Breastfeeding and lactogenic foods

This is written by Rochelle Hammond a colleague of mine. She is an educator, acupuncturist, and scientist based in Sydney, Australia. She practices out of a clinic in Cammeray, Sydney.

To find out more about their services see their website here

For the second part of this blog and to learn more about managing mastitis at home check out Samantha Gunn’s website here


For more in-depth articles on breastfeeding, visit the experts at the Australian Breastfeeding Association


The secretion of prolactin from the anterior pituitary initiates lactation. Breast milk contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, salts, vitamins and hormones. Ideally the baby should feed in the first hour after birth and the first milk - called colostrum - has no substitute.


Correct positioning of the baby on the breast is one of the most important factors in successful breastfeeding. The baby's natural sucking reflex stimulates mother’s milk production. Proper latching on ensures the nipple and areola are sucked towards the back of the mouth.


Back support during feeding will help to prevent upper back, neck and shoulder problems and sore nipples. Lift the baby to the breast and use cushions under the baby to help keep you from leaning forward.



Breast feeding increases your energy requirements by 30%.

Try not to use the mind to think and avoid watching tv or reading too much.

New sleep patterns take time and not resting enough can lead to chronic stress and abnormal cortisol/adrenaline production

and this can lead to poor milk production




There is a delay of about 2–3 days for breast milk to ‘come in’. The baby’s sucking acts as stimulation and during the first week or so of breastfeeding the breasts may become engorged and painful due to the increased blood supply. This is a necessary process that will eventually pass, but it is important for the mother to continue breastfeeding through this period.. Stopping feeding will only make matters worse.



Passive and gentle exercise increases circulation and warmth and to avoid developing blood clots.


Cover up well when outside as both mother and baby are more open and susceptible to the effects of weather changes like wind, damp,

rain & even sun!


Mother warming is a gentle restorative method to warm the lower abdomen and lower back area. We start treating in the first few weeks depending on the type of birth.



Give yourself plenty of time to slow down and adjust to the new relationship with your baby.

Make time during the first few weeks for you and your partner to bond in your new role as mother.

Perineal re-education with a specialist physiotherapist - up to 20 sessions for normalizing bladder and uterus function and safeguarding for future pregnancy.




·        Asparagus, green beans, carrots (especially carrot seeds), watercress, sweet potatoes, dandelion greens and green leafy vege's

·        Avoid brassicas such as cabbage, cauliflower & brocolli to prevent colic

·        Parsley, dill, fennel, fenugreek and sesame seed (sesame seeds are high in calcium too)

·        Oatmeal: one large bowl of oats each morning.

·        Lactogenic beverages include water, lactation teas, barley water, ginger ale, roasted dandelion

·        Lactogenic spices include marjoram, basil, anise, dill, caraway, turmeric

·        Barley grass or barley water: This “green food” can help to increase milk supply and make the breast milk creamier and more nutrient rich. Take in capsule form or make it using our simple recipe below.

·        Spirulina: A common supplement taken for many other purposes too, but for a breastfeeding mum it is for increasing both the breast milk supply and the fat content. Take two to three capsules daily.

·        Brewer’s yeast: Can help increase milk supply as well as introduce essential nutrients into the breast milk such as Vit B, Vit B12 and protein





Simmer 1 cup of Pearl Barley in 0.5L water for about two hours. Three teaspoons of fennel seeds can be added, and steep the mixture for 10 minutes

before drinking.


Bachelor Health Science in Trad. Chinese Medicine (UTS)

Bachelor Science Chemistry (UWA)

Grad Dip Education (UNE)

West Street Wellbeing