MoonDragon's Womens Health Information
(Breast Infection During Lactation; Breastmilk Fever)
For Informational Use Only.
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
Description Frequent Signs & Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Preventive Measures Prognosis - Expected Outcome Potential Complications Medical Diagnosis Conventional Medical Treatment Medication Activity Recommendations & Restrictions Holistic Herbal Recommendations Diet & Nutrition Notify Your Health Care Provider Mastitis Supplement Products
Mastitis is the inflammation and infection in the breast, usually of a woman who has recently given birth. It occurs in about one percent of new mothers and is more likely in women who are breast-feeding. Breast infections are often preceded by plugged ducts that have gone unnoticed or untreated, or cracks in the nipple through which an infectious organism gains entrance to the breast tissue.
There are two types of Mastitis:
1. Cellulitis - which involves an infection of the connective tissue.
2. Adenitis - which is an infection in the milk duct.
In either case, mastitis usually affects only one breast.
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Breastfeeding Problems
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Postpartum Breast Care
FREQUENT SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Symptoms may occur anytime while nursing, but usually begin 3 to 4 weeks after delivery. Common symptoms include:
- Fever, malaise (flu-like symptoms).
- Tender, swollen, hard, hot breast(s).
- Sometimes nausea and vomiting.
Mastitis infection is often caused from bacteria that enter the mother's breast from the nursing baby's nose or throat. The most common bacteria are Staphylococcus aureus and beta-hemolytic streptococci. Infection with the mumps virus is another cause.
Contributing factors include:
Missed Feedings and Irregular Breastfeeding Patterns. When babies begin to sleep through the night, the mother's breasts can become over full, leading to engorgement, plugged ducts, and mastitis. When an older baby breastfeeds one night and sleeps through the next, the mother's breasts may become stimulated and then engorged, which could cause problems. In addition, when a mother's schedule becomes so busy that she misses feedings or does not breastfeed long enough, she may experience over full or engorged breasts that can lead to problems with the milk flow.
Restrictive Clothing. A bra that is too tight or clothing that applies pressure to the breasts can restrict the flow of milk. Nursing bras should be properly fitted. The mother should lean forward when putting on a bra so that the entire breast falls in the bra cup. No breast tissue should be pinched under the edge of the cup or bra. This is especially important when wearing an underwire bra. Other types of clothing that can restrict milk flow and cause mastitis are heavy shoulder purses or diaper bags, baby carriers, breast pads, and tight bathing suits.
Pressure to Breasts. Any activity that applies pressure to the breasts can restrict milk flow. Grasping the breast too tightly while breastfeeding can apply undue pressure to the breast. The mother sleeping on her stomach, or the baby sleeping on top of the mother, can put pressure on breast tissue. Other activities that can restrict milk flow include: exercising the upper arm excessively, jogging without a supportive bra, pushing a lawn mower or vacuum cleaner, jumping rope, raking leaves, and shoveling snow. These activities usually do not cause problems for lactating mothers. However, they should be considered when women experience recurrent mastitis.
Use of Artificial Nipples. Meeting a baby's sucking needs with pacifiers or using bottles to supplement feedings can affect the way the baby suckles. Nipple shields can also affect the flow of milk through the breast and put a woman at risk for plugged ducts and mastitis.
Abrupt weaning can also lead to mastitis. When a mother's milk supply is decreased slowly, as in gradual weaning, her breasts usually adjust without causing problems. However, when breastfeeding is cut back significantly over a short period of time, she is more likely to experience over full breasts.
Low Resistance to Infection. If a mother is anemic, experiencing undue stress or fatigue, or not eating well, her resistance to infection is lowered. During these times, she needs to be especially careful not to alter her normal breastfeeding patterns and put herself at risk for plugged ducts or mastitis. Also, cigarette smoking can lower a woman's resistance to infection and inhibit the milk ejection reflex.
Teething. When a baby cannot tolerate long feedings because the sucking causes pain, too much milk may remain in the mother's breasts so she may need to hand express or pump her milk.
Incorrect Positioning or Suckling. When a baby is not positioned at the breast correctly or is unable to suck efficiently, the milk flow is reduced; plugged ducts and mastitis may follow. In some cases of improper positioning or suckling, the mother's nipples become sore or cracked. Painful nipples can cause a mother to avoid breastfeeding on the sore side.
Breast Abnormalities. Any surgery to the breast (biopsy, breast reduction, breast augmentation, tumor or cyst removal, and the resulting scar tissue) carries a risk of plugged ducts and breast infections. Women with fibrocystic breasts may also be at increased risk. Past injuries, such as severe bruising (as caused by the steering wheel in an auto accident) or abscess scars may pose problems. In very rare cases when plugged ducts or mastitis always occurs in the same area of one breast, the mother may choose to breastfeed only from the other breast.
Failure to Clear a Plugged Duct. Any time a woman has a plugged duct that is not expelled or is very slow to be absorbed into the surrounding breast tissue, she is at risk of developing mastitis.
Yeast Infections. Yeast (fungus) infections in the mother or thrush in the baby's mouth can lead to breast inflammation and possibly mastitis. A woman who treats mastitis with antibiotics and does not see improvement within twenty-four hours may want to call her health care provider or midwife and request that a culture be done on her breast milk and baby's mouth to check for the possibility of a yeast infection.
Employment. Women employed outside the home need to be aware of the warning signs of mastitis, especially when they first return to work and are adjusting to the demands of work and motherhood. Separated from their babies, they need to pump regularly to avoid over full breasts, plugged ducts, and possible mastitis. In addition, employed mothers need to schedule their days to allow adequate time to rest and care for themselves as well as their babies.
Abrasion of the nipple. Cracked, sore nipples.
Blocked milk ducts from wearing too-tight bras, sleeping on the stomach or waiting too long between feedings.
Use of an electric or manual breast pump. A breast pump does not empty the breast as effectively as a nursing baby.
If the breastfeeding mom has been ill or anemic, the lowered resistance to infection can cause or contribute to recurrent plugged ducts and mastitis. A blood test for anemia is a good idea when there is a history of repeated mastitis. Increasing foods containing natural sources of iron for taking a supplemental vitamin with iron and a vitamin C supplement may be helpful.
Hormonal changes (such as ovulation or menstruation) may be associated with bouts of plugged ducts and mastitis.
Food allergies occasionally result in plugged ducts that occur either premenstrually or before ovulation (La Leche League). It has been theorized that if a mom has allergies, recurring mastitis and plugged ducts might be caused by the complex immune responses that occur when she is exposed to an allergen. In a group of food-intolerant women, it was observed that their plugged ducts, which rarely progressed to overt infection and which often recurred either premenstrually or before ovulation, were often accompanied by other symptoms of allergy intolerance. (Breastfeeding Matters by Maureen Minchin)
Smoking can lower your resistance to infections.
Wash nipples before nursing. Wash hands before touching breasts. Wear a comfortable bra that is not too tight. If a nipple cracks or fissures, apply lanolin cream or other topical medication recommended. Do not sleep on your stomach. Breast-feed your baby frequently to prevent engorgement and milk duct blockage. Make sure both breasts are emptied during the nursing session. If you must use a breast pump, clean breast pump properly between uses, dry thoroughly and put away in a clean, dry place.
PROGNOSIS - EXPECTED OUTCOME
Usually curable in 10 days with treatment.
If you are relatively early postpartum and your recurrent plugged milk ducts / mastitis seem to be tied to an overabundant milk supply, a little more time may be the best remedy. Hormonal changes occur by about 12 weeks (give or take a bit) that make milk supply more stable and you may notice less of a tendency to get the plugged ducts resulting in mastitis.
Without treatment, may lead to breast abscess.
Diagnostic tests may include:
- Laboratory blood studies.
