Sarah Harris N.D.
Specialist Naturopath – Holistic Nutritionist – Herbalist – Homoeopath – Remedial Therapist
World Breastfeeding Week is from Tuesday 1st August – Monday 7th August 2023.
This global campaign aims to raise awareness about breastfeeding and its advantages.
As per the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), the theme for this year is, ‘Enabling breastfeeding: making a difference for working parents.’(1)
If in your situation breastfeeding may not be possible or practical, then as they say ‘a fed baby is best!’.
If you are or plan to breastfeed, below is some guidance on how you can enable yourself and your child to obtain the most out of your breastfeeding experience.
- Nourish yourself best with food, fluid, sleep, and rest to optimise nutrition for your baby. Your breastmilk is only as good as how you nourish yourself. Balanced breastmilk, and therefore balanced Mum and Bub comes from balanced meals. This requires the presence of protein, complex carbohydrates and favourable fats on your plate and fluids in between your meals. Diet can also affect our metabolic health which may in turn affect milk supply.
- Build components of your breastmilk to help your baby’s gut develop optimally to absorb nutrients effectively. What we eat can affect milk quality in subtle ways and in some cases can affect the quantity of milk. Research is showing that a number of nutrients are important for optimal milk production such as protein, zinc, fibre, calcium, and iron. Food sources are supportive for gut healing and resolving deficiencies; targeted nutritional supplementation may also be required.
- Support your baby’s immunity with antibodies in your breast milk that help to protect your baby, this has even greater significance if your bub was born via C-section. Research has shown that probiotics populate the infant gut, enhance microbiome development, support immune function and promote gut health. These strains have also been shown to reduce the incidence of infantile and childhood eczema, upper respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, ear infections, antibiotics prescriptions and antibiotic-related side effects.
- Optimise milk supply with individualised strategies that address the many reasons why challenges exist. Seek support for:
- Mental, emotional and physical stress
- Poor breastfeeding skills
- Post birth issues
- Breast health concerns (i.e. blocked ducts, engorgement, low or high milk flow, mastitis, abscesses, cracked nipples, pain)
- Hormonal or endocrine problems
- Specific nutritional deficiencies
- Medications and their impact on breastfeeding
- Naturally encourage uterus contraction, postnatal weight loss and address any other Mum-specific conditions. This could be achieved using our Post Natal Health Assessment (including Blood Test review).
As a Paediatric Naturopath and mother of 3 breastfed babies, I understand the challenges that breastfeeding may present.
I want you to feel heard and supported regarding post-partum issues; your fears, your stressors, your mood, breastfeeding difficulties, and any situation where your expectations were not met.
Let’s ensure you have the best opportunity to give you and your baby the love, food, contact and security that breastfeeding provides.
For more information on how Naturopathy can assist with your breastfeeding journey or to make an appointment please call our reception team on 03 5221 8220.
Yours in good health,
- Australian Breastfeeding Association https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/world-breastfeeding-week-2023