Hi. My name is Michelle. I’m a single full-time working momma of two, a three-year-old going on thirteen and a five-month-old. I’m currently nursing my five-month-old and have recently been battling allergies. Being this is my second time around. Reading every article I could, I’ve come up with a couple of tips for us nursing mommas with allergies!
When you’re nursing and you have allergies, you can’t simply go to your favorite allergy pill for relief as their primary role is to dry inflamed mucus ducts in your system. One of the ducts that can be dried up in conjunction with the others is the milk ducts responsible for supplying breast milk. So what’s a nursing mom to do to function?
Breastmilk and Allergies
Let us talk about how important breastmilk is in our babies’ lives and how it can fight allergies at the same time. As a nursing mom with allergies, it is difficult to figure out how I can deliver milk to my children. To think that there might be the possibility of passing this to them. According to studies, it is okay to breastfeed while you are having an allergy since it is not passed through that. However, there are rare cases showing that babies can get the allergy through cow’s milk from the mother’s diet.
Breastmilk is very important to a child’s development since it has a lot of nutrients that are needed for strong immunity. It possesses the 5 antibodies that the body needs to stay healthy and avoid allergies as well. These 5 antibodies are Immunoglobulins A, D, G, M, and IgE. The research said that antibodies from breast milk may help in preventing or reducing some allergy types. And that includes babies with a family that has an allergy history.
Some evidence shows that 4 months of exclusive breastfeeding may provide protection against particular allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis. The first breast milk, colostrum, has high levels of antibodies that fight infections and illnesses. It is great to know too that they can fight allergies. As our kids grow up, these antibodies never fade even if they stop being breastfed. It is already part of their immune system. Glad to know that my little ones got the most essential nutrients they need from my breastmilk.
What I did to combat allergies and produce more milk
Well… I’m already drinking mother’s milk tea to help increase milk supply. So I add a tablespoon of raw organic local honey to sweeten the flavor (make it more tolerable and tasteless like black licorice). Local honey has so many health benefits including allergy relief!
Honeybees collect pollen from blooms that are the primary source for those pesky allergens that are wreaking havoc on your mucus membranes. By ingesting local honey made from the pollen you’re surrounded by, you are able to combat those allergens! Good to know too that it goes without risk of drying up your milk supply!
Please be cautious not to get honey anywhere near the baby. Our little ones can not have honey until at least one year of age. It can cause botulism in babies if exposed and ingested. So, you can knock out a few momma problems in one. Increase your milk supply with mother’s milk tea as well as sweeten the taste and combat allergies with local raw organic honey.
What is Mother’s Milk Tea and its benefits?
To explain the benefits of this tea, Mother’s milk tea is a herbal tea that helps in increasing mothers’ milk supply to our babies. Fenugreek, a mother’s milk tea main component, boosts milk together with fennel, coriander, anise, and blessed thistle. These herbs are used traditionally as galactagogues or known as milk-making support.
According to some studies, fenugreek helps breastfeeding moms in increasing milk production. Drinking or sipping a few cups daily of Mother’s Milk tea can boost our body to make more milk. It can be drunk cold with ice, hot, and even mix some juices to lessen the bitter taste. You can find this at grocery stores and other drug stores nearby.
Just remember that this tea is meant to increase our milk supply and not to maintain it to our daily routine. Once our milk supply is enough to keep up with our baby’s needs, we may stop using it. Other moms say their milk supply has been sufficient even if they stopped drinking fenugreek. What a great way to stop nursing momma problems!
How about honey? As breastfeeding moms, what can we get from it?
Aside from the fact that it fights allergies, honey is a kind of food that gives a lot of nutrients to nursing moms. It is not just a healthy sweetener to our milk tea or other drinks. It is also good to be combined with cinnamon powder and milk. The combination of honey and cinnamon helps to stimulate and produce more milk to us mothers.
Other benefits of honey to breastfeeding moms are:
- It is healthier than sugar because it is a natural sweetener.
- It is a good remedy for sore throat and colds.
- Combining it with other food has better results. Ex. honey + milk = helps better sleep
- It provides more energy and stamina because of its high level of fructose and glucose.
- It boosts the immune system through its antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Try this sweet alternative and you will see the difference. If it worked for me, then maybe you can give it a try to see its positive results!
Try these good habits for better boosting of our milk supply
A lot of moms out there are wondering how to naturally increase their milk for their babies. I also do! We always think if we are making enough milk for them to help them grow healthy. Aside from what I did to keep my milk stimulated, here are other tips you might want to try. Below are some of the things we can do to keep sufficient milk supply and how to produce more.
1. Hydrate ourselves often.
Drinking eight 8 ounces glasses of water a day helps in keeping us moms moisturized and hydrated. It is very essential in producing our milk continuously. Besides, after each nursing, we really feel very thirsty so we need to drink a lot of water to feel hydrated.
2. Eat a healthy and balanced food diet.
When we breastfeed we feel hungry and thirsty most of the time. We must eat an additional 500 calories a day to sustain milk production and our strength too. Choose nutritious food that will keep us energized all the time. Protein-rich food such as oatmeal, eggs, flaxseed or brewer’s yeast to meals, and veggies are reported to boost supplies.
3. Drink vitamins.
American Academy of Pediatrics says that taking vitamins and minerals play a big role in breastfeeding mothers. These are calcium, vitamin d, folic acid, and iron. These help moms maintain their good health as well as help in milk production.
4. Nurse our baby frequently.
Sometimes first-time moms do not have milk readily available right after giving birth. But with continuous nursing, the flow of milk sufficiently feeds their babies. There’s no set time when we are going to breastfeed them. We always follow the demand and cues of our babies when they want to be fed. We would learn this routine through the nursing moments we have with our babies. Though it is not always applicable to working moms outside the home.
