Are you a new or expecting mom looking for support on your breastfeeding journey? Confused about all of the misinformation out there and not sure what is going to work best for you and your baby? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki share the science behind “nature’s perfect food” including the benefits for both baby and momma, tips for establishing the breastfeeding relationship as well as troubleshooting common issues experienced by new moms.

In this episode, Ali and Becki discuss the nutritional composition of breast milk, the benefits beyond caloric burn for new moms and how stress can influence the breastfeeding relationship. From use of nipple alternatives to mastitis to how to balance pumping and direct feeding for the working mom, breastfeeding can be a juggling act. This episode will provide solutions to common breastfeeding problems as well as delve into cutting edge research about the benefits of breastfeeding and discuss foods and supplements that can optimize milk production for baby’s first months of life!

Also In This Episode:


Welcome to the Naturally Nourished podcast, that delivers cutting edge food as medicine solutions for optimum health. Ali Miller is a nutrition expert sought out by the media and America’s top medical institutes for her revolutionary functional medicine interventions. From disease treatment to prevention, every episode will empower you with ways to put yourself back in control of your health. Please note, the topics discussed are for educational purposes only. Now welcome integrative dietitians Ali Miller and her co-host Becki Yoo.


A: Welcome to the Naturally Nourished podcast. You care joining us at episode 55 and today we are talking all about breastfeeding. Ali here along with Becki.


B: Hey guys.


A: And we are so excited to share tips on ways to support your body while breastfeeding as well as ways to support healthy production and a healthy relationships with you and your baby.


B: And this is all totally new territory for me so it’ll be really interesting to hear your perspective, Ali, especially now that Stella has weaned. We just really want to catch all of this information while it’s fresh.


A: I know it’s flying by, it’s so crazy


B: Yeah. So let’s start from the beginning. First let’s talk about some of the benefits of breastfeeding for baby.


A: Sure so I mean I have a blog I think called Nature’s perfect food in reference to breast milk because it really is, it’s’ the perfect blend of nutrition for the baby as far as macro and micro nutrients go, and beyond this, there are distinct bioactive molecules so these are immunoglobulins and different compounds that Mama makes for Baby to protect against infection and inflammation as well as we’re learning about bioactive compounds that support organ development and even colonize the gut with good bacteria there’s live viable probiotics and so, from elements like lactoferrin and the immunoglobulins and what are called HMOs or human milk oligosaccharides which we’ll speak to in a moment, and the probacteria, there are so many viable delicate and specific compounds that are found in breast milk that can really create nature’s perfect food.


B: And we’ll get in to each of these as a separate nutritional focus, but first let’s also touch just on benefits for mom.


A: Yeah well definitely I think the first one that people think of is the metabolic shift. You tend to burn an additional 500-800 calories a day while active breastfeeding and so this is the best way for sure to support losing that baby weight so that’s a big plus 1 for Mamas and I think that’s one of the big driving elements. But more importantly, t can really help with hormonal rebound especially in those first 3 days and then even the first 4-6 weeks, there’s a huge influence because prolactin which is stimulated by the sucking by baby, actually helps to balance out our estrogen progesterone, it also helps to play a big role with our uterus and so there’s a connection with oxytocin which is also made by the pituitary in the brain and oxytocin plays a big role with enlarging the milk ducts and so this is a big element of actually allowing the milk ejection or release form the nipple and so this does have a feel good bliss reward which can help to prevent postpartum depression and oxytocin, again, is also just like prolactin kind of simulated by sucking but oxytocin is more related to the release from the duct but oxytocin also has been shown to support shrinking the uterus so the uterus really gets quite enlarged during that last trimester to inhabit the baby growing baby, of course, and the oxytocin plays a role in the contraction.


This is why breastfeeding or, like, if you’re really late at 41-42 weeks and looking to stimulate your labor, often what will be recommended is nipple stimulation and that’s that oxytocin connection because that can actually help to create contraction but even post partum that contraction is what helps to bring your uterus back to size which is going to help with reducing excessive bleeding after childbirth also will help with the hormonal rebound and just make you feel balanced in your body again, feel a little bit tighter in that region where we tend to feel a lot of dynamic tissue distress. So there’s the hormonal element of prolactin and oxytocin and how that influences the uterus, but then there’s also a reset on our progesterone to estrogen relationship and our sexual hormone balance. And then it goes without being said that there’s a huge connection with the bonding and this is the emotional spiritual, which in itself focuses the hormonal piece too but we do see that there’s a stronger innate connection or bond with breastfeeding Mamas.


B: So starting that breastfeeding relationship is really important let’s talk about htat.


