17 JanEssential Oils to Use While Breastfeeding

Essential oils seem to be everywhere lately, right? As a Lactation Consultant and an Aromaterapist I get questions almost weekly about what oils are safe to use while nursing since there seems to be so much contradictory information out there.

So, let’s keep this as simple as we can okay?

The number one oil you want to use caution with while breastfeeding is peppermint. Some women don’t see a huge drop in their milk supply when it is used but, many do. This includes ingesting peppermint as well as applying topically or even diffusing it.

Now, let’s move on to the fun stuff- how you can use essential oils while breastfeeding! First rule is that I don’t suggest putting oils directly onto your nipples because this can cause nipple aversion for baby if they don’t enjoy the taste or if the smell is just a little too strong. The only caveat is when you are treating cracked nipples, in which case you will want to gently wipe off your nipples before feeding.

Second rule I have is to always dilute your essential oils before using them. Why? Because they are powerful! Women’s bodies often react differently during pregnancy, postpartum, and lactation than they do normally. I always prefer to err on the side of caution during these times, because who wants to deal with a skin reaction when they are also dealing with something like cracked nipples, right?

With that said, some of my favorite oils to use to increase milk supply are clary sage, fennel (do not use longer than 10 days at a time), basil, and geranium. You can use any of these along with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, almond oil, or olive oil.

More Milk Blend
2 drops fennel
4 drops of clary sage
add to 10ml roller bottle
fill to top with fractionated coconut oil
Apply to breast excluding nipple area after nursing (to encourage milk flow for next feeding)

Essential oils are also helpful when you experience cracked nipples. Of course, the cause for the cracked nipples should always be addressed as well (oftentimes a bad latch is to blame). Just put a teaspoon or so of olive oil in your palm and add a drop of lavender essential oil, rub palms together to mix and add a little warmth, and apply to nipple area after a feeding.

Mastitis Blend
10 drops Melaleuca
10 drops Lavender
5 drops Roman Chamomile
Mix with 2 tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil
Massage from armpits toward the nipple area

I think that relaxation and comfort are also a huge factor in successful breastfeeding, so don’t forget to implement some relaxing self-care routines during postpartum. One of my favorites for new moms is a relaxing bath. Make sure you close any windows and doors (anything that could cause a chill). Start filling the bath with warm water and apply 4-6 drops of lavender or wild orange (or both) essential oil to the walls of the shower/bathtub. You will experience the oils diffusing into the air because of the warmth of the room, and it’s heavenly! When my little guy was just a week old I did this and brought him into the bath will me. I just supported his little head and let his body float in the water and he seemed like the most relaxed baby on the planet, it was such a great relaxing bonding time for us both. Give it a try; I am sure you will find similar results!

Essential oils, when used properly can greatly enhance the breastfeeding and overall postpartum experience. So, give it a try! Integrate these powerful little drops into your life today.

written By April Kurtyka, IBCLC, Aromatherapist

April has had the joy of helping hundreds of new families in the past 13 years that she has been in the birthing field. April has worked as a prenatal educator and IBCLC (Lactation Consultant); she now focuses her time on placenta encapsulation, aromatherapy, and her 3 beautiful children. If you have questions or need help finding the highest quality essential oils please visit www.ApriltheAromatherapist.com  or email April at ApriltheAromatherapist@gmail.com.

Copyright© 2015 Danielle Gauss,IBCLC – JustBreastFeeding.com. All Rights Reserved

06 SepHomeopathic Treatment of Plugged Ducts and Mastitis by Dr. Melinda Fischer

Plugged ducts and mastitis are never fun, for any breastfeeding mother, especially if this is a chronic problem. Constantly having to rely on medications and antibiotics can be hard on your body, and the baby’s body as well. Here is a guest post from the fabulous  award winning Homeopath Dr. Melinda Fischer on alternative treatment through the use of homeopathic medicine that you can purchase from and whole foods stores. Enjoy!


Breastfeeding should be easy right?? Well if your like many new moms who suddenly start having pain you know that isn’t always the case. The first signs of trouble are soreness (not from inexperienced latching) and maybe even a lump. This is the beginning of a blocked duct which if left untreated can move into the more serious problem of a breast infection which is called mastitis. Symptoms of mastitis are very similar to the flu- achy, fever but with usually an added component of pain in the breast, lumps and even engorgement.

