TCM Tips for Easier Breastfeeding

Motherhood is one of the most life-changing, joyous, and exciting phases of a woman’s life. However, the first few years of motherhood can bring unexpected worries. One major concern that we often hear from new mothers is difficulty with breastfeeding.

Helpful TCM Tips:

1. Give acupuncture a try. For over 5,000 years, acupuncture and herbs have been used to resolve conditions related to breastfeeding. The famous TCM gynecologist Fu Qing-Zhu (1607-1684AD) claimed that with acupuncture and herbs, women “will have their breast milk gushing like a spring in no time.”

2. Release your stress and worry. New mothers experience many swirling emotions. Excitement and joy often turn to concern over this innocent new life. Being in charge of a newborn’s well-being comes with a lot of responsibility. Therefore, its understandable for this time to be fraught with worry. However, these emotions impact the energetic functioning of the Liver and the Stomach, the organs that regulate the flow and production of breast milk. Decreased milk production and/or inhibited flow can lead to mastitis, a painful infection that blocks the milk ducts. Who knew emotions could affect breastfeeding so profoundly?

3. Nurture yourself. Newborn babies wake to feed multiple times a day. The old adage, “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is very important. In caring for this new life, ensure that you care for your own as well. Get plenty of rest, practice Qigong, and eat high-energy foods such as seafood, greens, beans and roasted nuts. Childbirth and caring for a newborn can easily drain your energy reserves, which are essential for regenerating your blood and breast milk. Taking steps to support your energy also prevents postpartum depression, fatigue, weight gain, and other common issues that mothers face. Taking time for yourself is not easy when caring for a newborn, but it’s essential.

4. Keep everything flowing. Breast milk production is dependent on good digestive health. An ancient Chinese tradition for stimulating the stomach function of new mothers is to eat peanuts. Try this simple recipe for Sweet Peanut Soup.