A: Yep so for me, I would encourage you guys to listen to my birth story which I think is- we can put in the show notes during my third trimester bu it’s and for those of you who aren’t familiar, I had planned a water birth and ended up having an emergency C-section, not my plan but not going to go into that today but even with that being said, Stella was in a full breach and it was a planned emergency C-section so I did have a little bit of time and one of my biggest recommendations as far as establishing healthy breastfeeding is ensuring that you have awareness and accessibility during your birth. And so when we’re talking about even a c-section, or a higher level medical intervention birth process, as much awareness as possible so to do instead of you know general anesthesia to do regional, and then I specifically requested that they used my non dominant arm for my IV so that I had my right arm free so that I could allow Stella that skin to skin contact and chest crawl which was another request to have immediate chest to chest so they actually did her Apgard testing which is testing for her viability oxygenation, and all of those things while she was on my chest and she got to do her natural crawl which is really a beautiful process and really helped me emotionally to cope with having the c-section to do as natural as I could of a process and during that kind of crawling to find the milk source if you will, being able to have that access of my right arm was really helpful so that I felt like I could support her and touch her and be connected with her right away.


B: Awesome and then let’s talk about more tips just for establishing latch at first, I guess.


A: Yes. I know how you’re like there are terms?


B: Yep.


A: Latch question mark. So the first one that I would say is relax Mamas, relax relax relax. So stress is the number 1 reducer of breastmilk production, and it can be this chicken and egg relationship with frustration so Mama’s frustrated because she has limited output and then she’s stressed because she has limited output and she has limited output because she’s stressed and it just goes on and on and on . So when you’re starting the feeding process, taking deep breaths and helping you to connect with your body, maybe reading or singing or humming before you expose your breast and go into a breastfeeding connecitno it will maybe take away form that anticipatory distress especially if you’ve been having difficulty with the latch because I can relate, I know all of the processes as a new Mama and how you’re like “it’s right there just take it” and of course what you don’t want to do is kind of wedge baby on.


Baby finding the source is going to be the best thing and so allowing relaxation prior is going to help a little bit with that letdown and you know, the baby will also feel a little bit less overwhelmed because if baby’s crying and you tense up and you’re stressed then you’re going to start lactating and then you’re squirting milk and the baby’s face and the baby’s freaking out and it‘s this total again vicious cycle and so relaxation is really key and that will also help baby to have a more controlled swallow and this is really the latch that kind of you were referencing Becki, the latch is how their mouth kind of engulfs the nipple and then the swallow is just as important and in order to really get a deep latch and so if the baby is stressed or having a difficult time really getting situated or positioned, again, rather than forcing their head like onto the nipple or juxtapositioning, you would want to allow that baby crawl and so what I mentioning again is allowing this skin to skin contact with baby on your chest and have the nipple like you could start even within 6 inches or within a foot, and it’s innate. Your baby will find the source, you can even play with a little bit of expression where you manually express a little bit of milk and put that on baby’s lip so they get that taste and they kind of have that awakening of sense of “oh this is the good stuff that I’m trying to find” and that all comes through first and foremost from relaxation and positioning and allowing baby to find the source.


B: Ok and then beyond stress influence and you know getting relaxed, are there other ways to figure out how to get a deep latch? Let’s talk about some of that.


A; yEs so a shallow or I call it the guppy feed can be so painful. That’s this like short, pursed lips kind of sucking like you think of sucking on a bottle. A deep latch you can help your baby once the baby’s found nipple by just kind of gently touching on baby’s chin with your fingertip and that’ll allow or encourage your baby to open their mouth deeper so again, you’re not like forcing but you’re kind of tapping on the chin this will allow a disengagement in the jawa and a little bit of a deeper opening. You can also help to place your hand behind your nipple and or grasps your breast to support more of a mouthful for babies so again a baby’s mouth is opening, kind of providing – especially if your nipples are flatter, and this is why some people tend to go to use of something like a nipple shield but I would definitely recommend first just trying skin to skin because that can creates some nipple confusion down the line. But basically trying to create a little bit more of a mouthful if you will for your baby and be mindful if your engorged so if your breasts are really dnes and like really engorged with milk, then that’s only going to allow a shallow latch because it’s like your breasts feel like literally like a basketball of firmness and so you can’t grab because it’s so dense. And so you may pump or manually express a little bit of milk, or try feeding after a hot shower which will allow some of that density and that engorgement to release and that’ll help baby to get a deeper latch but it really is this beautiful thing I would encourage for sure if you new mamas are listening and pregnant women, try to view a friend that’s breastfeeding and watch what that latch looks like or Youtube it, you literally, it’s a total different experience again that guppy feed is that like “sound” feed and the latch is that link gunk, gunk, gunk” and you can see these deep cheek swallows and like I said, that helps significantly to reduce the not only pain and inflammation to the nipple, but it helps to prevent thing sliek mastitis and infection and makes for a much more successful relationship and more nourishment for baby too.


B: This is all new territory like I said, that I’m learning so much already


A: What milk sprayed baby in the face?


B: I guess it happens. I’ve got enough, you know, friends with new babies that I’ve seen it, just haven’t experienced it myself.


