Breast milk is one of the greatest gifts a mother can give her baby, so I encourage Moms to embrace breastfeeding.

When your child falls ill with a cold, for example, the best thing you can give your child is your breast milk to help fight the illness and build antibodies. Trust your body. I am thankful that the twins, now 20 months old, are still able to nurse. They are sick with a terrible cold right now and the only thing I can do to soothe them and the only thing they want to eat is breast milk. They are keeping my supply up with the constant nursing, but here is something you may want to also consider – aromatherapy and breastfeeding go so beautifully together if you want to increase or decrease your milk supply. Before motherhood I worked in an aromatherapy clinic in Forest Hill for a few years and I’ve fallen in love with the practice of using essential oils.

If you’d like to promote milk flow fennel and caraway are used, however, to diminish milk production sage and peppermintare used and done through compression. Some argue that these herbs have to be taken internally in order to work, but inhalation of the oils – and massage – do wonders for the body, as well as a tisane (an infusion used as a beverage or for medicinal effects) of the herbs mentioned above.

I have used aromatherapy from the first moment I found out I was pregnant by inhaling the sweet citrus essence ofbergamot. Bergamot will settle your nausea and migraine, which can accompany pregnancy. I also had the aroma of lavender in my labour and delivery room to balance my equilibrium, and a delicate sachet of lavender flowers next to my son’s bassinet.

Here’s a massage you can do once or twice a day…

Cup the breast with one hand and massage with the other, using a light base oil such as calendula.

Begin stroking very gently with your thumb or fingertips from the periphery down to the edge of the areola. Just make sure your nipple is clean after massage.

Increase your fluids, drink herbal tisanes as well to promote your flow of milk, and eat! (Breastfeeding and watching calories do not mesh.)

Lunar Eclipse makes a wonderful tea for mom and baby; the herbs used in this tea blend promote lactation whilst the herbs also reduce colic in baby.

Mom, Blogger, doula in training and babywearing junkie. Erica Ashmore is a stay at home mom to three in Toronto and loves sharing with her readers the best products for the whole family. Find her over at