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Breast Feeding & Essential Oils

March 23, 2014 42 Comments

Breast Feeding & Essential Oils

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Breast Feeding Breast milk is one the greatest gifts that a mom can give her baby but it's not alway the easiest job in the world!  It was challenging for me 5 different times but I did the best I could and my people turned out just fine.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I sure wish I had my pure essentials oils when my kids were little a bazillion years ago.  Yep, essential oils can be game changers in the world of lactation too. Want to lay down a foundation of good health for your little bundle of joy?  Embrace breast feeding when at all possible, by doing so you can be hopeful of these benefits:
  • Reduce the risk of disease and infection by providing antibodies and other protective agents that work for you and your baby.
  • Strengthen the bond of emotional stability through and with mom.  This is true for mom too, a strong maternal bond between baby and mother will strengthen mom's emotional state.
  • Few intestinal issues like colic, diarrhea and constipation to name a few.
  • Lowers the risk of SIDS {sudden infant death syndrome}
  • Health risks are reduced for mom too like anemia, and cancer risks from breast cancer, ovarian and cervical cancer.
Bundle

Helpful Tips for Successful Breast Feeding

While baby languishes in the safety of the womb he or she took all the nutrition needed and mom got the leftovers.  After baby is born the reverse is true.  Mom is fed first and baby gets the leftovers.  It's important to do several things to ensure rich, nutritious breast milk.  I would suggest taking a good *organic probiotic or plenty of fermented foods so both mom and baby are strong with good flora.  It's also important to eat an extra 500 calories daily while nursing (500 nutritious calories including good fats) to make sure milk is rich in nutrients. *"While studies on focusing on probiotics and allergy during pregnancy and in childhood continue and are controversial, a series of studies on the anthroposophic community in Europe convincingly shows results of a different composition of bacteria and lactobacteria in the stool of the lifestyle of these children: breastfed, eating naturally fermented vegetables, fewer treatments with antibiotics and vaccines.  Therefore in this author's opinion, it is fair to assume that each of these factors, and all of them combined, serve to protect the child against allergy."   Hilary Jacobson, author of: Mother Food: A Breast Feeding Diet Guide Tip #1:  increase milk supply FENNEL  -  can play an important role for lactating moms. It can increase milk by boosting production of the hormone estrogen. This benefits baby and mom. Here's a bonus!  This milk also inherits some of the carminative and digestive properties of fennel oil and protects the baby from flatulence, indigestion and gas, which are very common in infants.  Some moms report that their milk seemed to have more fatty consistency after using Fennel for increased milk supply.  We do have personal experience with this happy solution in our family, my daughters have experienced "abundance" with Fennel!  Don't forget to drink lots of water! *Apply topically to both breasts, avoiding nipple -  2x daily.  Discontinue use after one week, resume in two weeks as needed. *It's important to note that you should use essential oils in moderation.  Increasing your milk supply too much can create engorgement, plugged ducts or mastitis.  Most women have success with just one or two applications of an essential oil.  Remember, everything you take into your body will find it's way into breast milk.

Tip #2:  decrease milk supply

PEPPERMINT  -  pure Peppermint is very effective for decreasing milk supply.  Now, some moms aren't sensitive to it at all and use Peppermint or essential oil blends with peppermint like Dream Sleep Blend or L.L.P. Allergy Blend with no issue.  But I'm erring on the side of caution to say that it's better to play safe than sorry.  The only time I would ever recommend Peppermint while breast feeding would be a very occasional circumstance.  If you must use it monitor any change in milk supply closely if using Peppermint while nursing. Apply topically to both breasts, avoiding nipple -  3x daily.

Tip #3:  help for dry, cracked nipples

First of all, if you're using nursing pads, choose cotton pads over disposables and save yourself increased risk of thrush or infection from the chemicals in a disposable pads. MYRRH, HELICHRYSUM or GERANIUM   -  a drop of one of these pure essential oils along with some organic coconut oil can be applied directly to a dry, cracked nipple after nursing.

Tip #4:  help for sore nipples

LAVENDER or ROMAN CHAMOMILE  -  a drop of one of these pure essential oils along with some organic coconut oil can be applied directly to a sore nipple after nursing. A suggestion for cracked or sore nipples:  buy a snug fitting nursing bra and some nursing cups and wear the nursing cups 24/7 for a week or so.  Breast milk is very healing for sore nipples and the cups will catch any and sooth painful places.   As a preventative to toughen up nipples, rub them with coconut oil and a warm washcloth during a shower or bath one month prior to your due date.   baby after bath #11

Tip #5  mastitis, now what?