A: Well I think you came over to my house what, like day 3, and we were out as soon as we could be and I remember Byron, Becki’s husband now, was like “woah woah woah” because I was just whipping it out. He’s like should I be in there” and I was like “Ah, you could just turn your head for a second” because at that point you’re just like “whatever I don’t want anything to block this baby from latching, baby’s hungry and we’re doing this thing.”


B: Yep.


A: So definitely get up in there with your girlfriends and observe because it can be a huge tip to know what you’re looking to achieve with a healthy deep latch.


B: Yeah and he’s used to it by now, we had 2 girlfriends that brought brand new babies over for dinner and we’re both like “hey is it cool if we just breastfeed at the table” and we’re like “yeah whatever.” So I think this one is a little bit controversial, but let’s talk about nipple alternative a  little bit and pacifiers and what your thoughts are here.


A: Yeah so I alluded to the nipple shield which absolutely if that’s where you’re at and then that’s your need and everyone has different anatomy so based on nipple shape, that could be a need and that could be an element of breastfeeding but as I mentioned it can create little bit of nipple confusion and that’s because the nipples on a pacifier or a bottle are perfect, you know, they’re symmetrical, they’re just perfect- they’re made in a factory. And so the body just is not like that and the concern is that it can create nipple confusion or create resistance of baby to bond with your nipples if there is this anticipation of the perfect synthetic nipple, if you will. So it can cause a little bit of protest of difficulty when feeding if introduced too early but, again, it’s all good, better, best Mamas if you’re someone that needs to incorporate pumped milk in a bottle early on, that’s an ok thing and this whole idea is doing the steps that you can and nourishing and supporting your baby and nourishing and supporting yourself so there should be no shame in the game, but if possible, I do recommend holding off on nipple alternative s which would be botlels as well and pacifiers for the first 6 weeks.


B: Ok and then Ali you went back to work at 10 weeks so let’s talk about how you balanced pumping, direct feeding, and what some of your advice is for working moms.


A: Yeah so I think the biggest anxiety that we all get is that you know, we all anticipate and have probably hers, like I mentioned that first recommendation of stress as playing an influence to your milk production so we all think “oh crap we’re going back to work, we’re going to be all stressed, we’re going to dry up and our baby’s going to starve.” And so we all kind of get at least, I did , I got pretty obsessive about filling my freezer with reserves like I’d feel really accomplished when I’d get 2 4 oz bags pumped and right the day on with my sharpie and it’s just like “yeah I’m doing it” but I have found, and I definitely went in conversation with friends and clients, that you really want to be mindful of feeding your baby, not your freezer so you don’t want to over-pump because although that can give you that piece of mind of that liquid gold that you’re creating, you’re going to overproduce if you over-pump and that can then lead to clogged ducts and that can lead to mastitis and the whole vicious cycle and then also be mindful that your baby is the best calibrator for what you need to produce so basically the rule of thumb should be for every bottle baby takes, you pump that equivalent so for instance, and then you can allow for as much direct breastfeeding as possible.


So for instance, I would feed Stella at rise, and then I would feed her 1 more tim and then I’d go to work and she would get 1, she would actually make it that whole 4 hour block and then she’s meeting me at the office and I was fortunate enough, this is not a common I understand scenario, but Brady was able to bring Stella to the office soi was able to do a direct feed again so that  was 3 direct feeds had then I would do a 3 o’clock or 3:30 or 4 o’clock pump and he would give a bottle at that time form the day prior, the stores, and then I’d come home and I’d feed direct at 6:30 sometimes if I had to work late or had a function there’d be one more bottle and if I missed pumping at that time I’d come home pretty engorged and uncomfortable and I’d hope that Stella was ready to feed and I’d pump one more time in the evening as Stella was feeding.


Regardless though you kind of want to equivalate the amount of bottles provided that that’s the number of times you pump and be mindful if you’re producing like on some days if I would produce 8 oz and she’d only take a 4 oz bottle, well I’d just pumped 3 bottles worth so you kind of want to allow your body to recalibrate based on baby’s demand versus filling that freezer and it’s really important because not only will you prevent overproduction and engorgement, you’re also going to keep your milk the most nourishing and the most relevant to the direct needs of baby and that’s a really cool thing I think we’ll talk about in a moment is how your breast milk adapts to baby’s needs and so the more direct feeding, the more saliva that your body takes in, and then manufactures the good stuff that your baby needs in that moment,


B: Ok so feed the baby, not the freezer, I like that.

A: Yeah.


B: So let’s talk a little bit about mastitis and clogged ducts because I know this is a huge deterrent from breastfeeding or reason that a lot of new moms stop.


