Will peppermint drop my milk supply?


Peppermint is a popular flavor during the festive Christmas season, and it's often found in candies, teas, and other treats. While peppermint is generally considered safe for consumption, there is a traditional belief that it may have an impact on milk supply.

Some people claim that peppermint, particularly in the form of peppermint tea, might potentially decrease milk supply. However, scientific evidence is limited and has yet to support this as true. A 2020 study found that Menthol did suppress milk production in mice. Menthol is a chemical naturally found in peppermint and other mint plants, but it can also be made in a lab. It's essential to note that individual responses can vary, and not every breastfeeder will experience a noticeable effect on milk supply when consuming peppermint.

If you're breastfeeding, enjoy your peppermint mocha during the holiday season. Pay attention to your body's response, and if you have concerns about your milk supply, consult with an IBCLC lactation consultant for personalized advice.

I believe the REAL reason why we see supply drop at the holidays isn’t the peppermint consumption, but being off normal schedules and routines, traveling, and having the baby be passed from grandma to aunt to friend where hunger cues are being missed and feedings delayed. In general, maintaining a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, and responding to your baby's feeding cues are crucial factors in supporting a healthy breast milk supply. Enjoying holiday treats in moderation, including those with peppermint.

High Lipase: My breast milk tastes soapy


Have you heard of high lipase in breast milk? Lipase is an enzyme that helps break down fat in breast milk. The breakdown of the fat in breastmilk by lipase is normal but not noticeable when the baby is feeding directly at the breast. When lipase occurs in excess, this process happens much more rapidly and can make the milk taste off or soapy after a period of time. Milk with excess lipase is safe to drink, but some babies dislike the taste and refuse it.


How do you know if you have high lipase?

  • Test prior to freezing – Before freezing large amounts of breast milk, you can test it for odor and taste changes due to lipase. Collect and freeze 1-2 bags or small containers of breast milk for at least 5 days and then evaluate the odor to see if your baby will drink it.

What can you do if you have high lipase?

  • Freeze milk as soon as you pump it whenever possible
  • Reduce intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Scald you’re milk prior to freezing 
  • To scald fresh milk: Heat it in a pot until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan (approximately 180° F) but don’t boil it. Remove the milk from the stove and allow it to cool before freezing.

Scalding fresh milk will stop the enzymes from breaking down the fat, preventing that soapy smell and taste. Scalding milk does reduce some of the beneficial components in breast milk, however, so give your infant fresh breast milk whenever possible.

To scald milk:

  • Heat milk to about 180 F (82 C), or until you see little bubbles around the edge of the pan (not to a full, rolling boil with bubbles in the middle of the milk).
  • Quickly cool and store the milk.

Scalding the milk will destroy some of the immune properties of the milk and may lower some nutrient levels, but this is not likely to be an issue unless all of the milk that baby is receiving has been heat-treated.

Per Lawrence & Lawrence, bile salt-stimulated lipase can also be destroyed by heating the milk at 144.5 F (62.5 C) for one minute (p. 205), or at 163 F (72 C) for up to 15 seconds (p. 771).

Lawrence R, Lawrence R. Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession, 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Mosby, 2005: 156-158, 203-205, 771, 781.

Lawrence RA. Storage of human milk and the influence of procedures on immunological components of human milk. Acta Paediatr Suppl. 1999 Aug;88(430):14-8.

Have a ton of freezer milk with high lipase? Some babies don’t mind the flavor and will drink it anyway. If you’re won’t, Before pitching it, consider trying the following:

  • Mix frozen milk with fresh milk to make it more appetizing to baby
  • Some moms find adding a few drops of alcohol free vanilla extract can mask the lipase flavor. 
  • Use it for a milk bath which can help with dry skin

Milk taste rancid or metallic? That's not lipase, the cause may be chemical oxidation (Mohrbacher, p. 461). Reducing intake of polyunsaturated fats may help. Certain minerals or metals in drinking water may also be to blame like copper or iron ions. When this happens, Mohrbacher has a few suggestions to try:

  • Avoid your usual drinking water (either drinking it or having milk come into contact with it) by using bottled or reverse osmosis filtered water instead
  • Avoid fish-oil and flaxseed supplements, and foods like anchovies that contain rancid fats
  • Increase antioxidant intake (including beta carotene and vitamin E like berries, spinach, beets, and beans).