Mastitis is an infection of the breast that most likely came from baby and entered thru a cracked nipple.  This can be extremely painful but it's important to keep nursing - antibodies will transfer to baby thru breast milk.  Treat the infection with pure essential oils right away and be consistent. MELALEUCA and a Lavender Thieves Immunity Blend -  Get an antibiotic protocol going pronto!  For convenience add 1 part Melaleuca, Lavender Thieves and fractionated coconut oil to a roller bottle.  Every 2 to 3 hours roll under your arm at the site of lymph nodes and on breast, avoiding nipple. Mastitis rarely affects both breasts, apply oil blend on infected breast but under BOTH armpits too. I would suggest this protocol be used along with ONE of the Oregano options to follow: OREGANO  -  Two different protocols with Oregano, an oral protocol (only pure Oregano is to be used).  Oregano is an excellent anti-microbial but it's also HOT so be very diligent NOT to get the oil on your fingers then touch baby.  Always diffuse the heat by washing your hands then moisturizing with an carrier oil like CW Naked Salve.  If you're comfortable with it, take a capsule of 4 drops Oregano 3x daily.  Always have food in your stomach when taking Oregano internally and know that baby will probably taste it in the milk so watch for signs of fussiness. Another option:  1 part Oregano to 5 parts carrier oil massaged on nipple before and after nursing.  Baby will get the benefits and, you'll also creating an anti-microbial environment for your breast pads or nursing cups.  This is bonus, you don't want to be passing this infection back and forth between yourself and your bundle of joy!   NOTE:  I tried this on myself to make sure dilution was enough to take away the heat, I'm happy to report it was!  Again, make sure you wash and moisturize your hands afterwards, very important! I hope this information will be helpful for the breast feeding champions.  Your work, pain and sacrifice of time and effort is VALUABLE!  Take care of yourself, get plenty of rest, stay calm, stay hydrated and enjoy this special time with baby, it's fleeting!  As always, one of my go to resources for anything pregnancy related is Stephanie Fritz's book: Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth and Babies it's an invaluable resource for all new moms living the EO Life :)

Save 10% on all CW Essential Oils, Salves, Serums and more with coupon code: campwander in the CW Shop.  FREE shipping in the USA - International orders welcome.

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lavender-hemp




42 Responses

Sasha
Sasha

May 10, 2017

Love your blog, super helpful information. I began heavily using essential oils because of mastitis and the doctor’s inability to cure it. Within a day of essential oil usage I was healed and it didn’t come back! I’m wondering if there is a good resource for essential oil use with thrush? Thanks.

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Hope, this is strictly my opinion but, I’m of the belief that if you’re only using PURE essential oils – pure enough to be labeled with a “for dietary use” usage on the label you’re safe to use most essential oils while pregnant…however, due diligence should still be practiced and knowledge of how an essential oil should be used must be researched. For example: pure oregano shouldn’t be used for more than 2 weeks consecutively, pure birch shouldn’t be used by anyone allergic to aspirin or on blood thinners etc. And, of course, use in moderation.

Hope
Hope

May 10, 2017

Love this post! Do you know of any essential oils that should be avoided while breast feeding (besides peppermint)? Thanks

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Oh I should have included a link! Thanks for asking…

http://sparknaturals.com/index.php/accessories.html?SID=k4nm895dg470368lapdgs93nb1?id=6

Laura
Laura

May 10, 2017

Where do you get the roller bottle you mentioned under “Mastitis” ? I would love to find one to create my own essential oil deodorant while nursing

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Rebekah, you don’t need to dilute Fennel but you certainly can and in doing so carrier oil will make it easier to get good coverage. I don’t think it’s necessary to ingest, it’s quite effective just topically.

Rebekah
Rebekah

May 10, 2017

For the fennel oil, you didn’t say whether to dilute it with the coconut oil or to apply neat….can you clarify?? Also, would it be beneficial to ingest a drop or two a day as well??

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Yes, I would try pure Fennel and do what you can to stay relaxed. Stress can reduce milk supply too :)

Amber
Amber

May 10, 2017

Do you know of any essential oils that May help to be more successful breastfeeding in a later pregnancy since I had problems producing much milk due to IGT ? Or would fennel help with that? Thanks in advance!

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

When nursing especially, less is more. Try Basil 2x daily and watch for improvement. If you begin to see an increase in milk supply I would cut back on using Basil and let your body make the adjustments.

Andrea
Andrea

May 10, 2017

I’m going to try basil essential oil I don’t need to use with coconut oil as well? I’ve heard you can keep using basil you don’t have to stop like fennel is this true?? And how much and still 2 x a day?

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

You can try drinking raspberry tea or Mother’s Milk tea but as far as essential oils go, fennel and basil would be most beneficial.