A: Yeah you know and even as we are weaning, whether it’s at a year or whatnot I mean most of the time, when I when Stella really was done she was like “I’m good Mama” but anyway when she weaned I didn’t deal with it because my production had slowed down but if you have high production and low output, there’s going to be engorgement and the concern is that with the engorgement that the ducts get clogged and then we start to get infection based on bacteria changes and such. And so a couple of things that I recommend. One is taking warm showers and so a warm shower daily and then massaging your breast tissue and wearing a supporting nursing bra that isn’t too tight or restrictive. I remember the only time I got close to clogged ducts was if I would wear like a Lulu top which doesn’t seem that restrictive but in the first couple of months it really was it was too compacted, it was kind of flattening my breasts and so like a sports bra top or anything that’s too tight, can cause that compaction and clogged ducts and so I remember also after every hot shower I would try to time it so it was time for Stella to feed because I would literally step out of the shower and be dripping milk all over the vacuum and I’d like be like “ok hand me that baby” and I’d have coconut oil, coconut milk would be really interestings, this just got really interesting, ok so I would always after the show apply the coconut oil direct to my nipples and this is even if I knew Stella was going to be latching soon and so she was introduced to coconut oiI think at like day 3 pretty much and so I would apply coconut oil because it has  natural antiviral and antimicrobial and antibacterial properties so it does hep to both protect nipples from cracking as a fatty acid but also prevents the mastitis as the natural antifungal components. So it helps to prevent infection. And then also just making sure that if you’re not showering, you’re definitely washing your breasts daily and applying the coconut oil and if you’re dealing with actually getting engorged, there’s a little solution that I’ll make sure I add to the show notes which is 1-2 teaspoons of sea salt in 6 oz of hot water and you soak a washcloth and you just kind of lean over the sink topless and you lean over the sink and squeeze the washcloth over your breasts and it allows a change in pH which helps with the cleansing property of course if there is any bacterial infection, and yes, the idea of salt on an open wound may not sound good, but it is very soothing actually and it really helps to prevent mastitis so that’s something that I definitely recommend and this is the time Mama’s when you’re going to want to give baby a bottle because you’ll look down at your nipples and be like “I don’t know this is safe” I don’t think my baby should be latching onto this. But know that breastfeeding is the number 1 solution to the problem, and that baby will be the best vehicle to remove any backiupor blockage and also that saliva connection with your nipple is going to help your body to make more immunoglobulins to fight the bacteria and rest and repair your body.


B: Ok so I think that’s very encouraging and also really cool that the body just responds like that. So let’s talk now about breast milk consumption. So I know colostrum is the first produced milk and that’s going to be really important in the initial couple days, so let’s talk about colosturm and its make-up and then let’s also talk about how milk changes and what the composition is.


A: Sure so colostrum is, has been I guess is the best way to say, acknowledged as an essential element to prevent failure to thrive or an essential element to promote Baby’s optimal nutrition by the medical field for decades and that’s because in the first 3 days or so, this form of breast milk produced is richer in fat, it’s richer in immunological or immunoglobulin compounds so I mentioned there’s some things that actually are in breastmilk higher even concentrated in colostrum that help to support lining the intestines for babies, so compounds like secretory IgA that help to prevent the concept of leaky gut so this helps Baby to be less sensitive to other food compounds and chemical compounds, right away inncoluting at day 1. Also the IgA can help with things like respiratory and all barriers, even your cell membranes in your skin barrier to prevent against invaders and prevent against things like eczema and dermatitis. So the IgA is really Baby’s inoculation of lining their immune system, and supporting that immunological response that will help them in years to come on a barrier-defense level. The colostrum is also going to be lower in lactose so lower in carbohydrates and it’s primarily trophic meaning that it’s primarily supportive of immune function and organ function versus nutritional composition. So it is- though nutritionally going to be highest in fat and then these immunoglobulins, it also has things like epidermal growth factor, which helps with all of our epidermal tissue, right?


So our tissue growth which helps with growth and development. It tends to be, this is kind of interesting, varied in levels of electrolytes so sodium chloride and magnesium are higher and than levels of potassium and calcium are lower in colostrum than in later milk, and this plays a big role with oru tight junctions and our epithelial lining of our gut. So, again, this whole concept of these chemical channel closings on the leaky gut, and that ratio really helps to support integrity of the GI tract or less inflammatory response which prevents inflammation and a decline with Baby. And then also down the line, this helps as the lactose concentration increases, the baby to be less sensitive and supports the lactase enzyme production which also becomes active in the breast milk so the breast milk has lactase enzyme with the lactose sugars and then baby’s gut is more set up with that epithelial support or the delicate tissue lining support to produce more of those brush border enzymes which induces the lactase. And other fun nerdy stuff on colostrum…  so the composition in general of mature milk is going to be somewhere between 3-5% fat, about 8-9% protein, and 6-7% carb, which is lactose and then it has a little bit of mineral influence. However even with that said, the protein concentration is going to be definitely higher in the colostrum than in mature milk because we’re really starting up that viability and thrive.


