by Anna Pyne, LAc, MSOM, FABORM
Acupuncture and herbs are the main treatment modalities in traditional
Chinese medicine (TCM). I have helped treat a myriad of postpartum women
struggling with insufficient breast milk using both therapies. It is important
to establish a good supply at the very beginning so that it is easier
to maintain it. That is not to say however that TCM is not an effective
treatment at a later date.
There is one particular acupuncture point that has the single function
of enhancing breast milk. This is quite unusual as typically each point
is useful for treating a multitude of different issues. Needling this
point is the most potent way of stimulating it. The location is on the
outer corner of the nailbed on the pinky finger. It is typically tolerated
by most patients quite easily, however for those few that are a bit needle
sensitive I have placed a small gold pellet that sticks to the point which
does not penetrate the skin. Doing this makes it portable as well, meaning
the patient can walk out of the office and continue the treatment outside
of the acupuncture session every time the patient presses the gold pellet.
Of course there are many other points that help enhance breast milk supply
and when a number of these appropriate points are used together with this
especially specific one, it greatly impacts breast milk supplementation.
Patients have reported starting to feel engorged while lying on the table
with the needles placed during treatment. I have also heard feedback (and
personally experienced) that more milk is produced at the next pumping session.
There are a number of wonderful single herbs as well as formulas that benefit
the breast and support breast milk supply. I typically use herbs with
acupuncture when treating this problem for optimal treatment results,
but have seen great benefits with using herbs alone without acupuncture,
and vice versa. I also teach a class at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
(PCOM) on traditional Chinese herbs for postpartum care, which includes
the topic of breast milk insufficiency.
If you have any questions or to learn more please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or any of our other acupuncturists.
Call our office to schedule an appointment (312)321-0004.
Anna Pyne LAc MSOM FABORM