet can also help support her milk supply and even increase supply!

‘Galactagogues’ are specific whole foods, herbs (and medications) that help to increase milk supply. Galactagogues work by increasing prolactin levels in a mother's body and prolactin is the vital hormone that’s responsible for breast milk production. 

It is also worth mentioning that some mama's are faced with an oversupply of breastmilk, which may seem like a blessing for those struggling with supply, however oversupply can be equally stressful. When managing oversupply, it is worth considering the use of galactagogues and potentially reducing intake.

 

Targeted whole food galactagogues to incorporate into your diet for supporting milk supply: 

Almonds

Asparagus

Barley

Brown rice

Cashews

Dates

Flaxseeds

Ginger

Papaya (green)

Millet

Oats

Sesame seeds (Tahini)

Sweet potato

 

Targeted galactagogue herbs (and superfoods) that support milk supply:

Anise

Barley grass*

Blessed thistle

Brewers yeast*

Fennel

Fenugreek

Goats rue

Maca

Red raspberry leaf

Shatavari

Spirulina*

*Also known to increase the nutrient density of breast milk.

These selected ingredients are some of my personal pantry essentials and can easily be incorporated through cooking and herbal tea rituals to nourish and increase milk supply.

Local Gold Coast Mother and Founder of Mammae The Embodied Mother has curated a breakthrough collection of targeted galactagogue infused breastfeeding products and I am so thrilled to introduce these luxurious products into my postpartum journey ahead.

In particular, the Bosom Ritual Infusion Nursing Tea is prepared with a balanced and therapeutic blend of certified organic loose leaf herbs, incorporating the ‘holy grail’ ingredient list of galactagogues; fennel, fenugreek, milk thistle, goats rue, nettle, caraway, aniseed, lemon balm with refreshing lemongrass to taste. 

In good company with the Nursing Tea, Mammae has also developed a revolutionary galactagogue infused breast massage oil, purposefully formulated to support the emerging and established breastfeeding mama. 

Far more than just an ‘everyday oil’, this golden Elixir is a targeted formulation designed to support healthy milk flow, promote lymphatic drainage, increase blood circulation, alleviate breast tenderness, soften fibrous breast tissue, soothe the senses, and protect the skin's elasticity without any harmful or unnecessary ingredients. 

Enriched with a natural herbaceous essence, this milk-nourishing oil is vegan, gluten & nut free, formulated without harmful ingredients, synthetic fragrance and essential oil, offering mama a safe, comforting and compassionate breast-care ritual.

 

As an exclusive recipe to our Mammae Mothers, Leila has whipped up an indulgent Creamy Cashew Caramel Lactation Slice to prepare for the week ahead. Visit our Journal series to source this delicious milk-nourishing recipe for yourself or treat a mama in need. 

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Let this be your gentle reminder; breastfeeding is a learned skill and it takes time, patience and practice to master.
 Seeking guidance from a professional lactation consultant can help to set the foundation in the early days and weeks postpartum and then ongoing love and support from those around you will help to facilitate a positive and joyful breastfeeding experience.

So, as much as we would love for lactation cookies to fix everything (and sometimes we feel as though they do) support from our village can be the most important part of a positive breastfeeding journey.

In keeping with the Mammae Aware Guidelines, it's important to note that when it comes to breastfeeding and milk supply, it's vital to look at the whole picture.
No amount of galactagogues alone will replace a proper latch and balanced diet.

Please be sure to contact your lactation consultant or healthcare provider prior to adding any herbal preparations to your supplementary routine.

By Leila Armour, Village for Mama.

 

Visual | Kimi Juan + Demiurge Studio for Mammae The Embodied Mother.

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