And then it starts to transition like I said about 3-5 days and then from 5 days to 2 weeks postpartum, we call that kind of transitional milk and then we go into the mature milk and  by 4-6 weeks postpartum we’re at the fully mature milk. But even with this being said and these distribution percents, we actually have seen really interesting research that it does vary based on Mama’s diet a little bit, the carb protein, and fat ratio of milk, but most babies are actually in some state of nutritional ketosis from actually a little bit of a higher fat to carb relationship and so I think that that’s a really interesting thing to consider especially when we we are speaking to the- What the Health? podcast rebuttal to the What the Health? Documentary, and the need of protein in the diet, the need of fat in the diet, and that carbohydrates are not the primary fuel source necessarily,.


A: Yeah that’s pretty amazing and you know, speaks so much to the need of brain developments as well.


A: Yeah absolutely.


B: So let’s’ get into talking a little bit more about the immune benefits. So let’s go back and can you explain what HMOs are and also what probiotics are present in breastmilk?


A: Yeah so you know we talked about those immunoglobulins and all the elements of basically setting up baby to prevent leaky gut and both with the channels locks of the electrolytes and that secretory IgA, btu what works further is we’re also innocluting Baby with good bacteria and then the food to keep that good bacteria viable, and so HMOs this stands for Human Milk Oligosaccharides and these are sugars basically or fermentable fibers, if you want to think of it that way, they’re prebiotics that range in length and they differ in composition to any other mammal, and although they don’t provide nutrition to the infant, they provide a huge quantitative to the milk and that plays a big role with working as a prebiotic to feed selectively the beneficial bacteria strains.


So the HMOs work as a defense barrier for bad bacteria overgrowth, they actually are recognized as the ability to bind pathogens and so they can actually bind bad bacteria if that tends to come into baby from their respiratory tract or form exposure from their mouth. God knows what your baby’s putting in their mouth all the  times when you’re at different places and so the HMOs actually can help the immune system by being like a decoy and working for receptors for pathogens and then binding these pathogens or bad bacteria strains to keep them away from the delicate intestinal surface of the baby, and then beyond that in a beneficial round, they also can feed the good strains and the primary strains we see is the lactobacillus caseIn reminisce and Bifidobacterium.


B: Awesome and then let’s talk about the Ultra Pro Baby Supplement real quick and you used that with Stella.


A: So yeah I did and one of my biggest concerns and, I mean, I had to mourn it for a day before just sucking it up and going forward, with the seacectio was that I was going to lose that vaginal inncolution and knowing the work that I do with children and teens and adults, that have inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune disease and knowing the research that correlates to the gut microbiome and the first exposure to supporting that biome is the baby being birthed through the vaginal canal and then secondarily, breastfeeding and so I was praying and hoping that breastfeeding would be ok and thank god it because that definitely set-up Stella for a successful immune system btu I also did do vaginal inoculation and so I also talk about this in the natural C-section episode that we’ll put in the show notes so we did where we used a non- sterilized piece of gauze and I inserted that vgiannly and then we used that to inoculate Stella by putting this on her mucus membranes, in her mouth, in her nose, in her ears, in her eyes, we’ll talk about the technique in that episode but that was one way for me to kind of get ahead as far as doing what I could to mimic that loss of bacterial inoculation, and then the other foreign insurance policy if you will, was to start her immediately on the Ultraflor Baby Probiotic and so this is a probiotic by Metagenics that I really like  as far as the strains that are included in it, and we started right away with the six drops and at 6, no at excuse me 9 weeks, we bumped her up to 10 drops, and now she’s still on that same formula at 16 months but we’re giving her 12 drops.


B: Got it and I’ll link to that product as well in oru show notes.


A: Awesome.

B: But beyond just the immune benefits, I know there are other unique properties in breast milk that formula just cannot come close to, let’s talk about the research on endocannabinoids.


A: Annicannaibanoids, yes. So this is super interesting and it connects on a viral immune inflammatory as well as a survival mechanism, so I guess first explaining what endocannabinoids are. Cell membranes in our body are equipped with these cannabinoid receptors and so they can be activated by varied nutritive substances so one we talked about is anandamide which is in beef, ok? So it has- and that’s why often if you have a big old ribeye I’m like salivating about to say it- if you have a  big old ribeye that anandamide binds to, the cannabinoid receptors and it allows this kind of bliss factor, if you will, ok? Well cannabinoids have tons of different properties so there are actual nutritive substances that can be an endocannabinoid compounds that can protect our cells against viruses as I mentioned as well as bad bacteria and cancer and other malignancies and this is the research that we’re seeing on like CBD in the medical marijuana movement.