Mohrbacher N. Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple. Amarillo, Texas: Hale Publishing, 2010: 460-461.

Do I need to pump overnight to maintain milk supply?


There is a science in how breast milk is made and maintained. The MOTN is when hormones are highest for making milk. Milk removals overnight drives a fuller supply all day long. Strong sucking at the breast overnight also plays a role in delaying periods from returning. Periods have their own cyclical impact on milk supply. The biological body is expecting to directly feed the baby. It doesn’t know we live in a modern era with pumps and freezers. When milk is not being moved, your body correctly assumes the baby is being fed by some other source and drops milk supply to protect the breast from plugs and infection. 

Tiny babies have tiny bellies that need to be fed day and night. As baby grows, so does the size of their stomach. There is no magic weight or age when a baby should stop feeding overnight. There is no scientific evidence to back that up. What we do know is the majority of breastfed babies are nursing at least once a night, if not 2-4 times, until after the first birthday. 

Producing breast milk is about demand and supply. What you move is what you’ll make. If you stop moving milk, your body thinks that milk is no longer needed, and decreases milk production. If your supply is constantly being moved, your body keeps producing more milk. While there is a science behind making milk, your body is art and your anatomy is unique to you. Some breasts have a large storage capacity and can hold more milk before seeing a drop in supply while others hold need milk moved more often to maintain supply. There are some people who can go 6-8  or even 10 hours and still maintain a full supply while others will see a drop when going more than 3-4 hours between feeding and pumping.

Feeding (or pumping) over night and milk supply are linked. If you’re making adequate milk during the day while sleeping long stretches at night, AWESOME!! If you’re going long stretches at night and day supply is dipping, that may be contributing. 

Ready to find out more?

Schedule a private consultation today to have all of your breastfeeding questions personally answered. If you have a PPO insurance plan this consultation may be free!

Sudden Breast Milk Supply Drop


Occasionally I’ll hear of moms who had a well established milk supply and all of a sudden their supply drops. What can cause a late onset decreased milk supply?

🤰🏽Pregnancy. Milk supply drops during pregnancy because of hormone shifts to protect and grow the fetus. Domperidone or other milk making herbs/medications and more pumping or feeding will not work to increase supply

💊Hormonal birth control (pill including progestin only pill, IUD, etc)

🤱🏽Breastfeeding on only one side at a feeding or “block feeding” to correct an oversupply if done too long or with a small storage capacity

💊Some medications can decrease the milk supply (antihistamines, decongestants). Certain herbs in excess or as essential oils can, too (too much peppermint or sage)

🛌 Sleep training. Babies are supposed to wake often at night for the first 3 months and continue to frequently wake through 6 months and occasionally wake there after to feed. Night nursing keeps milk hormones high for making supply and sleep training prior to 3 months can sabotage milk supply

😷Blocked ducts/mastitis as well as any illness with a fever may decrease the milk supply

🍼Giving bottles can very much decrease the milk supply if you’re not pumping to replace those feeds. When at all possible, pump whenever baby is getting a bottle, regardless of if it is formula or breast milk being given

🎡”Overdoing it”. Anything that interrupts feeding baby on demand, including too many visitors, too many errands, or making baby wait to feed by the clock

🚿An “abundant milk supply” associated with a less than “ideal” latch. The milk flows into baby’s mouth with little participation of baby. Baby may often choke while breastfeeding, especially during a strong let down. A tongue tie is a common cause of a baby having a less than “ideal” latch and can be a significant cause of late onset decreased milk supply even there were no feeding problems early on. Baby was riding an over abundant supply instead of stimulating milk supply
#milksupply #milksupplybooster #breastmilkbooster #breastmilksupply #breastmilkmagic