Note: Nursing mothers can take Silicea 6X cell salts daily (not homeopathic remedy), to prevent recurring mastitis

I’ve starred the most common remedies and put them first a­nd bolded the symptoms that are most important when deciding between them. The remedies should work within a short amount of time. If the pain is not resolved within 24 hours then it’s time to call a Homeopath.

*Belladonna: Use this remedy if there is a sudden onset with rapidly rising fever. This is not a remedy that takes days to manifest. The breast is hot to touch, engorged, swollen, congested — red, hot breast. Throbbing pain in the breasts. The pain is worse from jarring. The right side is often more affected. The breast may have red streaks like sun rays extending out from the nipple

*Hepar Sulph: the breasts are very prone to abscess. Extreme sensitivity to the least touch; mothers can’t stand for the baby to nurse. Complaints are worse from cold and exposure to the least draft, and better from warmth. Person feels chilly. This is a good remedy when there just isn’t a lot of distinguishing symptoms.

*Phytolacca:This is the most common remedy for about 50% of mastitis & blocked duct cases.Breasts become lumpy, with hard knots or nodules, the nipples cake. Sore, fissured nipples. *Intense pain in the breast as soon as the baby takes hold of the nipple. The pain often extends to the underarm or it can *radiate over the whole body. Affects more often the *right breast. Damp heat relieves, such as local poultices. Some patients may have flu-like symptoms as well.

If the others don’t work: 

Arnica: Use this remedy if the inflammation follows an injury to the breast. Patients feel sore, bruised, and achy. There is fear to have the part touched.

Bryonia: flu like symptoms with general chills and fever, stitching pains in the breast and headache. The breast feels *hard and stony with stitching, needle-like pains. *Any movement aggravates the pain. Usually the breast are not red as in Belladonna. The patient will be quite irritable. Very frequently the patient will experience dizziness or faintness on rising from bed. There is strong thirst and not infrequently constipation.

Croton tiglium: This remedy hasexcruciating pain in the nipple which extends straight through to the back (at the level of the shoulder) with each suck of the baby. The breasts are very inflamed, swollen, and hard. The nipples may crack.

Lac-canium: hypersensitivity to even the *slightest touch of clothing on the breasts; jarring also aggravates.

Mercurius: *fever, chills, and perspiration without relief; the patient alternates between hot and cold, uncovering and covering.

For dosing start with 30C, two to three times a day, until improvement sets in; then observe progress without taking further remedy as long as improvement continues. Repeat the remedy for apparent relapse. If the 30C potency of a given remedy acts well, but later ceases to help and the symptoms remain similar to previously, go up in potency to 200C. Do NOT take more than one day of repeated doses of a 200C remedy without professional help. Again, if this isn’t resolved in 24 hours it’s probably time to get professional help.

Tips to help prevent blocked ducts and mastitis:

Check bra isn’t cutting in and causing blocked duct. Go braless

  • rest more
  • apply hot and cold compress alternately on sore breast. Every 2-4 hours for 5-10 minutes
  • increase fluid intake
  • breastfeed more often and position baby in variety of directions
  • massage breast as baby feeds (especially at let down- prickly sensation) Massage from hight point to nipple
  • use breast pump if baby isn’t feeding much and breast are engorged
  • position baby’s nose pointing in direction of blocked duct. So if blocked duct is left lower, feed with baby’s nose facing left lower.
  • breastfeed from affected side first to clear and then alternate
  • Don’t stop breastfeeding!

**Caution – I have seen many articles by well meaning, though not professional people, referencing the use of Homeopathic Sulphur for mastitis and I just want to comment that Sulphur is deep and long acting and really should be used with professional help.


Dr.Fischer has been in practice since 2005 after receiving her degrees in homeopathy with the British Institute of Homeopathy, double majoring in veterinary and human homeopathy. I started specializing in pediatrics shortly after I opened my practice and continue to find great joy in helping little people be healthy and happy. She is the proud wife and mother of two succesfully breastfed boys. For more information or to schedule your online homeopathic consult: feel free to contact her: pediatrichomeopathy@gmail.com

Copyright© 2014 Danielle Gauss,IBCLC – JustBreastFeeding.com. All Rights Reserved

20 JulWhen Your Breastfed Baby WON’T Take A Bottle

One of the most frustrating things for a new mother who is getting ready to go back to work, or those who stay at home but simply want a break, is that of a baby who simply will not take a bottle. Most mothers have the opposite problem, the baby wants to ONLY take the bottle and not the breast.  However, you would be surprised how many babies there are that simply refuse any bottle, of any kind. Now you may think that is flattering, after all your baby adores you so much that he/she wants nothing else but the comfort of your breast. I agree this is beautiful, and makes mom feel like a million bucks….most of the time, but even she needs to have a moment to breathe.