But it’s interesting to note that human breast milk is an abundant source of endocannabinoids and it plays a big role, this type of neuromodulatory lipid in the breast milk, that teaches the newborn baby how to eat and it basically stimulates their suckling process. And so a couple of things it both helps, like I said, on a viral and cellular influence but it also helps them to maintain hunger and bliss factor so it gives them that feedback that this is the good stuff as far as breast milk is concerned, and that this stuff is going to make you feel good and also that this stuff, in a way, it’s kind of thinking of the munchies in a newborn, btu it teaches that baby that this is what they want and it triggers hunger response and we’ve seen in failure to thrive research that this is a proposed mechanism of action, that the endocannabinoids help to trigger hunger and that in turn, promotes growth and development. So we’ve actually seen that helping not only for getting a deep latch and sucking but the hunger and connection as well as actual oral and motor musculature there’ a property within the CB1 receptor type that’s been connected to supporting the oral motor musculature, the actual connection of that reflux of the sucking.


B: That’s pretty wild, of babies getting the munchies that’s my second takeaway.


A: Oh yeah, oh gosh Mama B, but what’s so interesting, as we opened with the concept of breastmilk being nature’s perfect food, it’s so interesting on how we can never out science nature, right? And so it’s like, you know, now formulas are starting to have a little bit of colostrum added to them some brands, some brands which they’re getting from dairy which isn’t raw, it’s a little bit pasteurized os orbalby not equivalent but they’re getting some of the building blocks that are needed. They’re actually starting to add prebiotics like inulin definitely works different than the HMOs but it‘s a prebiotic and then they’re starting to add probiotics to the formulas so it’s like, you know, big pharma is catching on to these things. I don’t know, maybe it’ll be 3 decades maybe it’ll be 6 decades but maybe eventually there will be a moderate amount of CBD in formula for babes.


B: Pretty wild. So let’s just go back real quick and talk about breastfeeding direct versus pumping because I know there was a question that I had there – you were talking about feeding the baby versus the freezer and how the milk- actually the composition is changing you know, based on baby.


A: Ok so this is so cool, so there was a study done called Changes in Immunomodulatory Constituents of Human Milk in Response to Acute Infection and I have it linked in this blog that I wrote on the nature’s perfect food and basically what it looked at was the milk produced by breastfeeding mothers would change in composition of the white blood cells which is your immune system’s natural army, the tumor necrosis factor alpha and then other imunomodulator or regulator sin response to infection of the baby so if baby was starting to get croup or upper respiratory distress or if Baby was having a pathogen in the gut, the proposed mechanism was that the nipple of the Mama actually vacuums the saliva of the infant, this is like so wild I like just geek out on this, so the nipple actually vacuums the saliva of the infant and the mother’s immune system then beep beep beep beep calculates, takes in the saliva, determines the need of baby and then adjusts and modulates the milk that’s produced and if needed produces a product that’s richer in immune supporting compounds to help to support baby’s immune system. Like so crazy,


B: That’s so totally wild and mild blowing in so many ways.

A: Bananas.


B: Yep. And now, so Ali let’s talk about moms who can’t breastfeed and what their best options are.


A: Yeah. So again, you know, that would be the idea going back to that saliva vacuuming of why like, you said Becki, feeding the freezer isn’t optimal because the freezer milk could be from 2 weeks prior a week prior and may not help baby immediate in that need and so what you’re producing ins very time specified which is very helpful to consider. But yes, if there are medications that Mom needs to take and can’t breastfeed and, you know, it has to be oxygen mask on Mama first especially when we’re talking about things like postpartum depression which is not talked about enough and I definitely would encourage listeners to listen to our postpartum podcast, I was to say that was like episode 46 but maybe not, and that talks a lot about supporting your body and your nutrition, and helping to support your body’s milk production in some ways but if you’re on a medication, if you can’t breastfeed, donor milk could be the first best option and so whether you have like a wet nurse or you work with Lela Leche, or other donor banks in your area, this would be the best because , again, there is just no way to mimic breastmilk for all of these reasons.  And then the second option as far as formulas are concerned because some people just aren’t comfortable with using another woman’s milk and or for whatever reason they’re not able to source it in their area, there is a formula called Full or Holly I’m not sure how you pronounce it but it’s Halle- but it’s an organic formula from Germany and it’s been the best one that I have found and when that’s the only option, I will work with that with a patient and if you guys are listening and have other ideas and want to share them I would love that so message me, shoot me a link and I’d be happy to review.


B: Yeah I recently stood in the formula aisle at Whole Foods just as a research project I guess, I don’t really know what I was doing there, but I read every single container and I really didn’t see anything that, you know, I guess good better best like you said, but anything that would be even close to, you know, catching any of the benefits that we talked about today.


A: Absolutely and so many, they all drive with some inflammatory compound in them, whether they’re a soy based formula or they still have soy lecithin and there’s, of course, just like anything, it’s a food like substance and so you can get a good, better, best approach but breast is always best for use.


B: I don’t think there was  a single one that was soy-free even at Whole Foods.