Let’s talk about co-sleeping and bed sharing. The recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Safe to Sleep program for a safe sleep environment include:
💡Baby on his/her back
💡Use a firm sleep surface
💡Room-sharing without bed-sharing
💡Avoid soft bedding
💡Avoid overheating.
Additional recommendations from the AAP to reduce SIDS include:
💡Avoid exposure to smoke, alcohol, marijuana, and illicit drugs
💡Breastfeed your baby
💡Use a pacifier

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine had a protocol for safe sleep and co-sleeping/bedsharing which is highly protective of SIDS called “breastsleeping”; baby feeds at the breast during the night. When mom and a full term, healthy baby share a firm mattress (not a couch or water bed) with no blankets or pillows that could possibly cover baby’s head or face and mom’s body forms a “C” shape around baby’s body, this position is safe and protective of baby and allows for optimal breastfeeding over night.

This allows baby to sleep on their back next to mom when not directly breastfeeding. This is for healthy babies. Babies should be unswaddled to avoid overheating and moms with long hair should be tied up. Older siblings or children should not sleep with babies under a year. Any smoking, nicotine or marijuana, is a high risk factor for SIDS.
Ever single aspect needs to be followed or it negates safe sleep.
#cosleeping #bedsharing #safesleep
#breastsleeping #breastsleep

How can I toughen up my nipples for breastfeeding?


Were you told nipple pain and damage were normal while breastfeeding and your nipples just needed to “toughen up”? Whoever told you that does not understand basic anatomy. Nipples, are made from elastic, erectile tissue (the same tissue from a cellular level as the penis!) They are designed to erect and evert with stimulation and shrink back down after feeding. They physically CANNOT callous. They can crack and bleed and blister. They can have skin slough off. They can get infected. Some can become desensitized or used to stimulation with time. But they can NEVER “toughen up”. If you have a calloused nipple, I would see a dermatologist or breast specialist ASAP.

Babies mouths have two areas: the hard, bony palate up front (including where the teeth will go), a.k.a. the danger zone, and the soft palate at the back of the mouth just in front of where that little hangy downy thing is, a.k.a. the safe zone. One of the reasons a nipple erects, everts, and stretches is to help to get it in the safe zone.

When a baby is latched correctly, the nipple tip stretches back to where the palate is soft, this the tongue massages the nipple to express milk. If baby has a shallow latch, the tongue pinches the nipple tip against the hard roof of the mouth and the friction causes damage. This also happens when there is a tongue tie. Instead of the middle of the tongue massaging the nipple, the middle of the tongue is anchored to the floor of the mouth and the tongue tip flicks the nipple, or the middle of the tongue where the restriction is pinches the nipple against the bony palate.

Nipples are perfectly designed to withstand breastfeeding because of their anatomical design Other than temporary tenderness in the first few days, there should be no pain. Except when your baby shark is teething and bites you. But that’s a totally different post. Need to heal your nipples fast?  Watch my YouTube video on the best strategies Need to heal your nipples fast?  Watch my YouTube video on the best strategies 


If you’re struggling to latch your baby, consider taking my Latched class  Click here to enroll today! If you’re struggling to latch your baby, consider taking my Latched class  Click here to enroll today! 