- Culture of pus or fluid.
- Breast biopsy, if something other than infection may be causing symptoms.
INFANT THROAT CULTURE
Occasionally, baby can have the bacteria in the back of his throat and be reinfecting mom with mastitis. This can be determined by swabbing the baby's throat. If the culture is positive, then baby should be treated along with mom. A culture of your milk can also help your health care provider better determine the best treatment (antibiotic-wise).
Any time a lactating woman with mastitis symptoms has a fever for more than twenty-four hours she should contact her health care provider because she may need antibiotics in addition to the suggestions given below.
Cultures of the breast milk should be taken after the breast has been cleansed with water and the mother's hands have been thoroughly washed. The milk stream should be initiated by manual expression and the first three milliliters discarded to get a midstream clean-catch specimen.
CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL TREATMENT
BREASTFEEDING WITH MASTITIS
Continue to breast-feed, even though breasts are infected. Offer the affected breast first to promote complete emptying. Breastfeeding dilates the mammary blood vessels, thus improving the flow of blood to the area. The flow of milk also helps to clear milk ducts of infective organisms.
Continued breastfeeding is important during a bout of mastitis because weaning would increase the mother's chances of developing a breast abscess. An abscess is more complicated to treat, often requiring surgery to drain the infection.
Continued breastfeeding will not be harmful to the infant because the mother is likely to have passed on bacteria from her milk before she experiences symptoms of mastitis. Weaning would deprive the infant of antibodies to the bacteria that would be transmitted through the mother's milk.
The mother needs to reduce the fullness as much as possible at each feeding to ease the inflammation and expel any milk plugs that may be present. Some babies may be reluctant to breastfeed on the infected breast because of an elevated sodium content in the milk. If the baby cannot be persuaded to nurse, the mother needs to express milk to keep her breast soft.
Normally, the mother should be advised to breastfeed on the affected side first. However, some mothers find it too painful to follow that advice. They may prefer to breastfeed on the unaffected side first, then switch to the affected side after the milk has let down. Some mothers express or pump some milk from the affected side while breastfeeding on the unaffected side.
Mastitis should be suspected any time a lactating mother experiences flu-like symptoms. Margaret Neville and Marianne Neifert, in Lactation: Physiology, Nutrition, and Breastfeeding, say "the adage 'Flu in the breastfeeding mother is mastitis until proven otherwise' should be considered whenever malaise and fever coexist in the nursing mother" (Neville and Neifert, 1983). If a woman recognizes the signs of mastitis early enough, the following techniques can help to alleviate the problem:
- Resting in bed. Mastitis is the body's way of telling the breastfeeding mom to slow down. Many times mothers who have recurring bouts of mastitis are not getting enough rest or are trying to do too much. If you have been very tired, busy, worried or stressed, mastitis may be the result.
- Applying warm compresses. The mother should apply wet or dry heat (whichever feels better to her) to the affected area. She can lean over a basin of warm water and soak her breasts several times a day, take warm showers, use hot wet packs, a heating pad, or a small hot water bottle.
- Massage nipples with cocoa butter or a cream recommended by your midwife or health care provider. She should gently but firmly massage the affected area gently starting behind the sore spot or plug while the breast is warm. Nurse the baby or hand-express milk immediately after treating the area with warmth.
- Apply an ice pack (ice in a plastic bag, covered with a thin towel) to the engorged breast 3 to 6 times a day. Use for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Do not use ice packs within 1 hour of nursing; use warm compresses instead.
- Breastfeed frequently, at least every two hours including during the night, on both sides, starting on the affected side first when possible. Frequent breastfeeding keeps the breast soft, allowing the milk to flow freely. Breastfeed frequently on both sides using different positions.
- Mothers with mastitis to check the baby's position at the breast making sure the baby is on his side with his whole body facing the mother so that he is able to grasp the nipple without having to turn his head. Proper positioning is important so that the baby's suckling will adequately compress the milk sinuses and permit milk to flow freely. The mother should also be encouraged to try different breastfeeding positions at each feeding, giving the baby a better chance to reach all the milk ducts. And she should loosen constrictive clothing, especially her bra. She may benefit from not wearing a bra at all while her breasts are sore and tender.
- Wearing an uplift bra during treatment may be helpful.
- The need for the mother to get as much rest and relaxation as possible is important. Fatigue and stress were the two most frequent factors preceding their mastitis. While it may be easy for a mother with one baby to take the baby into bed with her and rest most of the day, the mother with two or more children may need creative scheduling to get the rest she needs. Perhaps the mother can set up a resting room in which her other children can play quietly and safely while the baby sleeps and she rests. Lying down to rest for even ten or fifteen minutes at a time can help. Nap time, if your children are under school age, can be an excellent opportunity to lie down with the baby and get needed rest. If at all possible, the mother should get someone to help with the older children so she can rest.
- Since many women are advised never to wake a sleeping baby, women need to know that it is all right to wake and breastfeed a sleeping baby at any time she feels overly full. Some babies will nurse in their sleep.
- Because many cases of mastitis are preceded by plugged ducts that go either unnoticed or untreated, women can learn to check their breasts for signs of redness, tenderness, or hot spots so they can identify plugged ducts as soon as they occur. Women who wear bras check carefully along seam lines and edges to identify areas of the breast where the bra might apply pressure and possibly restrict milk flow.
Recurrent mastitis can be a devastating blow to a woman's breastfeeding experience. While the highly dedicated mother may struggle through many bouts of mastitis without fear of failure, trying to breastfeed while frequently experiencing sore breasts or feeling weak and ill from mastitis leaves many women questioning their commitment to breastfeeding. In addition, the mother whose milk tastes salty from the higher sodium content during a bout of mastitis may get frustrated trying to keep her baby interested in breastfeeding long enough to soften her over full breasts.
While the list of possible causes of mastitis is too comprehensive to cover at a regular postpartum visit with a midwife or lactation consultant, professionals who help women with chronic mastitis should take time to explore every possible cause with the mother. It may be overwhelming to discuss all the causes of mastitis in one or even two conversations with a mother. Lactation consultants and midwives typically need to talk frequently with mothers who suffer from recurrent mastitis, perhaps calling them every few days through an illness and once a month thereafter to see if they are still facing problems.
Lactation consultants and midwives should encourage women with recurrent mastitis to check their breasts regularly for any signs of plugged ducts and watch carefully for flu-like symptoms. At the first sign of recurrent mastitis, the professional should emphasize the importance of going to bed and breastfeeding as frequently as possible in hopes of eliminating the problem. In addition, if a mother has mastitis that is being treated with an antibiotic, the professional should encourage the mother to complete the full course and not discontinue the medication as soon as she begins to feel better.
Some women with chronic mastitis have been treated successfully with long-term antibiotic prophylaxis. Following the usual course of antibiotics to treat the current infection, these women have been treated with low-doses of antibiotics taken once a day for two or three months to prevent recurrent episodes.
Women who experience chronic plugged ducts should be informed that dietary changes may also be helpful. Adding one tablespoon of Lecithin a day to the diet to help women avoid recurrent plugged ducts is one dietary suggestion. Some mothers find they experience fewer plugged ducts when they eliminate or at least reduce the amount of saturated fats in their diets. See Holistic Recommendations below.
Midwives, lactation consultants (such as a La Leche League Leader), and health care providers can do a great deal to help women with mastitis by providing information about the proper management of breastfeeding, guidance, support and education to help women to avoid problems.
RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Lecithin Supplement Products
If an abscess develops, stop breast-feeding on the affected side. Use a breast pump to empty the infected breast regularly, and continue breast-feeding on the unaffected side.
