By Guest Blogger: Dr. Alexis Blanks, ND

When you are pregnant, it’s pretty natural to be focused on the immediate task ahead… that little thing called labour!  But once the baby is born, along with the realization that you are now in charge of another person’s life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, comes the challenge of learning to breastfeed.  Along with this challenge will likely be the realization that although it may be the most natural thing in the world, breastfeeding is a skill to be learned like any other and there may be all sorts of challenges and questions along the way.  As a relatively new mom, this is an experience that I can relate to.  As a naturopathic doctor and trained breastfeeding counselor, I am so excited to have knowledge and skills to help new mothers during this exciting time in their lives.

Naturopathic medicine and breastfeeding support is a natural combination.  One of our key principles in naturopathic medicine is to prevent future health problems through education of healthy living.  I have often been struck by what a powerful effect the simple act of breastfeeding your child can have on a baby’s long term health – and the mothers health too!

Naturopathic doctors combine modern scientific knowledge with more a holistic view of health and well being. We are experts in the use of many natural forms of medicine such as herbs and homoeopathy and are also trained to know when pharmaceutical intervention may be required.  In my practice I am also licensed to prescribe pharmaceuticals when necessary.  A visit to a naturopathic doctor is usually much longer than a visit to your conventional doctor.  This allows us the time to obtain a thorough understanding of a mothers concerns and to provide enough explanation so that the mother can leave the office feeling that she has been heard and that she has a good understanding of the problem(s) and the solution(s).

There are a myriad of questions a woman might have about breastfeeding such as how to deal with nipple pain, attain a good latch and know that your baby is getting enough milk, I can help women with these questions.  There are also some questions that as a naturopathic doctor, I am particularly well trained to answer.  Questions such as:

  • the use and safety of medications, herbs, supplements and homoeopathic remedies during breastfeeding.
  • supporting milk supply with the use of herbs or medications.
  • options for treating medical issues such as thrush and mastitis.
  • the potential for certain foods in moms diet to aggravate baby via the breast milk.
  • the introduction of solid foods.

As a nursing mother, I know how fulfilling it can be to breastfeed your child.  I am excited to combine the skills I have learned in breastfeeding support with my medical and naturopathic knowledge for helping women with this wonderful, and yet, not always easy skill!

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