#nippledamage #breastfeedingpain #breastfeedingsupport #breastfeedingtips

Tongue tie with no nipple pain


While maternal nipple pain and damage are classic signs of tongue tie in baby, I have seen many cases where the mother reports absolutely no pain with breast-feeding. These babies tend to have very high palates and some times a weak suck (not always). The actual nipple in most cases is large and long and goes up into the palate where the tongue tends not to be able to pinch it as much. There may be creasing of the nipple, but usually not the classic damage seen with other presentations of tongue tie. These mother‘s bodies often compensate with a fast let down and over supply of milk. These babies trigger let down easily and the mothers body responds with freely flowing milk. Baby drinks from the fountain without learning how to stimulate the breast and empty it on their or or learning how to trigger new let downs. These babies often gain weight well or even faster than expected until around 3-4 months when they unexpectedly drop off the growth curve and mom feels like her supply suddenly drops. Symptoms often include clicking at the breast (caused by that high palate and the fast flow of milk) which in turn increases the risk of reflux, colic and gassiness. Moms also complain that they need to constantly hold or shape the breast or baby loses the latch. These ties often go undiagnosed and many of these babies are switched to bottles and formula as the supply continues to decrease from the baby inefficiently moving milk from the breast which can also coincide with mother going back to work. If she is using a poor quality pump or the wrong size flanges and not moving milk well with the pump, she’ll often blame herself for the low supply.

To learn more about tongue tie and what to do about them, take my parent class Tied & Untied. Click here to enroll Tied & Untied. Click here to enroll 
#tonguetie #tonguetied #tonguetiebabies #breastfeedingproblems #milksupplyissues #milksupplyproblems #milksupplybooster

Why does my breast pump hurt?

You would think that the stronger is better. But I’m telling you: don’t suck your brains out your nipples. Breast pump suction power is measured in mmHG (millimeters of mercury), the standard unit of measuring vacuum pressure. Studies were done on babies sucking at the breast and breasts pump suction levels are based off that. The suction level, or vacuum, is different than the cycle speed, which is how fast it pumps. Most pumps will cycle at 40-70 cycles per minute. This is based off of the average number of sucks a baby does at the breast in that same amount of time. Every baby sucks are their own pace and with their own vacuum strength.

Each pump has its own max suction strength. “Hospital grade” pumps generally have maximum suction levels in the 300+ mmHg range while personal grade pumps are generally in the 200+ mmHg range. This doesn’t necessarily make a pump better or worse. The highest suction level on many pumps are actually above the comfort zone of the majority of pumpers. Most people feel comfortable expressing in the range of 150 – 200 mmHg regardless of whether the pump can reach 250 or 350 mmHg at its max.

Think of pumping like drinking from a milkshake with a narrow straw. When you suck too hard, the straw collapses on itself and the shake is really hard to drink. Milkshakes move better with gentle, consistent sucking that doesn’t collapse the straw. Milk ducts are like compressible straws inside the breast. Not only does everyone have a different number of these ducts, but the diameter of the ducts also varies from person to person.

Too much breast pump suction compresses the areolar tissues which pinches off the ducts and decreases the flow of milk to the pump. With time this can cause milk to back up in the breast, increasing the risk of plugged ducts/mastitis. This also leaves milk behind which eventually can drop your overall milk supply. This can also damage the nipple. Having the right size flange AND using enough suction to move milk but not compress the ducts is essential to a happy pumping journey.

How much breast milk does my baby need?


Day 1-3

5-15mL per feeding: 8-11 times in 24 hours

Day 4-Week 2

1-2oz per feeding: 8-16 times in 24 hours

Weeks 2-3

1-3oz per feeding: 8-16 times in 24 hours (15-24oz per day based on baby’s weight)

Months 1-6

2-5oz per feeding: 6-12 times in 24 hours (22-32oz per day)

Months 6-11

2-6oz per feeding: 5-11 times in 24 hours (22-32oz per day)

Months 12-24

14-19oz per day: Per family lifestyle

Months 24-36

10-12oz per day: Per individual toddler


Individual feeding times and volumes vary by unique individual  www.lalactation.com

Baby’s weight

Breast milk needed per 24 hours in ounces

5 pounds

12.5 oz

6 pounds

15 oz

7 pounds

17.5 oz

8 pounds

20 oz

9 pounds

22.5 oz

10 pounds


11 pounds

27.5 oz

12 pounds

30 oz

*Calculations are based on 2.5oz of milk per pound of body weight which is the total volume in 24 hours baby needs to grow. Daily milk intake will vary +/- www.lalactation.com

Babies are born at different weightsBabies are born at different weights. The smaller a baby is, the less milk they need each 24 hour period. As they grow, milk supply slowly increases to meet these growing nutritional needs. Pediatricians and lactation consultant calculate milk volume needs at 2.5 ounces per pound a baby weighs. So a 6 pound baby needs about 15oz a day to grow. They will gain about 1/2 a pound a week, so each week they need just about 1oz more of milk. This is why babies cluster feed as they age. Those little clusters of feeding help slowly and gradually increase your milk supply.

