How much of my Motherlove product should I take?
Under 175 lbs: 1 ml – 4 times per day
Over 175 lbs: 2 mls – 3 times per day
Under 175 lbs: 1 capsule 4 times per day
Over 175 lbs: 2 capsules 3 times per day
How should I take this product?
These products can be taken with a small amount (1-2 oz.) of liquid. For maximum effectiveness, avoid drinking liquids 15 minutes before or after each dosage. Drinking more liquids than specified with each use may dilute the herbs in your system.
How long will my Motherlove product last at the suggested amounts?
This depends on dose and body weight. Here is the approximate time each product size will last:
60 caps 10 days – 2 weeks
120 caps 20 days – 4 weeks
2 oz. 10 days – 2 weeks
4 oz. 20 days – 4 weeks
8 oz. 40 days – 8 weeks
How long should I use Motherlove liquid extracts or vegetarian capsules?
Each mother’s needs are different. Some women are able to use these products for a short time to increase their breast milk supply. Other women, once their supply increases to the desired level, are able to decrease the amount or number of doses per day to maintain the desired supply of breast milk. Many women are able to stop taking the product altogether as their bodies are able to maintain an adequate milk supply. Some women may need to use Motherlove’s lactation products the entire time they are nursing to maintain their milk supply. We encourage women to use the amount that best meets their baby’s needs.
When should I expect to see an increase in milk supply?
Most women see an increase in breast milk supply with the More Milk Plus products within 1-2 days. It does take longer – usually 2-3 weeks - to see an effect when taking Goat’s Rue to support mammary tissue development.
What should I do if it is not working?
Be sure you are taking the correct amount for your body weight according to the suggested use on the label, as well as our recommendations above on water consumption. There are certain herbs (including sage, parsley, and peppermint) and medications (such as over-the-counter decongestants) that can lower milk supply. Try to avoid these while breastfeeding. Some lactation consultants also warn that some forms of hormonal birth control may lower breast milk supply. It’s also possible that you would benefit more from a different Motherlove product. As there can be many causes of low milk supply, we recommend working with a lactation consultant to help you with your particular breastfeeding situation.
*Not sure which Motherlove product is right for you? Check out our guide to choosing the right Motherlove product for your needs.
There are many species of nettle, but stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is probably the best known. It’s native to much of the world, and has long been used as to increase milk supply, as a food, and as a treatment for a variety of health problems.
Nettle has dark green serrated leaves and short hairs that cause burning and blistering when touched. It achieves this sting with hollow hairs which inject histamine and other chemicals when contacted. It grows in moist soil, usually near streams and ditches.
Even though it may sting when gathered without gloves, stinging nettle is an excellent spring green in teas and meals. As a food, nettle is a rich source of iron, calcium and folic acid, vitamin K, and supports the kidney and adrenals. As a tea, it blends well with other herbs like mint and lemon balm, and its nutrients are important during pregnancy, so it’s a great one to drink when you’re expecting. It makes a wonderful substitute for spinach in any dish, such as lasagna filling. You’ll find some wonderful looking recipes online. Cooking nettles removes the stinging chemicals from the plant; they should never be eaten before cooking.
Nettle is an herb worth using on a regular basis. This spring tonic is loaded with nutrition and strengthens many body systems. It’s used as a treatment for arthritis, anemia, skin problems, urinary tract infections, small kidney stones, hay fever symptoms, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and even as a hair rinse to control dandruff and make hair more glossy.
The German Commission E lists no contraindications, drug interactions, or side effects for nettle. The American Herbal Products Association considers stinging nettle Class 1: safe when used appropriately.
As a galactagogue, Nettle is most effective as a tincture, as the dried form is difficult to take in sufficient quantities. Stinging Nettle is a herb included in many of our formulas, including More Milk Plus, More Milk Plus Alcohol Free, More Milk Plus Capsules, More Milk Special Blend, More Milk Special Blend Alcohol Free, More Milk Special Blend Capsules, More Milk, More Milk Two Alcohol Free.
These formulas are carefully composed to address different causes of low milk supply and different situations. They use combinations of herbs to balance and enhance their effects.