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Breast Abscess
La Leche League International Organization
The Militant Breastfeeding Cult: Breastfeeding Support
KellyMom: Breastfeeding Support & Evidence-based Information
MoonDragon's Breastfeeding Information Index
MoonDragon's Breastfeeding Instructions
You may use non-prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen, for minor pain and discomfort.
Antibiotics to fight infection. Be sure to finish the prescription, even if symptoms subside quickly. A major risk factor for recurring mastitis is failure to completely recover from a previous bout of mastitis due to slow treatment, incorrect treatment (wrong antibiotic, for example), or treatment that was not long enough. Amoxil is often ineffective against the bacteria that causes mastitis. Some of the drugs "of choice" for treating this are Keflex, Dicloxacillin, and Erythromycin. Treatment should continue for 10 to 14 days.
If you follow the complete course of treatment with an appropriate antibiotic and the mastitis continues to recur, a treatment course using long-term, low-dose antibiotics for 2 to 3 months or even the duration of lactation may be recommended. This type of treatment has broken the cycle of repeated mastitis for some women. If this treatment is chosen, it is also a good idea to have an antifungal medication prescribed along with the antibiotic and/or to supplement the mother's diet with Acidophilus to lessen the risk of thrush.
Cautionary Note: Almost all drugs have been found to enter a nursing mother's milk, including acetaminophen (Tylenol) and others), alcohol, amphetamines, antibiotics, antihistamines, aspirin, barbiturates, caffeine, cimetidine (Tagamet), cocaine, decongestants, diazepam (valium), ergotamine, chlordiazepoxide (Librium), marijuana, nicotine, and opiates (codeine, meperidine [Demerol], morphine). Some of the effects of these drugs can have on an infant include diarrhea, rapid heart rate, restlessness, irritability, crying, poor sleeping, vomiting, and convulsions. In addition, some of these drugs may accumulate in an infant's body and cause addiction. Do not take any medication unless it is absolutely necessary and only under the direction of your health care provider or midwife.
RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Acidophilus Supplement Products
ACTIVITY RECOMMENDATIONS & RESTRICTIONS
Rest in bed until fever and pain diminish. Drink plenty of fluids. Breastfeed your baby as often as you can get him/her on the breast to keep the milk flowing out. To prevent plugged ducts, be sure to remove tiny drops of dried milk from the nipples Massage the breasts firmly to stimulate milk flow. If a duct becomes plugged, offer that breast first when sucking is strongest. Mastitis (breast infection) occurs when a plugged duct is left untreated. Mastitis can also occur if there are cracks in the nipple, allowing bacteria to enter. Be sure to wash hands and clean breasts before and after each feeding to help prevent further infection problems. Allow breasts to air-dry after feedings to prevent cracking.
Your health care provier may prescribe antibiotic therapy that can be taken by a nursing mother.
Right before nursing, use any of the warm compresses (see below under herbs) for five to ten minutes. Apply heat with a hot water bottle or heating pad.
When your baby nurses on the affected side (use that side first), massage the breast towards the nipple. Massage the breast often during feedings and between feedings to help loosen the plugged area.
Continue nursing on a breast with a blocked or plugged duct or tube. Do not stop nursing your baby. If you do, the ducts willl remain full, and overfilled ducts can worsen the problem. Cessation of nursing can increase the discomfort and endanger milk supply. But go carefully, nurse or pump every hour but just enough to empty the breast.
Be sure to get plenty of rest. The blockage will usually clear within a few hours or overnight. Breast infections are almost always a sign of too little rest. Time to take a daily nap, and ten minute breaks every 2 hours: put up your feet, enjoy a cup of Violet Leaf (Blue Violet) infusion (or other suggested herbal teas seen below); relax deeply. It is important to nurse often, keeping the breasts empty to promote prompt healing. Note: The breast infection will NOT make your baby sick.)
Fresh raw Cabbage leaves are used to treat sore nipples, mastitis, and many other kinds of "itis" conditions. Crush and bruise raw fresh cabbage leaves and apply directly over the breast area where soreness is felt. Wear inside bra to help provide relief. Change leaves frequently, applying fresh leaves as needed.
In rare cases, a breast infection results in a breast abscess, in which the sore breast fills with pus. An abscess may have to be incised to allow drainage. This procedure is performed in a health care provider's office. If an abscess develops, milk should be hand-expressed (massaged) from the infected breast and discarded. Breastfeeding should continue on the uninfected breast until the abscess is healed.
If you have further problems, contact your midwife or lactation consultant for more information and support.
SORE NIPPLE RECOMMENDATIONS
Sore nipples are usually caused by improper nursing positions and nursing schedules, or incorrect sucking by the baby. They can also be caused by infection, most commonly with the fungus Candida albicans.
Air Dry. In the early postpartum period or until her nipples toughen, the mother should air dry her them after each nursing to prevent them from cracking, which can lead to infection. If her nipples do crack, the mother can coat them with breast milk or other natural moisturizers to help them heal. Vitamin E oil and Lanolin are commonly used, although some babies may have allergic reactions to them. Proper positioning at the breast can help prevent sore nipples. Soreness can be caused when the baby does not have the nipple far enough back in his or her mouth.
Proper positioning is important. The baby's mouth should be wide open, with the nipple as far back into his or her mouth as possible. This minimizes soreness for the mother. A midwife, lactation consultant, nurse, or other knowledgeable person can help her find a comfortable nursing position.
Nurse on the least sore side first. However, it both breasts are sore, hand-express (massage the breast) until letdown occurs and milk is readily available to the baby.
Make sure that the baby's jaws exert pressure on the least tender spots. Do not pull away when the baby is about to begin feeding. Learn to relax.
Expose nipples to sunlight and/or use dry heat such as a low-wattage electric bulb placed 12 to 18 inches from the breast for 10 to 15 minutes following each feeding.
If cracked nipples accompany soreness, apply Aloe Vera gel to the nipples to alleviate pain and promote healing.
To prevent sore nipples, feed your baby frequently to avoid having a baby who is overly hungry bite down roughly on the nipple. Change nursing positions often to rotate the pressure of the baby's mouth on the breast, and learn to break suction correctly. Between feedings, keep the nipples dry. Expose them to sunlight and air. Do not wash them with soap, alcohol, or petroleum-based products, which can wash away their natural protection.
If the pain is severe and persists despite these measures, it may be a sign of a candida infection. See Fungal Infection or Candida Infection. Consult with your midwife or health care provider, if necessary.
For Sore Nipples: Grate one medium potato; mix well with 2 to 3 teaspoons Slippery Elm powder. Form into small patty and place on disturbed area for 10 to 15 minutes, 1 to 3 times a day. This remedy may be used on hemorrhoids as well. There are some commercially-prepared Nipple Breast Care Products on the market for breastfeeding mothers.
PREVENTING SORE NIPPLES
Expose breasts to air; do not wear braw all day and night. Wear your nursing bra with the flaps down whenever possible. Expose breasts to sunlight or brief periods of ultraviolet light (maximum of 3 minutes, but increase to this level very gradually). Make sure you place the baby correctly making certain that the entire areola (dark area) is in his/her mouth and that the nipple is centered.
Experiment with different nursing positions. Nurse often so baby does not get hungry enough to tear at the breasts. Avoid washing the nipples with soap. Soap removes the natural oils and predisposes the nipple to chapping and cracking. Cologne, deodorant, and powder should also be kept away from the nipples.
SORE NIPPLE REMEDIES
Apply crushed ice in a wet cloth or a wet and frozen gauze pad to the nipples immediately before nursing. Ice is a good local pain killer; it also helps bring out soft or small nipples or the nipple of a very full-breast so the baby can feed more easily.
Use Comfrey root ointment to soften and strengthen nipples at the same time. Comfrey root ointments are exceptionally soothing to sensitive nipples and rapidly heal any fissures or bruises. Be sure to rinse any ointment off the areola before nursing so the baby can grasp the breast properly.
