Holistic Lactation Consultant Hilary Jacobson, author of Mother Food, reveals how you can produce milk-boosting herbs and foods in your home or yard—easily, enjoyably, year-round. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to connect with living foods and fresh plant medicine. These plants prepare the uterus for childbirth, they speed recovery, hasten the arrival of the milk, and support milk production long term. They also prevent UTIs, soothe varicose veins, and aid in the treatment of respiratory and viral diseases among many other benefits.
Jacobson describes ways to grow galactagogues in containers, on windowsills, shelves and kitchen counters. She encourages mothers to start small—sprouting seeds or legumes or growing microgreens. A dedicated container on a balcony or porch, a patch of the yard that is reserved for dandelions and other lactogenic weeds, vegetables and flowers make growing galactagogues doable in most living situations.
Years ago, Jacobson noticed that her milk supply increased dramatically when eating garden-fresh plants, and her fascination with living-medicine was born. This book honors the fact that over hundreds of thousands of years, humans have enjoyed an intimate and intuitive relationship with the living medicine of plants. Women have identified specific plants that support their milk production—plants that grow in our gardens, meadows, fields, and even in the cracks of our sidewalks, plants that are free for the taking, are the gifts of nature for us all.
The chemistry of lactation is the same the world over for all women. As well, women the world over use the same plants or the same plant families to support milk supply: whether in South or North America, Africa, the Middle-East, Europe and Asia, the plants and foods are largely the same.
Western-based medical institutions, developed primarily by men, have enforced a medical paradigm that separates humans from our healing food traditions. Hospitals and birthing clinics must provide lactogenic meals and beverages to women after childbirth. As we attempt to recover and heal from the overbearing influence of patriarchal attitudes in medicine, integrating holistic frames will help us heal our birth and breastfeeding traumas.
In March 2020, when the US population was instructed to stay indoors because of the pandemic, Jacobson began to focus on writing this book. She asked herself, “What would happen if the supply chain of food and medicine were to break down? If mothers had problems accessing formula? Would mothers know which of the grasses, herbs, flowers, and “weeds” that grow in the yards and fields, and even in sidewalk cracks, are strong milk-boosters?
Jacobson believes that this information must be available, known, and implemented, as we do not know what challenges lie ahead. But while written to serve as a guide to mothers in an emergency, it also serves as a guide for mothers with low milk supply or with an interest in women’s medicine.
Get in touch with your ancient past and your human creativity and versatility by interacting with plants. Protect your health and the wellbeing of your community. This is the heart of Jacobson’s message.