The calculation of ounces per pound doesn’t last for long. Once baby reaches around 10 pounds, usually some where around 6-8 weeks depending on baby’s birth weight, milk volumes steady out and baby will need approximately 24-30oz in 24 hours. How much they take per feeding is dependent on how often they are feeding. They need to take less milk per feeding the more often they feed. These charts are a visual reference for those milk volume needs. Remember individuals volumes vary by individuals. These are guidelines based on decades of research. If your baby is not gaining weight, usually more milk is needed. If you’re struggling to figure out how much to feed baby, schedule a private lactation consultation.


Understanding the dynamics of breast milk fat composition

Breast milk, often referred to as nature's perfect food, dynamically adapts to meet the nutritional needs of a growing baby. From birth through infancy, the composition of breast milk undergoes significant changes in nutrients, fat content, and volume, catering to the evolving requirements of the baby.

In the initial days after birth, colostrum, the first milk produced by the mammary glands, is rich in antibodies and immune-boosting factors essential for protecting the newborn against infections and illnesses. As baby continues to nurse, the composition of breast milk transitions to meet the increasing nutritional demands.

Breast milk contains a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. The levels of these nutrients vary over time, ensuring optimal growth and development for baby. From about 10 pounds of weight until a year, baby’s milk volume needs don’t increase. They’ll average 25-30oz in 24 hours. How can they still gain weight when they don’t increase milk volume? You breast milk composition changes to meet their nutritional needs at every age and stage and the amount of weight they gain each week slows.

There are many misconceptions about breast milk, specifically about milk fat, with many people being concerned about foremilk (higher water concentration at the beginning of feeding) vs hindmilk (higher fat concentration at the end of feeding).  The fat content of breast milk plays a supporting role in baby’s brain development and overall growth. Interestingly, the fat content of breast milk changes throughout a single feeding and over the course of the day. While what you eat can increase certain types of fat in your milk (DHA/EPA), the actual fat content dynamically changes for each feeding based on many factors like time of day, frequency and length of feeding, age of the baby, and unique maternal factors. Yes, milk fat increases from the beginning to the end of the feeding, but your body doesn’t produce two kinds of milk. Foremilk/hindmilk really only becomes an issue for some babies where there is a true oversupply and you would normally see symptoms like foamy, green poops and slower weight gain than anticipated.

The volume of breast milk produced by a mother varies based on factors such as baby's age, feeding frequency, and individual differences in milk production. During the early weeks, babies typically have frequent nursing sessions, stimulating the production of breast milk. As the baby grows and the milk supply stabilizes, feeding patterns may change, with longer intervals between feedings.

The frequency of breastfeeding is crucial for maintaining milk supply and ensuring adequate nutrition for the baby. Babies instinctively regulate their feeding patterns, signaling hunger cues to initiate breastfeeding. If a baby isn’t gaining weight on breast milk alone, the issue is often not the fat content but rather the overall total volume of milk baby is getting.

One of the remarkable aspects of breastfeeding is its ability to adapt to the specific needs of the baby. Whether the infant requires extra hydration during hot weather or additional nutrients for growth spurts, breast milk adjusts its composition accordingly, providing tailored nourishment.

In conclusion, breast milk is a dynamic fluid that evolves in composition and volume to meet the changing needs of the growing infant. Understanding the constant changes in breast milk nutrients, fat, and volume based on the age of the baby and feeding frequency empowers parents to support their child's optimal development through breastfeeding.