Yarrow leaf poultices or ointment totally relieves pain and heals cracked nipples rapidly.
Vitamin E can help heal and strengthen the nipples. Apply the oil after nursing. Be sure to use only pure Vitamin E, not preparations or synthetics.
Rub Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Lanolin, or Comfrey Root Ointment into the nipples throughout the latter part of the pregnancy and the beginning weeks of nursing.
Try homemade or commercial Calendula ointment to heal and strengthen nipples.
MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Herbal Ointment Recipes - Calendula Ointment
CAUTION: Ointments containing antibiotics, steroids, and anesthetic (pain-killing) drugs are potentially harmful to you and your infant. Avoid these ointments.
RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Almond (Sweet) Herbal Oil Products Aloe Vera Herbal Products Calendula Herbal Products Comfrey Herbal Products Lanolin Products Nipple Breast Care Products Olive Oil Herbal Products Slippery Elm Herbal Products Violet Leaf (Blue Violet) Herbal Products Vitamin E Supplement Products Yarrow Herbal Products
HOLISTIC HERBAL RECOMMENDATIONS
Any of the following herbs can be beneficial for the nursing mother.
ALFALFA: Alfalfa is one of the best natural sources of vitamin K and a rich source of vitamins A, B Complex, C, D, and E, biotin, carotenes, calcium, phosphorus, choline, inositol, PABA, actacosonal, trace minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chlorophyll, and many other nutrients. Alfalfa is an excellent tonic for the whole body and it may help build iron levels in blood. It contains natural fluoride that may help rebuild tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel. It is a good infection fighter and may help cleanse the body of toxins. Alfalfa contains eight digestive enzymes, thereby aiding the digestion of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. The resultant improved assimilation is helpful for gastritis, indigestion, morning sickeness, and nausea. Alfalfa tea is an appetite stimulator. Vitamin K helps blood to clot by moving calcium into proteins that form a microscopic net to capture red blood cells. Vitamin K likewise helps bones to knit by working with vitamin D and glutamic acid to activate osteocalcin. The combination of these three nutrients is essential to building good bone. Your body can not use calcium without it. Alfalfa not only helps keep calcium in bones, it helps keep calcium out of the linings of arteries. Good for the pituitary gland and to help the quantity and quality of motherís milk. Alfalfa is used with homeopathic remedy Lactuca Virosa to stimulate milk production in breastfeeding mothers. It can also be used with Blessed Thistle, Fenugreek, and/or Marshmallow for this purpose.
BLESSED THISTLE: Modern herbal applications of blessed thistle are based on a long history of use in Europe and in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Blessed Thistle is used to treat digestive ailments fundamentally caused by insufficient secretion of stomach acid. The herb's bitter taste triggers a reflex reaction that releases gastric juices into the stomach, especially those needed to digest fats. For this reason, modern herbalists agree that the plant is helpful for loss of appetite, upset stomach, and gas, although it may be better to take the herb before these symptoms occur (such as before eating a fatty meal), rather than after. Used to tone the female reproductive system and relieve cramps. The herb is also antibacterial. Used to enrich and enhance milk flow, stimulating milk production in breastfeeding mothers, used with Alfalfa, Fenugreek, and/or Marshmallow for this purpose
DANDELION: Dandelion root is a natural diuretic and improves appetite and minor digestive problems. As a tea it is warm and soothing and acts as a blood cleanser. Dandelion root is a mild chloretic, that is, an agent for stimulating the release of bile from the liver into the gallbladder. The herb is used to support treatment of a variety of liver and gallbladder disorders, especially the incomplete digestion of fats. The release of bile is laxative, and accelerates the breakdown of various steroid hormones, causing an indirect, favorable effect on eczema and other skin conditions. Dandelion root also is one of the best herbal diuretics. It stimulates urination but also replaces the potassium lost to the increased volume of urine.
Dandelion leaves are commonly recommended as a food supplement for pregnant and postmenopausal women. Dandelion leaf is a mild chloretic, that is, an agent for stimulating the release of bile from the liver into the gallbladder. The herb is used to support treatment of a variety of liver and gallbladder disorders, especially the incomplete digestion of fats. The release of bile is laxative, and accelerates the breakdown of various steroid hormones, causing an indirect, favorable effect on eczema and other skin conditions. Dandelion leaf, like dandelion root, also is one of the best herbal diuretics. It stimulates urination but also replaces the potassium lost to the increased volume of urine.
FENNEL SEED: Fennel seed is antiseptic and secretolytic, that is, encouraging secretion of saliva and gastric juices. It also stops stomach cramps, often added to laxatives to ensure gentle action. Fennel seed teas break up congestion caused by colds and allergies. There are preliminary studies that suggest that regular consumption of fennel (as well as regular consumption of green beans, mushrooms, oranges, and prunes) might slow the progression of osteoporosis. Fennel seed powder has almost exactly the same taste and medicinal effect as whole fennel seed, except it tends to lose anethole. Powdering makes fennel a less estrogenic herb, that is, less likely to stimulate the production of estrogen in women, a characteristic that may be desirable or undesirable depending on the user.
HORSETAIL: In very high doses, horsetail is sedative and anticonvulsant. The primary use of the herb, however, is as a diuretic. Gently stimulating increased urinary flow, horsetail helps "flush" infectious bacteria out of the bladder without altering the body's balance of electrolytes. The powdered form of the herb is better when electrolytes may be depleted. It's also the form of the herb being investigated as a treatment for age-related memory impairment. Horsetail is rich in silicates and silicic acid. It is also rich in potassium, aluminum, manganese, and bioflavonoids. The bioflavonoids are thought to cause the diuretic action, while the silicon is thought to help strenghten connective tissue.
RED RASPBERRY LEAF: Organic Raspberry Leaf tea supports the female system by aiding healthy menstruation as well as toning the uterus in preparation for childbirth. For millennia European and Native American women have safely used raspberry leaf for irregular menstruation, menstrual cramps and during pregnancy. Today naturopaths and midwives often recommend raspberry leaf tea for these traditional uses. Raspberry leaf has a robust, full-bodied flavor reminiscent of fine black tea, making it an excellent choice for a caffeine-free breakfast or afternoon tea.
NETTLE LEAF: Nettle leaf has a tonic effect and contains iron in addition to many other nutrients.
ALOE VERA: Aloe Vera juice helps to heal sore nipples when applied topically. Apply the fresh clear gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf to soothe and heal sore and cracked nipples. Be sure to wash it off before nursing as the taste can be quite bitter.
The following herbs decrease milk supply, and should be avoided until a woman is no longer nursing: Black Walnut, Sage, and Yarrow.
Continue to drink MoonDragon's Pregnancy Tea Formula after the birth of your baby while breastfeeding.
MOONDRAGON'S PREGNANCY TEA
2 parts Red Raspberry Leaf (example: 2 ounces quality dried herb)
1 part Nettle Leaf (example: 1 ounce quality dried herb)
1 part Alfalfa Leaf (example: 1 ounce quality dried herb)
1 part Peppermint Leaf (example: 1 ounce quality dried herb)
Mix loose herbs together well and store in clean, dry, preferably glass container (such as a mason-jar). Use as ice tea (such as sun-tea) or as a hot drink. Drink at least 1 to 2 quarts daily throughout the day. Red raspberry leaf is a good woman's toning herb for her hormonal balance and uterus. Red Raspberry, Nettle and alfalfa are rich in calcium, iron and other vital nutrients needed during pregnancy and lactation. Peppermint is good for the digestion and soothes the stomach. It also adds a nice minty flavor to an otherwise "green" tasting herbal blend. This herbal tea blend can also be used as a good base for taking other herbs and tincture supplements.
