From a Chinese medicine perspective, our nourishment (the nutrients we consume), create blood and blood creates milk. If, as breastfeeding mothers, we are not properly nourished our bodies will not have the resources to transform and transport nutrients into milk.
Traditional people from all reaches of the world have passed down the wisdom of what we now call galactagogues- or lactation promoting foods and herbs. This is a list of Western and Chinese herbs, and another of basic foods.
Bone broth- (see Recipe Blueprint post)
Black sesame seed
Flaxseed (ground fresh)
Raw milk or dairy product
*Along with a diet rich in general blood nourishing foods (see Nourishing Blood post)
Western Herbs to promote lactation:
Many of these may be prepared raw, as tinctures or infusions. Many can be purchased at your local health food store.
Chinese Herbs to promote lactation:
Again, it is best to have Chinese herbal formulas for breastfeeding, prescribed by your provider. But here's a sneak peak.
Ren Shen (ginseng radix ) & Huang Qi (astragalus root)
-build qi and blood to promote milk
Dang Gui (angelica), Bai Shao (white peony) & Mai Men Dong
-nourish blood, promote fluid to increase lactation.
Feel free to email with questions. Katherinestarbird@gmail.com
Kat Starbird, M.Ac.O.M., L.Ac., birth doula