A: And oh, I will now I think, I can’t speak to the scenario for certain because it didn’t happen but let’s say I think that I would have played with and I didn’t have one client that did this, the West Innate Bryce Formula, so that uses raw milk but there is a different composition of goat and cow and human as far as carbohydrate chains, like sizes of milk sugars amounts of casein and all sorts of different things but they do have a good foundation and it’s pretty close they have like a fermented cod liver oil, egg yolk I believe, and all sorts of fun thing and then I will be getting on the blog soon a supplemental formula which would not replace an infant formula and I’ll state that very clearly, but as far as for weaning Mamas a nourishing, homemade beverage for Baby in a bottle if you desire to make but this would not be until 6-9 plus months out that you would use my formula. Btu the wton pryce formula I believe is suited for infant care. I can put a link to that.


B: Yeah I’ve definitely heard a lot about that so I’ll put that in the show notes. So let’s go back and just talk about, Ali, some things that we can do to enhance healthy milk production or if you will, make super milk.


A: Super Milk! Ok if it’s not super enough, I mean, hey girl. But, yes, so the first thing we look at is DHA, so this is a type of omega-3 and DHA plays a huge connection so EPA and DHA are the two more kinds of well-researched components of the omega 3 family and DHA is connected to fetal brain development and cognition really in general, so DHA we use with prevention of things like Alzheimer’s and also autism so all the way through any cognitive brain function. This is something that I recommend supplementing with throughout your entire pregnancy and I would recommend the EPA DHA Extra, which is our Naturally Nourished supplement line, doing one at breakfast and two at bed or two at dinner, however you prefer those last two to come in, and then just as you get closer to your birth, you especially if there’s a C-section, you’d want to be off of that for about 4- 5 days because it does have some blood thinning effect or you can reduce to just 1 a day for the last 2 weeks leading into your labor that’s what I recommend patients to do.


And then once you’re postpartum, bumping that back up to 3 a day but that’s going to pass through the milk to baby and make for sure some super milk to cognitive and brain development and then another thing to consider is a good quality multivitamin and so you could stay on your prenatal, my favorite prenatal our there is the Thorn Prenatal which is 3-a-day and that does have pretty high iron, it’s at 65 mg of iron a day, and so with postpartum you’re dealing with constipation, and you didn’t have a lot of bleed out and you’ve seen your hematocrit and hemoglobin, you’re not anemic your hemoglobin hematocrit are regular, then you could transition that and I’d recommend to recommend to our Multidefense With Iron.


The Multidefense is an antioxidant-rich, free radical scavenging multivitamin with all methylated forms of B vitamins so it has the methylcobalamin and methylfolate, all of the bioavailable forms of your vitamins and minerals and helps the prevention of any influence from like a reduction of methylation of those genetic influencers as well as gives us mineral density that’s a  really great foundation and it helps the production of more mineral rich milk and then I also recommend a probiotic. So you could start with the Naturally Nourished Baseline Restore Probiotic and if you’re having any GI distress, I for the first 6 months postpartum because my C-section, which you can hear about in that episode, it was quite gnarly, I was taking one of the Rebuild Spectrum Probiotics and then one of the Targeted Strength Probiotics every night for the first I think it was 6 months and then I still take those in rotation.  So if you’re dealing with constipation or distention and bloating, definitely want to bump up your repertoire of probiotics and you could definitely incorporate probiotic-rich foods


B: Awesome and I’ll link to all of those products in our show notes as well. And then let’s lastly talk here about hind milk.


A: Yes so hind milk is, you know, what is behind the milk though, I don’t know – 1 + 2 =3. So hind milk is that which is the kind of deepest back within the breast and it’s a kind of wive’s tale or I think poor advice, and my mom was a labor and delivery nurse and she would question me when I was breastfeeding like “don’t you want to rotate you don’t want to get compacted on the side, you should time and do 10 minutes on each breast” and I was on the school because of hind milk of “I’ll let Stella empty my breast” and when it’s empty it’s empty and I’m going to let her keep going at the right side if she’s on the right side because she has a latch and I think in the first 6 weeks it was painful every time she latched so it was like “she’s on I’m letting her lock and load” but it was also because hind milk is more energy dense, it has higher lipid content, that’s also an element that would drive Baby deeper into using more ketones or brain fuel versus glucose or blood sugar, which is going to reduce their insulin demand as well on their body.


So hind milk tends to be higher in fat, it also with it being higher in fat, helps to promote satiety and higher energy density so more growth and development, better long sleeping cycles, and it has been shown to in research support growth of premature infants and so often that’s that misnomer is the rotating to prevent mastitis you got to let baby empty breast, and then if you’re getting really compacted on the other side you can manually express a little bit.


I wouldn’t recommend full-on pumping otherwise you’re going to keep again, overproducing. So what I did is I would wear a hair tie on my wrist and because for the first like 2 weeks Brady and I kept a spiral where we literally I feel like we were like A Beautiful Mind that would tape the things on the wall with like our bloodshot eyes and no sleep it was like 9/17 right circle and then like 9/22 we would do the start and the end time of the feeds and the side of the- which breast she was on, and then we were also tracking bowel movements and urination and all the things and then eventually it just go to the point where I did the hair tie thing so basically if she was feeding on the right, I would put the hair tie on the left so I knew next time she would feed, I would start her on the left and then would switch to the right and so that worked really well for me, you can feel your breast but sometimes one is more prone to being engorged so you do want to rotate but you won’t want to rotate by the time, let your baby tell you when they’re done and let your baby empty your breast for the most nourishing milk.


