Supporting Lactation Naturally
Providing physical, emotional, and mental support during your lactation journey.
Natural Lactation Help
Breastfeeding is a very personal journey and, even though it is a natural act, can come with challenges. All mothers want the best for their children and making sure they get enough to eat through breastfeeding is a big part of that. However, just like pregnancy, this big change in lifestyle can be hard to juggle and requires support from those around you. We are here to be a part of your support system and help you along your lactation journey physically as well as mentally and emotionally.
Our Holistic Approach to Lactation Support
There are many factors that can impact the success of lactation, including mental state, outside support, and physical well-being. This is why we take a holistic approach to lactation help. We take the time to learn about your situation and dive into what is having an impact on your lactation, from stress levels to diet.
Natural Remedies to Stimulate Lactation
Before your baby comes into this world your body is getting ready to produce milk. After giving birth, hormones and nursing will signal to your body to keep producing milk. Although this sounds like a straightforward process, there are many reasons lactation may not be going as well as planned. In addition to seeking lactation consultants and speaking with your other healthcare providers, natural remedies such as acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help you get the lactation support you need.
Acupuncture To Induce Lactation
Acupuncture is a great way to induce lactation if there have been issues with producing enough milk or if you’ve been experiencing negative side effects due to breastfeeding. Our bodies are at their healthiest when the yin and yang are in balance. This therapy helps to nourish the yin and fluids of the body, which naturally promotes breast milk production. Treatments can also help reduce pain experienced while pumping, improve overall mood, and lower stress levels.
During treatment, patients can expect to have acupuncture needles placed on the feet, legs, and chest. Results can vary based on a number of factors, however, most patients may begin to experience results within 1-2 weeks of treatments.
Acupuncture to Stop Lactation
When you have decided to reduce or stop breastfeeding and need to reduce or stop lactation, acupuncture can help ease this transition. During treatments, patients can expect to have needles placed on the chest, arms, and legs. Results may vary but patients typically experience results quickly, in a matter of weeks or months.
Herbs To Help Induce Lactation
There are several Chinese herbs that aid in stimulating lactation and formulas to help promote milk production. After a herbal consultation to discuss your medical history, current experiences, and goals, we will recommend a treatment plan. With lactation support, this plan could include Chinese herbs that are easy to find in foods. This could mean simply adding these foods to your diet.
Results can vary but most patients begin to see results in 2-3 weeks, while others may need as long as 6 weeks to experience results.
Herbs To Stop Lactation
When you decide to stop breastfeeding and need to stop lactation, it is a good idea to get some support to ensure the process is as easy as possible. Chinese herbs can be used not only to promote lactation but also to stop lactation. The herbs needed may even be the same herbs but differ in recommended dosage. Again, it may be a change in diet that helps during this period. Patients experience a reduction in milk production or a stop in lactation usually within 2-3 weeks but it may take as many as 6 weeks to experience desired results.
Compassionate and Natural Support
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Lactation?
Lactation is the process of producing milk. Humans produce and release milk from the mammary glands located in the breasts. During pregnancy, milk-making tissues grow. After giving birth, pregnancy hormone levels lower, allowing the lactation hormone prolactin to be released. This hormone sends a signal to your breasts to make milk.
What Is Lactation Support?
Lactation support can look like a lot of different things and can come from healthcare professionals, including lactation consultants, partners, and friends. Support with physical challenges like producing more milk and reducing pumping pain can be accomplished through acupuncture and Chinese Herbs. These treatments can also help improve overall mood and reduce stress.
What Helps With Lactation?
Lactation help can involve physical help like improving breast milk supply and pain reduction. It can also involve mental help like lowering stress levels and improving mood. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help on all of those fronts. We work with you to find a holistic approach to finding what helps you lactate.
How To Stimulate Lactation
Lactation stimulation happens automatically for most mothers. After giving birth, the lactation hormone prolactin is released, which sends a message to your breasts to start milk production. To continue milk production you should feed your baby whenever they are hungry, offer both breasts during feedings, and empty the breasts. Feeding often will keep your milk supply up.
Can Acupuncture Stimulate Lactation?
Yes, acupuncture can promote milk production and increase the breast milk supply. Acupuncture nourishes the yin and fluids of the body to promote milk production.
Does Herbal Medicine Help With Lactation?
Yes, herbal medicine can help lactation by promoting milk production and improving breast milk supply.
How To Stimulate Breast for Lactation
Breastfeeding your baby may be enough to keep your milk supply up but if your baby is not getting enough milk during feedings, pumping or expressing between feeding sessions can help. If you are away from your baby for a time it is also a good idea to pump or express to build up your milk supply. During feedings, hold your baby close and massage your breasts to encourage the “let down reflex.” Consult your healthcare provider for specific tips if needed.
What Hormone Stimulates Lactation?
Prolactin is released after giving birth which signals to the breasts to produce milk. The hormone oxytocin makes the small muscles in the breasts contract so the milk can move down through the milk ducts.
