Herbs to Increase Mothers Milk for Premature Baby
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Melanie
Posted on: February 02, 2005

My daughter recently gave birth to a baby boy who was only 24 weeks at time of birth and weight only 1 lbs and 10-1/2 ounces. She wanted to breastfeed the baby, so we started her on an industrial breastfeeding pump. Her milk came in slowly, and than it increased for a while. However, now she seems to get less and less milk. I read through some of your answers on how to increase the breast milk. The baby is of course having problems with the development of his lungs. And because of the many blood tests (at least 6 times a day) that they perform, he also gets blood transfusions. His brain is not quite developed yet, and he is on a ventilator, heart monitor, and several other machines. However he is doing fine, and has been feeding only of my daughter’s breast milk that they give him through a feeding tube. He is now 3 weeks old and weight in at 2 lbs and 3 1/2 ounces yesterday. He does get supplemental calories from the hospital. My question is: If my daughter starts taking all these herbs to increase her breast milk, will that not effect the breast milk? And will they or can they be harmful for this baby since he is so little and still has a lot of growing to do. And if it does affect the breast milk and therefore also the baby, is there anything extra she can take that is safe for the baby to help him in the development of his lungs or the total development of his organs and body? I hope to hear from you soon.

Yes, the constituents of herbs do enter the breast milk. The herbs that are normally recommended by herbalists to increase the supply of breast milk are considered safe for baby. I have not heard of any concerns regarding the use of these herbs in premature births.

Non herbal ways of increasing the milk supply include expressing the mother’s milk more often, and including lots of dark leafy greens or a greens supplement in the diet.

I recommend that you contact the La Leche League (www.lalecheleague.org) for more information on increasing your daughter’s milk supply, and for any information they may have on mother’s nutrition that can help with the development of a premature baby.

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