LACTATION TEA BLEND
For lactation, Blessed Thistle or Borage Leaves can be added to MoonDragon's Pregnancy Tea recipe above.
The tinctures can be added by dropper-dose right to the tea and taken internally this way.
The loose leaf herbs can be put into a "tea ball" or wrapped loosely in unfolded, layered 4X4-inch gauze pads that have been tied with string, or strained out of the tea after steeping is completed. Allow the herbs to remain in hot water to steep preferably overnight. Store unused tea in the refrigerator and drink cold or reheat, if desired. If you wish to sweeten it (which usually isn't necessary), add a spoonful of honey to your tea. When you buy your herbs from a retailer, make sure they are aromatic and quality fresh (they should have a pleasantly strong aroma for the individual herb, good color, and contain few stems or other plant parts except for leaves).
SUSUN WEED'S NURSING FORMULA
1 ounce dried Blessed Thistle or Borage Leaves
1 ounce dried Red Raspberry or Nettle Leaves
1 teaspoon of any one of these seeds: Anise, Cumin, Fennel, Caraway, Coriander, Dill.
Place leaves in a half-gallon jar and fill to the top with boiling water. Cap tightly and let steep overnight. Strain out herbs and refrigerate liquid until needed. As you get ready to nurse, pour off one cupful of the brew and heat it nearly to boiling. Pour it over a teaspoon of any of the aromatic seeds. Let it brew and cool for five more minutes before drinking.
Blessed Thistle and Borage stimulates the milk flow and helps restore vitality to weary mothers. Red Raspberry and Nettle supply vitamins and minerals, notably calcium, needed for plentiful lactation. The aromatic seeds increase milk production and tone the digestive system; their powers are carried through the breast milk and into the child, curtailing colic and indigestion. This brew can be drunk freely, up to two quarts daily, if desired.
RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Alfalfa Herbal Products Aloe Vera Herbal Products Anise Herbal Products Blessed Thistle Herbal Products Borage Herbal Products Caraway Herbal Products Coriander Herbal Products Cumin Herbal Products Dandelion Herbal Products Dill Herbal Products Fennel Herbal Products Horsetail Herbal Products Nettle Herbal Products Peppermint Herbal Products Red Raspberry Herbal Products
HERBAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MASTITIS: A NON-ANTIBIOTIC TREATMENT
Take mom's and baby's clothes off, get into bed and nurse, nurse, nurse (mastitis appears to be the body's way of telling mom to SLOW DOWN). Get as much rest as possible.
Between feedings, use a cold compress on the breast to help with any inflammation. Some moms use hot compresses directly before nursing, but others prefer to stick to the cold. Compresses and poultices that can be helpful include:
- Make a Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) infusion: to make an infusion, add 2 to 4 teaspoons of fresh or dried rosemary to a cup of boiling water. Infuse (steep) for 10 minutes, then strain.
- Use a Fenugreek Seed poultice. Apply to breast. Taken internally, Fenugreek helps to increase milk supply of mothers.
MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Poultices
- Make a Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) compress: boil about an ounce of minced dandelion root in two to three cups of water until only half the liquid remains; use compresses of the resulting brew.
If there is a fever, mom can take:
- Raw Garlic. Take at least 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves per day, 4 to 5 cloves a day if possible. Chop a clove into 5 or 6 pieces and then swallow the pieces whole like pills. Raw garlic acts as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, without the added antibiotic side effects of the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, or the development of yeast infections or thrush. The antimicrobial property in garlic, allicin, is very sensitive to heat and is destroyed when cooked. In order for it to work, it needs to be raw. Swallowing the cloves with orange juice helps with the taste for some. Allicin is also what gives garlic its pungent odor, so the deodorized garlic capsules that some companies offer are essentially useless, if they are being taken for the antimicrobial properties. However, deodorized garlic is still beneficial for its blood pressure reducing properties and for stimulating the immune system. Note: Some people may be sensitive to raw garlic and may experience gastic discomfort. To minimize discomfort, do not take on an empty stomach. Instead try taking fresh with a slice of whole grain bread or other food.
- Echinacea Tincture, 3 to 4 times/day.
- Mix a dropperful of Echinacea Tincture, three cloves of raw Garlic and four to six ounces of Carrot juice in a blender and drink the mixure every two hours.
- Oregon Grape Root Tincture, 3 to 4 times a day.
- Vitamin C in 3,000 to 5,000 mg/day megadose. Split the daily dosages to be taken throughout the day.
A very warm shower can help - let the water just run over your breast.
You can also take ibuprofen, which will help with inflammation and pain.
If the mastitis does not improve or gets worse after using this treatment for 24 to 48 hours, contact your health care provider or midwife - you may need antibiotic treatment.
POULTICES FOR SORE BREASTS
(This information is from Susun Weed's Herbal for Childbearing Year)
Poultice, compresses, and soaks are the best general first aid for painful breasts. Hot water alone has a beneficial effect, as it stimulates circulation and eases the tension in taut tissues; herbs increase the effectiveness. Frequent (4 to 5 times a day), short (3 to 5 minutes), consistent applications work better than sporadic, lengthy treatments. If infection is present, throw away poulticing materials after use. If there is no infection, brews and towels may be reused a number of times. Plenty of bed rest and nursing as often and as long as possible on the infected breast.
Run a sink full of warm water. Bend over it with your breasts in the sink. Allow the milk to flow out, massaging down from the back of the breast toward the nipple. This relieves engorgement and eases pain. This can also be done while in the shower with hot water flowing on the breasts while massaging the milk from the back of the breast to toward the nipple.
Use a hot compress of Parsley to ease swollen and painful breasts. Place a handful of fresh or dried Parsley leaves in a clean cotton diaper, tie with a rubber band, and steep in simmering water for 10 to 15 minutes. Compress the breast with the hot wet bundle.
Try a hot compress of Comfrey leaves, fresh or dried, to soothe sore nipples, soften engorged tissues, reduce the pain of swollen breasts, and help unblock tubes and ducts. Prepare and use like Parsley.
Prepare a cold poultice of grated Raw Potato to draw out the heat of inflammation, localize infection, and unblock clogged tubes. Grate raw potato and apply directly to the breasts, covering with a clean cloth. Remove or replace when dry.
Soak breasts in Slippery Elm and slimy Marshmallow root. It delightfully soothes tender tissues, opens clogged ducts and tubes, powerfully draws out infection, and diminishes the pain of engorged, inflamed breasts and sore nipples. Make an infusion of the dried root, steeping two ounces in a half gallon of boiling water overnight. Reheat the infusion to near boiling. Pour it into a sink or basin and soak the breasts until the infusion cools.
Elder root, dug and grated fresh into boiling water, makes an excellent poultice for mastitis. Gently warm a handful of dried Elder blossoms in just enough Olive Oil to cover; keep warm for twenty minutes. Strain, cool, and rub the oil into the nipples and breasts to relieve pain and sensitivity.
Poke Root (Phytolacca) is a wide spread weed with tall magenta stalks and black berries. A tincture of the fresh (only) root stimulates lymph gland activity and clears mastitis quickly. Poke root is potent and the effect is cumulative; use no more than 2 drops of tincture daily. It can be combined with Echinacea, but it may be effective as a simple remedy.
Bee Propolis is a substance secreted by bees as a glue. It has a history of use against infection in Russia and a strong following among midwives in North America. It is said to accelerate healing time by increasing the body's metabolism and general resistance to disease. A dose of the tincture is 10 to 15 drops twice a day. It combines well with Echinacea.