Angel Spreitzer
Angel Spreitzer

May 10, 2017

Is there anything I can use besides fennel or basil to increase milk supply while pregnant? My supply has diminished to almost nothing and my 1 yr old is not ready to wean yet.

beth
beth

May 10, 2017

I tried REALLY hard with my first… fenugreek, mothers milk tea, domperidone, pumping… i wish I’d had my oils then…, but was only ever able to produce 1-2oz total per day. As I prepare for my second, I want to set myself up for success as much as possible. Can I use the fennel topically prepartum to encourage lactation when I do deliver? Is there anything else you know of that I can do beforehand? Thanks!

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Not in my opinion however, only use a pure variety and be sure to emulsify the oil in bathwater with epsom salt or a cup of milk so the essential oil doesn’t pool on top of the water.

Theresa MCKENNEY
Theresa MCKENNEY

May 10, 2017

Is a lavender oil soothing bath harmful to a nursing mother?

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Irene, I couldn’t say as you’re using a different brand than what I have experience with.

Irene G
Irene G

May 10, 2017

How soon after applying basil oil (the one I got says sweet basil) do you see the increase in milk supply. I got mine from whole foods store. And is there a good time for applying it to make it work better?

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

I would recommend oil pulling with Melaleuca and Lavender along with a generous teaspoon of organic coconut oil daily. Swish around in your mouth for 20 minutes and spit the oil in the garbage. You don’t want to swallow this, it will be full of toxins pulled.

My daughter also swears by Gentian Violet available from Amazon or a health food store. She would swab her nipple with it before nursing so both you and baby benefit. it’s PURPLE and babys mouth will look purple but it works for her and our little every time :)

Christine
Christine

May 10, 2017

I would also like to know this!

Jessica Morgan
Jessica Morgan

May 10, 2017

Does anyone know about how these oils would help with baby thrush?

Lauren
Lauren

May 10, 2017

Hi Rebecca,
My son and I have been fighting thrush for the last month now while breastfeeding. I really don’t want to take antibiotics, as prescribed by the Dr. Are there any oils you can recommend for treatment of thrush? Thanks!

Johanna
Johanna

May 10, 2017

I know this is an old article but I’m praying you’ll respond! I was gifted a Doterra Deep Blue roll on a few days ago, (an essential oil blend containing peppermint & wintegreen) and was told it was safe while breastfeeding. I should’ve researched further but I trusted the source, and 2 days later I am noticing a serious decrease in my supply….. Is it going to keep decreasing or can I get my supply back up??? My baby is 7 Monthes and I’m freaking out! Please give me any advice you have. Thanks.

By-T
By-T

May 10, 2017

Thank you for your explanation..My friend experienced the same you have had with your fennel oil.. I do really hope and dream that the oil could make a difference. I really would want to increase my milk production. Dear Rebecca do you have any other suggestion or does the effect actually varies and as for my body, probably the effect would take sometime to show?

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Essential oils work differently for everyone, my posts are guidelines and suggestions based on what has worked for me and others. There are many external factors that come into play too such such as water intake, medication, stress levels, fatigue etc. Generally, a pure Fennel should not reduce breast milk as say, Peppermint might. I would suggest you discontinue use if you’re unhappy with your results.

By-T
By-T

May 10, 2017

I just bought fennel essential oil from a friend..I just wonder whether does it really can increase milk supply.? As I felt like my breast does not producing milk. When my baby breastfeed, the milk from the other breast doesn’t flow out. I am quite disappointed and sad if by applying the oil reduce the milk production. It really feels different from before applying. PLEASE RESPOND BACK..

Becky
Becky

May 10, 2017

I, too, am looking to increase my milk supply. I have both fennel and basil. I have been taking fennel supplements for a while, so I’m thinking I should start with just basil to give my body a break. How do you actually apply the basil? Just a couple drops on finger tips and then rub it in? Or, use a roller? I tried last night with just a couple drops but it was a challenge. Plus, I also wondered if the scent was too strong for my baby, who nursed a couple times that night. I wasn’t even thinking as she also set her hand on my chest while doing so. Do you have any advice regarding this aspect?

vanessa
vanessa

May 10, 2017

Did you notice any drop in your supply while using Oregano? I’d like to try using it to remove a mole, so I’d be using it daily for a week or so? My supply has held up well with my 17 month old. Thanks!