When Do Pregnant Women Start Lactating?
Pregnant women start lactating during the second trimester. First, estrogen and progesterone cause your milk ducts to grow in number and size. Then the body starts producing breast milk. The first type of breast milk is called colostrum which is usually thick and yellowish and contains high amounts of proteins and antibodies to strengthen your baby’s immune system.
How Early Can You Start Lactating During Pregnancy?
Lactation begins in the second trimester (14-26 weeks).
Can a Woman Lactate Without Pregnancy?
Yes, a woman can lactate without being pregnant. This is usually accomplished by a healthcare provider prescribing hormone-mimicking medications for several months so the person can produce milk. It is a complex process and requires medical supervision. Additionally, both women and men can lactate (produce a milky substance) from one or both nipples without being pregnant. This condition is called galactorrhea.
Is Lactating a Sign of Pregnancy?
Lactating is a sign that pregnancy has entered into its second trimester. However, both women and men can lactate without being pregnant. This condition is called galactorrhea.
What Foods Help With Lactation?
There are not one or two foods to stimulate lactation, rather a balanced diet is the best course to take when breastfeeding. Eating a balanced diet will help promote milk production, give you energy, and diversifying foods will change the flavor of your breast milk. This exposure to different flavors may help your baby more easily transition to solid foods. Make sure you’re getting enough protein, fruits, vegetables, and staying hydrated. Also, eliminate or reduce intake of caffeine and alcohol.
Does Beer Help With Lactation
Alcohol, including beer, does not help with lactation or increase milk production. It is recommended that breastfeeding women limit alcohol intake.
How Much Milk Should a Lactating Mother Drink?
There is no recommended amount of milk that breastfeeding women need to consume. It is a good idea to maintain a healthy diet during this time which includes staying hydrated.
Do Lactation Cookies Work
Lactation cookies have not been scientifically proven to improve breast milk supply. Consult your healthcare provider if you believe you are not producing enough milk for your baby.
Do Lactation Smoothies Work?
Lactation smoothies can be a good way to get the nutrients and vitamins needed for a healthy diet. However, lactation smoothies have not been proven to promote milk production. Consult your healthcare provider if you believe you are not producing enough milk for your baby.
Is Ibuprofen Safe During Lactation?
Ibuprofen is considered safe to use during breastfeeding. Only very small amounts of ibuprofen get into the breastmilk and it is unlikely to cause any negative effects on your baby. However, it is recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider before taking ibuprofen.
How To Reduce Lactation
If you believe you are producing too much milk you can try feeding while lying on your back. This position gives your baby more control over milk flow. You can also try expressing a tiny bit of milk between feedings to relieve pressure. Consult your healthcare provider if you believe you are producing too much milk.
How To Stop Lactation
Stop lactation or stop your milk supply by stopping feedings. Once you signal to your body that you no longer need milk by stopping feedings your body will stop producing breast milk.
Can a Woman Lactate After Menopause?
Yes, a woman may still lactate after menopause. Milk production may still occur if the woman has a functioning pituitary gland.
Can You Lactate After Hysterectomy?
Yes, lactation is possible after a hysterectomy because milk production is not controlled by the uterus or ovaries.
Can Trans Women Lactate?
Yes, trans women and nonbinary individuals may still lactate. Hormones prolactin and oxytocin that are responsible for milk production and milk release are released from the pituitary gland at the base of both the male and female brains.
Can Acupuncture Help promote lactation?
Yes, acupuncture can help promote lactation and improve milk production. Acupuncture treatments nourish the yin and fluids of the body to help promote milk production. Treatments can also reduce pumping pain, improve overall mood, and lower stress levels.
Can Chinese Herbal Medicine Be Used To promote lactation?
Yes, there are Chinese herbs and formulas that can promote lactation. Some helpful herbs can be found in foods and can simply be added to your diet. After an herbal consultation, we can determine if Chinese herbs are right for you.
What To Expect
You can expect to find a partner in your health journey.
At Transformational Acupuncture, we strive to provide a welcoming environment to each and every patient. We understand traditional healthcare can make some wary of seeking help, even if it’s for the betterment of their health. That’s why we take a holistic approach when treating each person. You will be listened to, treated with respect, and be seen as a true partner in your own health journey.
At the beginning of your treatment you’ll be asked some basic questions so we can establish a good baseline. From there we’ll discuss your specific needs and issues. After hearing from you, we’ll create a holistic plan that is designed to help you live the balanced, healthy life you deserve.
Your Patient Journey
At the beginning of your treatment, you’ll be asked some basic questions so we can establish a good baseline. From there we will discuss your specific needs and issues. After hearing from you, we will create a holistic plan that is designed to help you live the balanced, healthy life you deserve.
Learn more about your complete patient journey.
Get Started Today
Begin your holistic health journey by scheduling an appointment today. Schedule online or give us a call at (202) 297-7404.
To learn if your insurance covers acupuncture and other treatments, please fill out our short form to verify your benefits with us.
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