Echinacea root (echinacea augustifolia) is an excellent treatment for even severe cases of mastitis. It can be used as a poultice and taken internally as a herbal medication. Use Echinacea as an infusion by steeping 1 ounce of the root in a pint of boiling water and steep it overnight or at least 8 hours. Drink two cups daily until fever comes down. Then make a lighter infusion; one ounce of the root in a quart of boiling water and drink one or two cups daily for another week. If you must resort to tincture, use 1/2 drop per pound of body weight as a single dose. Repeat the dose up to 6 times a day until the fever remits. Continue with 2 to 3 doses daily for another 7 days or until all symptoms are cleared.
MASTITIS HERBAL TREATMENT
Mastitis Herbal Treatment made of a tincture mixture of Chamomile, Garlic, Rosehips (use Rose Hips powder if tincture is not available), Echinacea and Fenugreek with the Bach Flower Remedies Walnut and Larch. Store in a 100-ml Bottle. Dose 20 drops three times daily taken in a glass of cold Castor Oil application to clear the Mastitis quickly. Chamomile Tea will provide extra fluid and will help relax the parasympathetic nervous systems responses involved in the letdown process.
PLUGGED MILK DUCTS
The usual recommended dosage for recurrent plugged ducts is 3,600 to 4,800 mg Lecithin per day, or 1 capsule (1,200 mg) 3 to 4 times per day. After a week or two with no blockage, the breastfeeding mom can reduce the dosage by one capsule. If there is no blockage within another 2 weeks she can reduce it again by one. The breastfeeding mom may need to continue taking 1 to 2 capsules per day if stopping the lecithin leads to additional plugged ducts.
Some moms have success with the following homeopathic treatment:
2 doses Hepar Sulphur and 2 doses of Phytolacca (allow pellets to dissolve in mouth). The doses are to be taken as follows:
First, take Hepar Sulphur 30C - 3 pellets
3 hours later, take Phytolacca 30C - 3 pellets
3 hours later, take Hepar Sulphur 30C - 3 pellets
3 hours later, take Phytolacca 30C -3 pellets
For more suggestions about postpartum breast care, engorgement, and mastitis, see these links:
MoonDragon's Holistic Post-Partum Care Instructions
MoonDragon's Post-Partum Breast Care
MoonDragon's Pregnancy Information: Breastfeeding Problems
RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Bee Propolis Supplement Products Castor Oil Herbal Products Chamomile Herbal Products Comfrey Herbal Products Dandelion Herbal Products Echinacea Herbal Products Elder Herbal Products Fenugreek Herbal Products Garlic Herbal Products Hepar Sulphur Homeopathic Products Larch Flower Essence Products Lecithin Supplement Products Marshmallow Herbal Products Olive Oil Herbal Products Oregon Grape Herbal Products Parsley Herbal Products Phytolacca Homeopathic Products Poke Root Herbal Products Rosehips Herbal Products Rosemary Herbal Products Sage Herbal Product Slippery Elm Herbal Products Vitamin C Supplement Products Walnut Flower Essence Products
DIET & NUTRITION
No special diet specific to mastitis or other breastfeeding problems. Drink extra fluids while you have fever.
Eat regularly, and eat plenty of fresh food and vegetables. This will help to increase your resistance to infection. A Vitamin C supplement can be helpful for any mom suffering from recurrent plugged ducts or mastitis. Eat plenty of Brewers Yeast, eggs, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. Raw foods should be plentiful in the diet.
Discuss the need for supplements for your baby with your health care provider or midwife. Mother's milk (breastmilk) is "nearly" a perfect food, according to researchers (they are always trying to improve on nature itself). As your baby grows, develops and ages, the breastmilk will change with your baby's nutritional needs. Most breastfed infants can be totally breastfed for up to a year or longer without additional supplementation of other foods and without nutritional deficiencies. However, most western breastfeeding mothers will start introducing solid foods somewhere between 6 months to a year of age, usually corresponding with the baby getting its first teeth and wanting to chew on everything. According to researchers, breastmilk is low in Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Iron. There may be a natural reason for this that scientists have not figured out yet having to do with the development of the infant and its nutritional requirements. They do discover new things every day. However, if you need to supplement breastmilk feedings, try using almond milk, Rice Dream (made from brown rice), or a soymilk formula with a small amount of Papaya (put through a blender). This resembles mother's milk. You can add a small amount of Blackstrap Molasses and Brewer's Yeast after the baby is a few months old to supply iron and B-vitamins. For most breastfed babies, any type of infant supplementation is not necessary as long as the mother's nutrition is good resulting in quality breastmilk. It is always recommended you consult with your health care provider or midwife before making any changes in your baby's diet.
Lack of sufficient fluids can contribute to plugged ducts. Make sure you are drinking something each time you sit down to nurse or pump. If you feel thirsty, you are dehydrated.
Too much saturated fat in the diet can be a problem. Reduce animal fats and limit your fat to polyunsaturated fats and take one tablespoon of Lecithin (a dietary supplement available at most pharmacies, health foods stores, etc.) Adding Lecithin to the diets of moms with recurrent plugged ducts has been shown to be very effective.
Either too much or too little Salt in the diet has been linked to this problem.
In recent studies, mothers who consumed Garlic increased their babies' desire for milk, and the babies nursed longer. Garlic is good for both mother and baby, contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Garlic can be consumed fresh (best- but may not be sociable) with 2 to 3 cloves of fresh Garlic eaten 3 times per day or it can be taken in Kyolic Garlic form, which is odorless and therefore more sociable.
RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Brewers Yeast Supplement Products Garlic & Kyolic Garlic Herbal Products Iron Supplement Products Lecithin Supplement Products Molasses Supplement Products Papaya Herbal Products Salts (Culinary, Cosmetic & Bath) Products Vitamin C Supplement Products Vitamin D Supplement Products
INCREASING BREASTMILK SUPPLY
To increase milk, an herbal blend of these herbs works well. Drink one cup in the morning and another cup around noon, and your milk supply should increase afternoon. Even one cup in a day makes a significant difference. It contains Fennel Seed, Anise Seed, Coriander Seed, Spearmint Leaf, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena Leaf, Marshmallow (Althea) Root, Blessed Thistle Leaf, and Fenugreek Seed, a good tasting combination. This blend can be found in Mother's Milk Tea.
The other herbal remedy found effective for increasing milk is Oats. When milk has gets low, eat a generous serving of Oatmeal for breakfast. Later in the day you can see a difference in the quantity of milk. Continue to eat this for a few days until your milk is reestablished at a sufficient level.
Chaste Berry and Milk Thistle are herbs that increase milk production. Take three capsules of each per day.
Other herbs commonly used to increase milk production are Fennel, Marshmallow, Goat's Rue, and Blessed Thistle.
RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Anise Herbal Products Blessed Thistle Herbal Products Brewers Yeast Chaste Berry Herbal Products Coriander Herbal Products Fennel Herbal Products Fenugreek Herbal Products Garlic Herbal Products Goat's Rue Herbal Products Iron Supplement Products Lecithin Supplement Products Lemongrass Herbal Products Lemon Verbena Herbal Products Marshmallow Herbal Products Milk Thistle Herbal Products Molasses Products Mother's Milk Tea Herbal Products Oats Herbal Products Papaya Herbal Products Parsley Herbal Products Sage Herbal Products Spearmint Herbal Products Vitamin C Supplement Products Vitamin D Supplement Products
NUTRIENTS Supplement Suggested Dosage Comments Essential Free-Form Amino Acid Complex As directed on label. To supply needed protein. Soy protein and free-form amino acids are better sources than animal protein. Helpful Calcium 1,000 to 1,500 mg daily, in divided doses, after meals and at bedtime. This has a calming effect and needed by both mother and baby. Use calcium chelate forms. Do not use bone meal or dolomite, as these may contain lead. Magnesium 500 to 750 mg daily. Needed to balance with calcium. Bifido Factor 1/2 teaspoon daily, between meals. For mother. Boosts immune system and provides necessary friendly bacteria. Use only unchilled water in preparation.