Which ones is right for you? Here’s our guide to determining which Motherlove product will meet your needs:
My milk supply has dropped. This may have happened because of a separation, illness, pumping, going back to work, or another reason.
We recommend our More Milk Plus formula. It’s Motherlove’s most popular product, and the best-selling breastfeeding supplement in the US. It contains fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle, and fennel seed. This combination helps most women increase their supply within 24-48 hours. Available in a grain alcohol or alcohol-free liquid extract; and as a liquid extract concentrate in vegetarian capsules. Not for use during pregnancy.
I need to increase milk supply, and I have PCOS, insufficient glandular tissue (breast hypoplasia), have had breast surgery, or am an adoptive mom:
We recommend our More Milk Special Blend formula, which contains the herbs in More Milk Plus blended with goat’s rue, an herb that helps to build mammary tissue. Specially-formulated at the request of lactation consultants, this product can help increase breast milk supply for women who have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), did not see an increase in breast size during pregnancy or have suspected or confirmed insufficient glandular tissue (breast hypoplasia), have had previous breast surgeries, or for adoptive mothers. Increases in milk supply are seen after 2-3 weeks of use of this product. Available in a grain alcohol or alcohol-free liquid extract and as a liquid extract concentrate in vegetarian capsules. This formula is not for use during pregnancy.
We also have a Goat’s Rue extract (single herb). Goats rue is not contraindicated during pregnancy, as is fenugreek and blessed thistle, which are included in More Milk Special Blend. Lactation consultants have used it in the last 2 weeks of pregnancy with women who know from previous pregnancies they have serious difficulty producing milk. Available in a grain alcohol base, and as a liquid extract concentrate in vegetarian capsules. Discuss product use with a healthcare professional before using during pregnancy.
I need to increase milk supply, but I cannot take fenugreek:
We recommend our More Milk formula, which has blessed thistle, nettle and fennel but does not contain fenugreek for those who may be sensitive to its potential side effects (usually gastric upset that may occur in either mother or baby). Not for use during pregnancy.
I’m pregnant and nursing, and need to increase my milk supply:
We recommend our More Milk Two formula, which contains raspberry leaf, nettle and alfalfa – a nourishing combination of herbs that is specially formulated to safely increase the breast milk supply of pregnant breastfeeding mothers. Alcohol-free and safe for use during pregnancy.
I prefer or need to take only Fenugreek, or that is what my lactation consultant recommended.
We recommend our Fenugreek extract. This single herb extract is most recommended by lactation consultants to quickly help increase breast milk supply. Available in an alcohol-free liquid extract. Not for use during pregnancy.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, great, cure, or prevent any disease.
Many herbs can help ease the pain of contractions:
Other herbs help with emotional balance during labor:
See our Plants page for photos and more detailed information on several of these herbs.
* This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with your health care provider for medical advice related to any of these products.
Alfalfa is a many-branched plant with square stems and leaves composed of three leaflets. It has blue to purple flowers turn into spiral coiled seedpods. Alfalfa grows to a height of up to three feet, and its deep taproot sometimes stretches more than 50 feet. This root system brings up many minerals, including trace minerals, from the soil, and also makes it drought resistant. It’s a tough plant whose seed system allows it to re-grow many times after being grazed or harvested.
Its English name derives from an Arabic term for “fresh fodder,” and it has been cultivated by humans since at least the 4th century and used in herbal medicine for an estimated 1,500 years. It’s used in agriculture as a forage crop for cattle and as hay, and in particular for high producing dairy cows due to its high protein content and highly digestible fiber. It’s fed to dairy goats to help them produce more milk, as well.
Alfalfa is rich in chlorophyll and vitamin K, which promotes clotting. It’s also high in protein, calcium, other minerals, and vitamins in the B group, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E.
The leaves and flowers make a mild tasting, nutritious tea that stimulates the appetite and aids digestion. Alfalfa is used for a wide range of ailments including kidney conditions, bladder and prostate conditions, high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. The National Institutes of Health rates it as “possibly effective” for lowering cholesterol.
