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Trouble with breastfeeding? That is quite common amongst

mothers. Welcoming a child to the world consumes a

tremendous amount of energy during pregnancy, labor and

birth. It can leave the body depleted of vital substances.

Age, constitution, preconception health, and the care the

mother receives post-delivery will determine how her body

will fare/recover in the months that follow. The state of the

mother's body after birth has direct influence on the quality

of breastfeeding.

According to Chinese medicine insufficient lactation has two

main categories. If milk flow ceases for any reason it can be

very difficult to restart. Therefore women should if possible

continue to breastfeed even small amounts, frequently

while they are receiving acupuncture treatment:

1. Blocked flow due to stagnation

The distinguishing characteristic of this pattern is that the breasts are swollen and there is abundant milk supply. However while there is supply,  the breasts are unable to fully empty. This causes discomfort and breast engorgement. 

This is a pattern that is usually seen in nervous mothers, mothers that are easily irritated and frustrated. The tension in the body causes blockages to occur and the free flow of milk is inhibited. Acupuncture releases the tension in the body and establishes free flow of milk. It also helps balance the hormones after pregnancy which takes some time to settle, with acupuncture a smoother transition is possible.

2. Insufficient milk supply

In this case, there is little or no breast milk after delivery.  The mother has extreme fatigue, more than usual, and insomnia. This situation is presented when the mother's body is extremely depleted and the body needs nourishment. The woman's body cannot produce enough milk since it lacks the nourishment it needs to even support itself. If there is insufficient water in the reservoir then the fluid will not flow. 

This may be caused by a problematic pregnancy, long labor with excessive blood loss  or a pre-existing deficiency in the mother's constitution. Previous miscarriages or too close pregnancies may also contribute to this condition.

With the help acupuncture and a good diet, the body's reservoir can be replenished.


Significant change can be experienced with 3-4 sessions depending on the constitution of the problem. Then if needed supported with maintenance sessions thorughout the breastfeeding period.

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