The Dao Does… How to support Breastmilk supply with Traditional Chinese Medicine ~
Traditional Chinese Medicine including Acupuncture treatment, Acupressure and Chinese Dietary Therapy can support to increase breastmilk supply for mother’s struggling with insufficient lactation during the postpartum period.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, Breastmilk is transformed from Jing and blood and the Jing Yue Quan Shu explains this clearly – “Women’s breastmilk is transformed from the blood and qi of the Chong and Ren vessels. When it goes down, this is the menstruation. When it goes up, this is the breastmilk.”
When considering Chinese Dietary Therapy, it is important that the mother is well nourished with warming foods frequently throughout the day to support the Spleen and Earth element in addition to being well hydrated and avoiding chilled drinks.
In Correcting and Explaining Gynecology, Chen Su-An explains the significance of supporting the Earth element organs – “When there is scanty breastmilk, this is always due to deficiency of the Spleen and Stomach with insufficient intake of food and drink. This will lead to insufficient lactation. Recovery will ensue when the stomach Qi is greatly supplemented. When the stomach flourishes, the Jing and Qi of water and grains generate new blood. When the blood is full bodied, the breastmilk is naturally sufficient.
For Mother’s struggling with low milk supply, it is important to speak with your primary healthcare provider and/ or lactation consultant to help determine the cause of the problem and provide appropriate treatment options including breastfeeding technique suggestions and dietary adjustments.
Pig Trotter’s Soup to support an increase Milk Supply
Sharon Weizenbaum is an Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist who is the director of the White Pine Healing Arts clinic in the U.S.A. Sharon is a wealth of knowledge in Chinese Medicine, Gynaecology and Obstetrics and her recipe below for a nourishing Pig Trotter’s soup has been helpful for many patients to support milk supply.
Frequency to eat:
Eat twice a day to increase breastmilk supply
- Chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
- 0.5L of Chilled Water
- 3 Pig’s trotters cut into 2-inch by 2-inch pieces (readily available at most butcher counters)
- Several hours before serving, prepare the pig’s feet by washing well and patting dry.
- Place in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to a rapid boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Drain water and rinse the trotters. This blanches the meat and bones, removing any hidden dirt or impurities, and provides a cleaner flavour.
- After rinsing, fill saucepan again with water enough to cover the pig’s feet, and bring to a boil again. Cover and simmer at a low roll for several hours. Check the water level periodically and add more if the water level drops too low. You want to be left with about a quart of stock.It should take approximately 2 hours for 3 cut up pig’s feet to cook down to the point where the cartilage has liquified and will have turned the water a milky white colour. This stock will be what makes this soup so rich and filling.
- Meanwhile, about an hour or so into the pig’s feet simmering, make the soup base. In a heavy soup/stock pot, add in 1 Tsp olive oil, and heat on medium. Add 1 chopped onion, 1 cup chopped celery, and approximately 1 cup chopped carrots (you can add as much or as little as you want, these are aromatics that will provide a richer base for our soup and provide some vegetable power).
- With the flat side of your knife, smash and rough chop 6 cloves of garlic. Add to the pot and stir all the chopped vegetables around to coat with the oil, and heat on medium until the mixture is fragrant and slightly soft.
- At this point, add in 4 cups of of Chicken, Turkey, or Vegetable stock. Turn heat down to medium-low, and cover to allow vegetables to infuse into the stock.
- After about another hour, check on the Pig’s trotters. If the water is almost opaque white, and the bones can be easily pulled off the meat, the trotters are done.
- Scoop out the bones and cut the meat and gelatin off the bones.
- Cover the soup again and allow it to simmer on low to medium-low, careful not to let it come to a rolling boil. You just want it to simmer.
- Discard the bones and skin. Drop the picked-off meat and gelatin into the soup. Don’t worry about getting all of it, its all edible, and this is just an option if you want to really make it very rich without adding a lot of fat.
- At this point your soup is basically done. Serve hot over potatoes, noodles, rice, or with thick bread. Add in cooked pieces of pork chop, chicken breast, or anything you want to make it more meaty. The broth can also be enjoyed on it’s own and will be richer the next day. Just be aware that while in the fridge, the gelatin from the trotters will solidify which will melt in the microwave or pot when you reheat it.
Enjoy this rich and fulfilling soup.
Number of Servings: 10
By Elizabeth Cullen