Ariana
Ariana

May 10, 2017

When my son was six months old, I was admitted overnight to the hospital and couldn’t breastfeed him, and continued to not be able to for a few days because I was given steroid treatment for severe asthma. The doc recommended I stop breastfeeding temporarily with even blinking, which scared me because that would decrease my supply not having baby stimulating it (pumping is not the same as real baby!). Btw the doc was wrong and I contacted La Leche League who told me it was safe so the baby and I didn’t have to go through this..,but we suffered through it anyway for at least four days. SO….my milk pretty much dried up!!! I started doing tons of mother’s milk tea. I bought a tincture of “goat’s rue” which is supposed to work for increasing supply, and it did the trick! In addition I took a Calcium Magnesium supplement max dose (I prefer Garden of Life, Vitamin Code brand), and that also seemed to help. Lastly, I kept baby sucking anyway even though he wasn’t getting anything, which was frustrating for both of us, and I also did lots of breast massage to stimulate, soften, etc. My milk actually came in more plentiful and thicker than it was before I lost it!! I thought for sure I was toast. But it worked and I persevered. He is 11 months and we are still BFing! I was told that a woman still has milk inside even a year or more after she quits breastfeeding, and I didn’t really believe it until I went through that “dried up” and “revival” experience. Hope that helps!

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Some Mom’s use Peppermint with no change in milk supply but that’s not always the case. If it were me, I would stop the use of this blend if your milk supply has diminished at all.

Tessa
Tessa

May 10, 2017

I have tried both Fennel and basil doesn’t seem to do anything for me. Do you know of any other tricks? Like some where else to try to apply it to. I have even put 1 drop of fennel in a capsule. Nothing! I can’t believe it. I have never had an oil not work for me. Any ideas??

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Thank you for your thoughts! I’ve used this method before giving birth to 5 kids (one at a time!) and had no issues but additional opinions are always welcome!

Katie
Katie

May 10, 2017

You lost me when you started talking about toughening nipples. It is a myth that nipples need to be toughened prior to birth. All rubbing your nipples with a washcloth will do is potentially cause uterine contractions due to the oxytosin released from the stimulation.

Becky
Becky

May 10, 2017

Thanks so much for getting back to me! So, potentially one drop each of basil and fennel, mixed with a carrier. Any idea how much carrier if I’m only using a drop? I’m so glad I asked you because I thought I’d basically have to coat both breasts! Lastly, how do I mix the carrier with only one drop? I thought about a roller but let me know if there’s a better way. I sincerely appreciate your help.

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Becky, I would apply one drop per breast mixed with a carrier oil. Keep the blend away from the nipple of course and apply well before the next nursing. Pure essential oils are absorbed into the skin very quickly, your little ones hand was just fine where it was :)

Kim
Kim

May 10, 2017

I also battled with thrush with my third child. I was given a liquid to inject into my two-week-olds mouth multiple times a day that was supposed to help. The problem was the liquid was full of GMO sugar which was feeding the yeast so the problem wasn’t going away.. I decided to give the genetian violet I try and ordered three bottles on Amazon for eight dollars. I swabbed it in his mouth with a Q-tip and he got rid of the thrush after one treatment!!!!! It was amazing and it’s astonishing to me that the doctors want you to give a newborn baby a sugar cocktail to treat a yeast infection!!! Since that time my son has had a few yeast infections in his diaper area when I see it coming on I apply the GV with a Q-tip and it clears it up immediately!!!! Hope this helps some of you other moms out there dealing with this like I did!!

Fennel Essential Oil 101 – The Essential Penguin
Fennel Essential Oil 101 – The Essential Penguin

May 10, 2017

[…] Increase Breast Milk Supply […]

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Peppermint topically might be a good option to try!

Stephanie
Stephanie

May 10, 2017

I’ve exclusively pumped for a year now and I am trying to wean. My breast are in so much pain as I’ve been trying to reduce pumping frequency – I have the doTerra family physician’s kit. Do you think the peppermint oil will help with weaning? Should I apply it topically to my breasts or ingest it? Thanks for your help in advance!

Rebecca
Rebecca

May 10, 2017

Tessa, I’m sorry neither Fennel nor Basil isn’t meeting your expectations. I really can’t say why other than the fact that we all respond differently to essential oils. If you don’t see results I would discontinue use and explore other possibilities.

How To Discontinue Breast Feeding | khmoney
How To Discontinue Breast Feeding | khmoney

May 10, 2017

[…] Breast Feeding & Essential Oils – Camp Wander – Breast milk is one the greatest gifts that a mom can give her baby but it’s not alway the easiest job in the world! It was challenging for me 5 different times but … […]

Amy
Amy

May 10, 2017

I have recently found that we are expecting another child but am still nursing and want to continue nursing baby under a year. I have read mixed reviews about what essential oils can be used during pregnancy while nursing. Have been able to increase milk production prior to pregnancy with clary sage and geranium but afraid to use any oils now that pregnant but also afraid to lose my milk, can tell there has been a significant reduction already.

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