5. Feed our baby fully on each side.
When our breast is emptied of milk, our brain works to produce more milk again. So the more frequent we feed our baby, the more our breast produces milk. After emptying our breasts, the babies are likely to get the fatty hindmilk and foremilk from us. These are good for their development.
6. Try eating lactation cookies.
Cookies, even if they help in lactation or not, is still a great way to quench hunger. Having something to grab easily right after nursing is quite imperative. We may try to bake on our own and put all the necessary ingredients. These are the brewer’s yeast, oats, and flaxseeds. They help in multiplying our milk.
7. Make use of a breast pump.
Working moms away from home need this to empty their milk. This is to keep our milk still ready for our baby when we get home. It is useful too for those babies that feed only on one side of the breasts. This method, however, does not increase more milk further so it is still best to feed the babies directly once we are home.
Eat lactogenic food for stimulating lactation
These galactagogues foods help in stimulating lactation aside from the above-mentioned ways of boosting milk glands.
- Fennel – Phytoestrogens can be seen in fennel and fennel seeds. This helps in stimulating lactation. Aside from this good benefit, fennel seeds are good too in easing indigestion and stomach ache. You may add them to salads or side dishes and sip on fennel tea.
- Oats – Plant estrogen is present in oats and is known to help in the stimulation of our milk glands. Beta-glucan is the fiber in oats that increase prolactin levels in the bloodstream. Prolactin is a hormone that aids in producing milk. Try making oatmeal cookies or muffins and also porridge for a good snack to boost your milk supply.
- Garlic – This has been praised for years by being galactagogue and is well-known for its good benefits in health. It is believed that babies can latch on and can breastfeed continuously if they would like the taste of garlic on breastmilk.
- Dark leafy vegetables – These are composed of alfalfa, beet leaves, collard greens, kale, spinach, and broccoli. They are known as power-packed nutrients and phytoestrogens that support lactation traditionally. They are known to provide minerals, iron, and calcium that are essential for maintaining your immune system.
- Sesame seeds – These seeds contain estrogen properties and are high in calcium, which is good for increasing our milk supply. They can be eaten whole or can be mixed with salads.
- Flax seeds – It has the same estrogenic properties as the others that we mentioned. It works better when eaten whole than the ground powder type. Flaxseeds oil promotes a child’s brain development and produces healthy fats for healthy breast milk. They may be sprinkled on our salads and cereals.
Natural ways we can try to knock off allergies while nursing
An allergy attack is irritating and when it turns out bad, your breathing might also be affected. Some worse cases are fatal. For mothers who are nursing their babies, it would be good to try first the natural way. We know that medicines or allergy pills can dry up our milk. We would not choose them if we do have other alternatives, right? Here are some of the natural ways we can try on.
Cold and head congestion natural treatment
- Use a natural saline spray – Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda and 3 teaspoons of non-iodized salt. In 8 ounces of distilled water, boiled, or sterile water, mix a teaspoon of the non-iodized salt mixture. Use a plastic squirt bottle, a bulb syringe, and a Neti pot to do the nasal spray
- Steam inhalation – Heat apple cider vinegar in a pan at about 2 inches in height until steams come out. Inhale the vapor repeatedly. Add a little water if it is too strong.
- Use essential oils – You may put a drop or two of eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil on your handkerchief or cotton ball. Breathe deeply while holding it near your nose. (CAUTION: Avoid peppermint oil near the breast as your baby might ingest it. Do not apply to babies’ sensitive skin as it may cause difficulty in breathing. Avoid putting oil in the nose because it can cause swelling.)
- Cayenne pepper – You can put it in a glass of water at about a quarter teaspoon or sprinkle them over the food.
- Drink fenugreek tea
Chest congestion natural treatment
- Treatment through anise steam – Add 3 teaspoons of dried anise to a pot of boiled water. Put a bath towel over your head and start inhaling the steam deeply for 5 minutes. You can do it three times a day to clear congested chest.
- Drink fenugreek tea
Treating itchy, sore throat, and cough
- Take 2 tea bags per cup of strong black tea
- Mix honey and hot lemonade to be sipped throughout the day
- Gargle the mixture of 8 ounces warm water and 1 tablespoon of salt many times a day
- Gargle the mixture of a glass of water and 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Chamomile tea gargle
Hives natural treatment
- Applying cold compress – As long as the hives are not because of cold temperature, then this will do for the itch. This will stop additional histamine (a tissue released compound and the response to allergy) release.
- Use baking soda – It has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation and itching of the skin. It is traditionally known as a cleaner and a soother.
- Apple cider vinegar – It regulates the immune system response and has antihistamine properties that eliminate inflammation.
- Herbs in the kitchen – Many kitchen herbs such as ginger, basil, and turmeric can help in inflammatory reduction.
Above all these tips, it is best to consult with your pediatrician or lactation consultant about your concerns. If you are having struggles with milk supply, they can point out where it came from. They could give instructions as well as other solutions to ensure your child gets the best nutrition. This way other nursing momma problems would be solved.
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There are a lot of nursing momma problems like us that have allergies. But giving our baby the best nutrition is what we will always aim for, right? We would always conquer this disease and find ways that suit us to be able to breastfeed. Breast milk provides the ideal and almost perfect nutrition for our babies. As moms, our only goal for our kids is to keep them healthy and safe. I guess every mom would agree if I say that our children may grow and get old but that feeling would never fade.
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Stay tuned for the turnout of your favorite insurance agents’ nursing and parenting adventures!