Produces lactic and acetic acid which lower the PH of the large intestine and deter undesirable bacteria. Protects the walls of the large intestine from colonization by invading bacteria or yeast. Inhibits bacteria which can alter nitrates into potentially harmful nitrites. Assists in the support of healthy liver function. Produces B vitamins that help the body complete the digestive process and helps to promote regularity. Bifidobacterium Bifidum assists in the absorption of calcium and other vitamins and minerals. Bifidobacteria lives on the intestinal wall, where it discourages undesirable bacteria from taking up residence and helps the large intestine dispose of unused food, helping to minimize elimination concerns. Natren's Milk-Based Formula contains natural lactulose, a specific food for the Bifidobacterium Bifidum which has been found to maximize liver support and proper elimination. The powder begins working in the mouth and gives benefits all throughout the digestive tract as well as the large intestine. Japanese researchers consider Bifidobacterium to be the most important beneficial bacteria for human health.
Bifidus & Bifido Factor Supplement Products Life Start
1/4 teaspoon daily, added to water or juice. For infant. Use only unchilled water in preparation. Life Start is a probiotic designed specifically for infants. It is made from Bifidobacterium infantis, the friendly bacteria most prominent in infants. Using Life Start stimulates better weight gain through nitrogen retention. Life Start may also help prevent a predisposition to allergies and encourage the formation of antibodies against undesirable bacteria and viruses - especially important for babies delivered by caesarean section.
LIFE START: Life Start is designed specifically for infants, Life Start contains Bifidobacterium infantis, the most beneficial bacteria prominent in healthy infants. Providing 1 billion colony forming units (cfu) of Bifidobacterium infantis, NLS super strain per serving, Life Start encourages healthier weight gain through nitrogen retention. This is particularly important for formula-fed infants and for infants delivered by cesarean section (who do not have the benefit of acquiring beneficial bacteria as they pass through the birth canal). Pregnant women and nursing mothers may take Life Start along with their regular regimen of Healthy Trinity to give their baby the best start possible. Life Start optimizes the health of infants as well as expectant and nursing mothers. Life Start works throughout your baby's digestive system: Daily supplementation helps develop healthy bodies. Produces natural lactic, acetic and formic acids, to help promote a healthy digestive environment. Increases nutritional value by producing essential B vitamins. Stimulates optimal immune function in newborns. Assists absorption of calcium, vitamins and other nutrients. Even breast-fed babies need the advantages of Life Start to optimize health.
LIFE START 2: Thousands of mothers and infants have enjoyed the benefits of the original Life Start. Recent research has proven the same bacteria found in Life Start and Life Start 2, Bifidobacterium infantis, has major benefits for all ages, especially people with abdominal discomfort. Cultured in goat's milk, Life Start 2 is specially formulated to work for adults' more mature digestive tracts. Life Start 2 is available in powder and capsule formulas. Each serving is guaranteed to contain 2 billion colony forming units (cfu) of Bifidobacterium infantis, NLS super strain through the printed expiration date. Life Start 2 probiotic formula is specifically designed and formulated for children, adolescents and adults with immune system hypersensitivity that leads to occasional diarrhea, minor constipation, gas and bloating. Helps relieve constipation, gas and bloating. Cultured in goatís milk to facilitate easy digestion, particularly important for people with intestinal disturbances. Boosts the immune system. Helps alleviate diarrhea, cramps and abdominal discomfort. Enhances the absorption of calcium, vitamins and other nutrients. Available in powder and capsules.
HEALTHY TRINITY: Healthy Trinity provides 30 billion colony forming units (cfu) of effective beneficial bacteria per capsule to enhance digestion, improve nutrient absorption, stimulate proper elimination and maximize your immune function. The guaranteed potency and benefits of Natren's super strains are not available from any other probiotic in the world. Only Natren uses a unique oil matrix system that micro-enrobes three super strains of beneficial bacteria, keeping them separated, noncompetitive and protected from the stomach's gastric juices. Healthy Trinity works to support your entire gastrointestinal (GI) system: Discourages attachment of undesirable bacteria in the GI tract. Produces hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which research has proven will inhibit yeast and bacteria. Helps alleviate occasional gas, bloating and upper GI problems. Produces organic acids that promote normal elimination. Enhances digestion of dairy products by assisting lactose metabolism. Helps maintain normal cholesterol levels. Assists digestion of complex carbohydrates and proteins. Produces B vitamins and enhances absorption of calcium and other minerals.
Life Start, Life Start 2 & Healthy Trinity Supplement Products Vitamin B-Complex 50 mg twice daily. All nutrients are needed by both mother and baby. Needed for production of milk and to relieve stress. Brewer's Yeast Start with 1 teaspoon and work up to 1 tablespoon 3 times daily, taken in juice. All nutrients are needed by both mother and baby. Needed for production of milk and to relieve stress. A source of B-vitamins and Iron. Plus Extra
400 mcg daily. Good for relieving stress. All nutrients are needed by both mother and baby. And
3,000 mg daily. All nutrients are needed by both mother and baby. Helps immune system. Vitamin D 400 IU daily. All nutrients are needed by both mother and baby. Aids in absorption of calcium and magnesium. MultiVitamin & MultiMineral Complex As directed on label. To supply a balance of nutrients important in formation and metabolism of bone and connective tissue and needed for healing. All nutrients are needed by both mother and baby. Use a high potency formula. And
As directed by health care provider or midwife. All nutrients are needed by both mother and baby. Manganese 2 mg daily. Take separately from calcium. Do not take calcium and manganese together, as they compete for absorption.
NOTIFY YOUR MIDWIFE OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER
If you have any questions about breast-feeding. If you have signs of infection or problems breastfeeding your baby. If you or a family member have symptoms of mastitis. During treatment, temperature rises to over 101°F (38.2°C). If you or a family member have nausea, vomiting or constipation. If signs of a developing abscess (a localilzed area with increasing redness, pain, tenderness and fluctuance that feels like pushing on an inflated inner tube.
PREGNANCY & BREASTFEEDING
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pregnancy Related Problems
MoonDragon's Breastfeeding Information Index
MoonDragon's Womens Health Procedures: Mammography Information
MoonDragon's Womens Health Procedures: Breast Biopsy
MoonDragon's Womens Health Procedures: Ultrasound
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Breast Abscess
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Breast Cancer
QUALITY SUPPLIES & PRODUCTS
BREASTFEEDING SUPPLEMENT PRODUCTS
Supplements and products for postpartum women (mothers of newborn babies) to help with breastfeeding and breast care for breastfeeding related problems.