All new moms agree, that although breastfeeding is a natural, beautiful thing, sometimes momma just wants a moment to herself, something that you ABSOLUTELY deserve! Motherhood is great, but you need your alone time too, and  a little private time with your partner as well. Date night? What is that???  I remember being a new mom and the thought of heading out to the store for one whole glorious hour seemed like heaven…even if it was just to CVS. But, if you have a baby that absolutely refuses to take a bottle…this is super stressful. You feel stuck, trapped, and sometimes alone.

If you are getting ready to go back to work, the stress of a baby not taking a bottle sky rockets, after all you are on a time crunch, and baby just isn’t having it! Stress is the worst think for your milk supply as our stress hormone cortisol is the mortal enemy to oxytocin, the hormone responsible for making milk. Stress levels rise, our milk supply hits it’s demise….so lets avoid that shall we? Here are some great tips to help your little bundle of joy, take that first bottle!!

Step 1:  FINDING THE RIGHT BOTTLE:  This could be an expensive trial by error scenario. However, you want to find the bottle that is going to be most similar to the breast. Babies are more “flow oriented” then “nipple confused”. So you want to get a wide mouth bottle. The brands I usually recommend are Tommy Tippy, Playtex nurser, Como Tomo, Advent, Kinde, Breastflow, just to name a few. It doesn’t really matter which bottle, just as long as it is a silicone, wide mouthed bottle, with a slow flow. Start with one, offer it several times in a row, if it doesn’t work then move on to the next.

Step2: It needs to be someone OTHER THEN MOM that gives that first bottle. If mom is the one to offer the bottle, the little one is going to smell the milk on mom and want the “breastaurant” vs. a bottle. So have dad, grandma, auntie, anyone else that is not mom give that first bottle. This is an excellent time for momma to leave the room, go get a pedicure, or hey even take that much needed and desired shower. Not to mention this is a great time for dad or grandma to bond :) Regardless…mom needs to leave. If the baby can smell her or see her, he won’t want to participate as easily.

Step 3: Make sure you are feeding the baby in the breastfeeding friendly way to bottle feed position. For instructions on how to do that, visit my article: “The Breastfeeding Friendly Way to Bottlefeed”

Step4: If baby is being really stubborn, try wrapping one of mom’s shirts or nightgowns, that she just recently wore, around the bottle. This will have momma’s scent on it, and may encourage the baby to feed.

Step 5: WHITE NOISE:  This is one of the best inventions ever. I call it my magic wand. There are many white noise machines and apps out there, I usually recommend “The Sound Sleeper app” as it is free. For those of you who are less tech savey, a good old fashion blow dryer, vacuum cleaner, static of the TV or radio, anything really, but it must be loud and near the baby. This will calm the baby neurologically, allowing them to eat more peacefully.

Step 6:PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!!!  This isn’t going to be the most smooth transition, so the key is that you be patient and consistent. I promise you, your baby is not going to starve himself. Yes he will protest, and will probably go hours on end without feeding, but I am telling you eventually the kid will eat. Babies are smart, and stubborn, but they aren’t self destructive. Sooner or later your little one will eat. It just takes time and patience.

Step 7. CONSISTENCY!  You have to be consistent.  Try offering the bottle every hour, or every 30 min, for at least 5 minutes or so. If they baby screams, and fights, stop, wait, and try again in 30 min. You don’t want this to be a huge struggle ( I know, I know, it already is) but we want this to be a positive thing. When you first start introducing the bottle (usually around 3-4 weeks) I recommend that it is in place of one feeding, and be consistent with that particular feed. For example every day the 5pm feeding is a bottle. This way the baby is in a routine, which babies need. Kids of all ages strive on routine.

Right now it may seem overwhelming for you, but if you stick with it, your little one will eventually relax into his/her new routine. Now that the baby is taking a bottle, make sure that you are keeping up with your milk supply by remembering to pump in place of. When you go back to work, make sure you pump every 2-3 hours, both breasts preferable at the same time, with an electric pump, for 15 minutes.

Hopefully this will give you a little bit more freedom to return back to normalcy. Hang in there mom and dad, it gets easier, and you are doing a wonderful job!

Copyright© 2014 Danielle Gauss,IBCLC – JustBreastFeeding.com. All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2015 JustBreastFeeding.com. All Rights Reserved.