B: And I like that hair tie trick because I’m sure new Mamas are really sleep deprived and it’s like “what the heck?”

A: Yeah I definitely had a couple of moments where I’d be like “my hair is so annoying but like I don’t think I could take this off my wrist I’ll have to figure out how to braid and tie my hair. So yeah, it was essential.


B: Alright so finally here let’s talk about some food as medicine tips for breastfeeding. So I know we covered a lot of this in the postpartum episode and that’s episode 46 that we’ve been referencing, but let’s’ just quick knock out a couple of food as medicine tips.


A: Yes ok so hydration is key, you have to always keep a water bottle by you. I recommend if you’re not drinking well, keep a water bottle with a straw a lot foyou if you did a hospital birth you get those big leter plus with the logo, cooler water bottles. Eventually please trade to stainless steel or glass but for the beginning a straw can really help when you’re just not feeling like moving around as much. Get that water in because the water is essential for creating milk. It’s a liquid so optimal hydration is the first thing. And then beyond that, protein and fat are essential to make nourishing milk and to help to keep you in rebound from the stress, the physiological stress of the birth process, so really looking at dense bites of foods, incorporating my grass-fed whey into smoothies and shakes will really help to keep your protein about that 80 grams a day, which is what I want you getting during your pregnancy but also postpartum. And then the fats like Nut Balls, grabbing nuts and seeds, homemade bars that you can send recipes to make from our cookbook our blog, all of these will help as far as these dense, quick grab and go items.


B: And then we’ve got some blog recipes that could be helpful too so like water infusion I’ll link to, and then bone broth as well would be really helpful.


A: Absolutely. Bone broth could be awesome because it’s going to help with electrolyte stability, it’ll help you relax, it’ll help restore your gut and it gives you collagen and gelatin and it helps to tighten up all that connective tissues Mamas, help with hair, nails and all of that regrowth so that’s a great one that I’d say daily I was sucking down 2 pints a day of bone broth for the first week postpartum and then another recipe that will definitely post for you guys is our lactation cookies, which feature a bunch of different ingredients that function as galactagogues so these are things that stimulate milk production and includes things like rolled oats, I think there’s nutritional yeast or brewer’s yeast in there. And then the oats also help with that. And then other foods in general, our leafy greens, like I said nuts and seeds so almonds, ginger, and garlic and chickpeas are another one so we can link our crunchy chickpeas from the blog that‘d be a great recipe to have just to kind of snack on and I think they have olive oil or avocado oil so a good balance and a good amount of support with that galactagogue of the chickpea, and like I said I think really emphasis the protein and fat is key and just eat when you can.


I know, in the beginning I had some dynamic blood sugar fluctuations where when Stella would latch, there was this like immediate- I think there was a prolactin hit in my pituitary of course I like nerd out and cross through how this is happening and “what’s going on?” but there was some blood sugar hit and I would go into deep tunnel vision and almost feel like I was going to vomit and I would kind of like she would be bitching and I would be like “its’ happening it’s happening” and so I always had, wem made a different nut balls that Brady would have by me that I would just kind of preemptively mowing until that first solid seek and a half or 2 weeks until I felt that regular and had gotten to that –


B; And I love that idea of sending these recipes to friends or family that could make them for you instead of having to make lactation cookies.


A: Yep and I mean there’s nothing wrong with asking for sure.


B: And I love that the lactation cookie recipe my husband was all about it when I was developing that recipe and making them for friends like ”oh I could eat these too am I going to lactate?”


A: Yeah Brady loved them too they had flaxseed too, I think, our flaxseed cookies do on our blog because flax helps as well. And I remember Brady being like ”am I going to grow man boobs?” and I’m like “no but stop eating them. They’re mine.”


B: I gained a couple of pounds there. So I think we’ve gotten a lot of really good information into this episode, lots on buddhist medicine, lots on the composition of milk and tips for healthy breastfeeding a swell as talking about nipple confusion and all of these new concepts to me that I’m going to have to review these show notes on my own but I hope this helps to clarify for our listeners, and you can share with a friend or family member who is in need of intervention.


A; Yes and my closing though it that you got this ladies, stya present and focus and remember to breath deep. This is the greater good and with relaxation you will prevail so you got this, lock and load ladies and hopefully a couple of tips you’re able to apply and baby will get the beautiful benefits.


Thank you for listening to the Naturally Nourished Podcast. Visit our blog at for recipes, wellness tips, and food as medicine meal plans. Connect with Ali at Becki at AliMillerRD on InstaGram or Twitter and Facebook. Until next time, stay nourished and be well.


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