Alfalfa is used commonly to increase breast milk, often in combination with fenugreek, marshmallow, and blessed thistle. Fenugreek and blessed thistle are contraindicated during pregnancy, but alfalfa is an herb that can be taken while pregnant.
According to The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk, alfalfa should not be taken by mothers who have lupus or other autoimmune diseases, as the L-canavanine contained in it may exacerbate symptoms.
Alfalfa is an ingredient in our More Milk Two Alcohol Free, our breastfeeding product for women who are nursing a toddler while pregnant. The alfalfa used in Motherlove products is certified organic and thus not genetically modified.
Tanya spoke with Lisa Marasco, co-author of The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk and expert on hormones and milk supply about PCOS, diabetes, thyroid, obesity, endocrine disruptors, and many other topics. Lisa answered a number of reader questions, as well.
Witch Hazel is an herb many mothers come to swear by after pregnancy and childbirth, and we thought we’d take a moment to share some details about this powerful (some mothers might say sanity saving!) plant.
But first, what does this plant have to do with witches? It’s likely an etymological mix-up, stemming from the Middle English term “wiche,” which means pliant or bendable and has nothing to do with witches. Or perhaps the use of the branches of the plant as divining rods is related the name.
Witch hazel is a shrub or small tree growing in the rich soils of the eastern part of the United States. The star shaped leaves become brilliant colors in the fall while the round fruits, which have projections, shoot their seeds several feet as they ripen.
Witch hazel leaves and bark contain astringent tannins which stop internal and external bleeding. Both the bark and leaves are used to treat hemorrhoids, varicose veins, swelling and bruises, and sore nipples. Internally it stops diarrhea, vaginal discharge and excess menses. Witch hazel is an ingredient found in eye drops and many skin ointments. It was used widely by Native Americans for medicinal purposes.
And of course it’s used widely after childbirth to soothe sore perineal muscles, reduce swelling, slow bleeding, and help ease the discomfort of hemorrhoids. Used in a bath, as a spray directly on tissues or on a pad, or as a balm on hemorrhoids, it’s an effective herbal remedy recommended by moms and doctors alike.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
But there are some herbs which are healing when used externally, but are not safe for ingestion. One such herb is Comfrey.
We often hear from mothers who have questions and concerns about the use of comfrey in breast compresses and nipple creams, so we thought we’d share this information to clear up some of the confusion.
Comfrey is an herb recognized for its value as both a fertilizer and a healing herb. It’s native to Europe, grows in damp, grassy locations, and has a bell shaped flower often in a blue or purple color.
Comfrey has long been valued for its ability to reduce skin inflammation. It is also thought to stimulate cell growth and repair. One of Comfrey’s nicknames is “knitbone” because it was traditionally used to aid the healing of bone fractures.
While healing when used externally, Comfrey contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can cause veno-occlusive disease if used internally.
The Botanical Safety Handbook, published by the American Herbal Products Association, classifies Comfrey as Class 2a – for external use only, Class – 2b not to be used [internally] while pregnant and Class 2c not to be used [internally] while nursing (parentheses ours, for clarification). In 2001, the US Food and Drug Administration advised makers of dietary supplements containing Comfrey to remove their products from the market and label products that contain Comfrey ‘for external use only.’
Comfrey has great value as a healing herb, but should not be included in any product that could possibly be ingested by a baby.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
You’ll want to listen to our latest podcast on Maya Abdominal Therapy.
Tanya spoke with Catherine Gregory, a certified practitioner of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy. She explained the origins of the therapy, how it can help women for anything from infertility, to painful menstruation, to incontinence and digestion. She explained what it’s like to have the therapy, how women can learn to do it for themselves, and how to find a certified practitioner.
If so, you know that they can be painful and frustrating. So we thought we’d share some of our favorite herbal remedies* to support the quick resolution of plugged ducts.
But before we do, here are the basic recommendations for resolving plugged ducts:
Here are some ways herbal care can help to resolve plugged ducts. Use herbs in addition to, but not as a replacement for, the measures described above.
*This information is provided for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. See your health care provider for medical advice on this topic.
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