Acidophilus Supplement Products Alfalfa Herbal Products Almond (Sweet) Oil Products Aloe Vera Herbal Products Amino Acid Complex Products Anise Herbal Products Bee Propolis Products Bifidus Supplement Products Bioflavonoid Supplement Products Blessed Thistle Herbal Products Borage Herbal Products Brewers Yeast Calcium Supplement Products Calendula Herbal Products Caraway Herbal Products #castoroil">Castor Oil Herbal Products Chamomile Herbal Products Chaste Berry Herbal Products Comfrey Herbal Products Coriander Herbal Products Cumin Herbal Products Dandelion Herbal Products Dill Herbal Products Echinacea Herbal Products Elder Herbal Products Fennel Herbal Products Fenugreek Herbal Products Folic Acid Supplement Products Garlic Herbal Products Ginger Herbal Products Goat's Rue Herbal Products Hepar Sulphur Homeopathic Products Homeopathic Breast Care Honey Products Horsetail Herbal Products Iron Supplement Products Lanolin Products Larch Flower Essence Products Lecithin Supplement Products Lemongrass Herbal Products Lemon Verbena Herbal Products Magnesium Supplement Products
Mammary Care Formula Manganese Supplement Products Marshmallow Herbal Products Milk Thistle Herbal Products Molasses Products Mother's Milk Tea Herbal Products Multimineral Supplement Products Multivitamin Supplement Products Natren Life Start Products Nettle Herbal Products Neuromins DHA Supplement Products Nipple Breast Care Products Nursing Pads Products Nursing Formula Products Oats Herbal Products Olive Oil Herbal Products Oregon Grape Herbal Products Papaya Herbal Products Parsley Herbal Products Peppermint Herbal Products Phytolacca Homeopathic Products Poke Root Herbal Products Prenatal DHA Omega Products Prenatal Multinutrient Products Prickly Pear Herbal Products Red Raspberry Herbal Products Rosehips Herbal Products Rosemary Herbal Products Sage Herbal Products Salts (Culinary, Cosmetic & Bath) Products Shatavari Herbal Products Slippery Elm Herbal Products Soy Protein Supplement Products Spearmint Herbal Products Squawvine Herbal Products Susun Weed Wise Woman Herbal Books Violet Leaf Herbal Products Vitamin B-Complex Products Vitamin C Supplement Products Vitamin D Supplement Products Vitamin E Supplement Products Walnut Flower Essence Products Yarrow Herbal Products
SUSUN S WEED WISE WOMAN HERBAL SERIES BOOKS
These books are a complete herbal pharmacopoeia in the Wise Woman Herbal Series for dealing with every problem that might arise before, during and after pregnancy and childbirth and during a woman's life. These are great books for people interested in alternative medicine and herbs. Full of lots of hard to find information about herbs and remedies to take and not take while pregnant and during other times of a woman's reproductive life. Also good pre and post pregnancy and baby information and menopausal suggestions for the older woman. Note: some of the remedies on this page are found in her book(s).
Amazon: Susun S. Weed Wise Woman Series Book Products
Amazon: Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, Paperback 1996, By Susun S. Weed
Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Now in its 24th printing. A confirmed favorite with pregnant women, midwives, childbirth educators, and new parents. Packed with clear, comforting, and superbly helpful information. Beginning with the two months before pregnancy, herbs are enlisted to provide safe, effective birth control, or to help ensure pregnancy, even in the most difficult of situations. A special list of teratogens, including herbs to avoid before pregnancy, is included, as is a section on herbs to improve the father's fertility and reduce the risk of birth defects. Once pregnancy has occurred, herbs are safe and beneficial allies in reducing the distress of pregnancy, including hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, morning sickness, emotional changes, anemia, muscle cramps, bladder infections, and preclampsia. Tasty recipes and clear directions make use easy and fun. Herbs take a starring role in labor and delivery -- whether initiating labor, increasing energy, diminishing pain, or staunching postpartum bleeding -- and in postpartum care of the mother's perineum, breasts, and emotions, and the infants umbilicus, skin, scalp, digestive system, and immune system. Humorous, tender, and detailed, this classic text is supported by illustrations, references, resource lists, glossary, and index. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker.
Amazon: Healing Wise, Wise Woman Herbal Series, Paperback 2003, By Susun S. Weed
Superb herbal in the feminine-intuitive mode. Complete instructions for using common plants for food, beauty, medicine, and longevity. Introduction by Jean Houston Healing Wise sets forth the foundations of the Wise Woman Tradition, contrasting them with the Heroic and Scientific views of healing. Weeds draw us into ancient wisdom in a clear and refreshing way, says herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. I see the Wise Woman. She carries a blanket of compassion. She wears a robe of wisdom. From her shoulders, a mantle of power flows. She ties the threads of our lives together. I see the Wise Woman. And she sees me. Seven herbs -- burdock, chickweed, dandelion, nettle, oatstraw, seaweed, and violet -- are explored in depth. Each monograph includes the voice of the herb, a weed walk to encounter the herb in its environment, detailed instructions for harvesting and preparation, properties and uses for every part of the herb, pertinent facts, fun folklore, and recipes for gourmet foodstuffs, wines, beers, cosmetics, and more.
Amazon: New Menopausal Years: Alternative Approaches For Women 30-90, Wise Woman Herbal Series, Paperback 2002, By Susun S. Weed
The best book on menopause is now better. Herbal solutions for osteoporosis, hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, flooding, fibroids, low libido, incontinence, anxiety, depression. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. One of the world's best selling books on menopause still comes on strong. Called "indispensable," "incredible," and a "treasure trove of information," Menopausal Years is the "bible" for the 87-percent of American women over the age of fifty who want nothing to do with hormones. Includes information and remedies for problems with premenopause -- flooding, erratic periods, fibroids, spotting, water retention, muscle soreness -- as well as menopause -- hot flashes, sleeplessness, mood swings, headaches, palpitations, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and much more. Final chapters speak to post-menopausal women's concerns: including ways to maintain heart health, prevent and reverse osteoporosis, deal with dry vaginal tissues and incontinence, ease aching joints, and maintain healthy libido. The soothing, wise voice of Grandmother Growth guides each woman through the book and through her own menopause metamorphosis. Ritual interludes interweaves a spiritual dimension often lacking in other works. Includes superb resource lists for menopause information, index, glossary, directions for using (and preparing) herbal medicines, complete descriptions of the most-used menopausal herbs (including nettles, ginseng, dong quai, red clover, oatstraw, and motherwort), recipes for heart- and bone-healthy dishes, and lots of illustrations.
Amazon: Down There: Sexual & Reproductive Health, Wise Woman Herbal Series, Paperback 2011, By Susun S. Weed
What would your private parts say if they could speak? The pelvic floor, bladder, prostate, cervix, clitoris, uterus, ovaries, and lots of other pelvic parts have their say in Susun Weed's new book Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health the Wise Woman Way. Susun Weed, the voice of the Wise Woman Tradition, has spent the last twenty-five years listening to what's between our legs. Her new book gives voices to all those parts, describes them in health, and offers alternative, complementary, integrative, homeopathic, and allopathic remedies for their distresses. Whether your "down there" gives you pleasure or pain, Ms. Weed's simple, successful, strategies optimize health. You will find a full range of options, fully explained and well-illustrated, so you can make the very best choices for your good health.
Amazon: Breast Cancer? Breast Health!: The Wise Woman Way, Wise Woman Herbal Series, Paperback 1996, By Susun S. Weed
For women who want to maintain breast health or for women diagnosed with breast cancer. Foods, exercises, and attitudes to keep your breasts healthy. Supportive complimentary medicines to ease side-effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or tamoxifen. Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D. "The perfect antidote to fear." Carolyn DeMarco, M.D. More than 100,000 copies of this ground-breaking book are currently in print. It is used by breast cancer support groups and hospital-based oncologists in USA, Germany, New Zealand, and Canada. Why? because it offers the best of modern medicine plus level-headed information on the most effective alternative and complementary treatments for breast (and prostate) cancers. Breast Cancer? Breast Health! is for every woman interested in taking breast health into her own hands. The first third offers easy lifestyle changes, simple herbal additions, and tasty food recommendations to reduce risk and improve immune functioning. The second third helps those with possible cancer -- what to do before you call the doctor, how to explore your options -- and those diagnosed with cancer -- including "alternative treatments to avoid." Separate chapters detail complementary medicines for those using surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or tamoxifen. The last third focuses on the 30 most important anti-cancer herbs, with specific instructions for preparation and use. Down-to-earth, compassionate, and lyrical, this information-rich book includes a risk assessment survey; directory of helpful organizations; glossary; index; and many useful illustrations.
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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