2 Essential Oils that May Maintain Healthy Milk Production in Nursing Mothers

Essential Oils for Nursing Moms


Having a baby is such a blessing!  It is such an exciting moment to welcome a new little one into your home.   As mothers we want what is best for our children to grow and thrive.  Nursing can be a wonderful way to give our children our very best, our milk.  All nursing mother’s want to provide a healthy milk supply for their nursing babes.  

Thankfully, there are several natural tools we can use to keep mom’s milk supply at its best. 

Traditionally, fennel seed has been part of herbal blends for Mother’s Milk Tea and has been known to support the body and help her maintain healthy lactation.  Fennel can also be helpful in aiding in digestion for both mom and baby.

Fennel Essential OilFennel Essential Oil is a potent extract from the plant and can be very helpful  to support the body to help maintain healthy milk supply in mom.  At times, this essential oil may be more helpful than simply a tea made from the plant because the oil is so potent.

To Use:  Apply on the breasts and around the lymph area (but not while nursing or near baby’s face).  Also apply on the spine at breast level.  You can dilute 1-2 drops in 2 T of a carrier oil like Coconut oil or a cold pressed, unrefined avocado oil.  Make sure you are using an 100% pure trusted brand therapeutic grade essential oil.   I often like to use Young Living Oils because I know I can trust the purity and quality.

Important Note:  Fennel should not be used more than 10 days in a row.  It is known to increase flow through the urinary tract.  Use 10 days and then take several days off in between and if treatment is still needed resume use.

Lacation and Breastfeeding

Similar to Fennel oil, Basil essential oil is also known to help nursing mother’s maintain a healthy milk supply.  It can be used the same way or mom can blend the two and apply to the breast and down the spine.  Basil does not carry the same warning as Fennel and can be used for more than 10 days in a row.   It may also be helpful to dilute in a carrier oil before applying.

Important Note: When applying to the breast tissue be careful not to apply to the nipple area.  Some essential oils advise not to be taken internally. Young Living Oils can be taken internally, but I would not recommend giving them internally to a young infant.
If you are interested in more information on how to order Young Living Oils click here. If you have any questions about these oils please leave a comment below.


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Essential Oils for Nursing Moms





  1. Hey I just started using yleo and I have a 4 month old I am worried that my supply is decreasing and I am suddenly thirsty all the time. Please help- all I have now is the premium kit but have been running peppermint in my diffuser bc we are all stuffy. Can you tell me what is safe to use while nursing?

    • Brittany, the peppermint will decrease your milk supply. Don’t consume (or diffuse) peppermint in essential oil or herbal form while nursing. Nursing can make you thirsty, although there is no way for me to know why you are thirsty all the time without examining everything else going on. It is a good rule to drink about 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water. If you have the premium kit I would use your thieves! Especially if you are stuffy, you can also take a drop of lemon EO in the morning to help gently detox your liver.

  2. Thanks for the fast reply! She is my 3rd and I don’t ever remember being this thirsty:) can the peppermint hurt her? I won’t use it anymore till I’m done nursing. How many drops of thieves and how long/often should I diffuse? I love the oils I just have a lot to learn

    • Becky Webb says:

      No, the peppermint won’t hurt her or you. It will just decrease your milk supply. I usually diffuse 2-3 drops in my diffuser along with the water. Works great! If you are stuffy you can diffuse continuously until you feel better. You can also dilute in coconut oil and rub on yours (or anyone else’s) feet and down the spine.

  3. Thank you so much! I was slightly stressed! I’m so glad I came across your page! I have so much to learn!

  4. I have just started using the basil coconut mixture to increase my milk supply. I put it on the nipple by accident will that hurt my baby do I need to wait to feed? I am new to using natural herbs. I cant find anything on if it will harm my baby or what I am to do. Please just give me some advice or a general idea.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Cerise, What brand of basil are you using? Did you feed your baby with the basil on your nipple? If you did and she seems fine I’m sure she is ok. But, I would be cautious about this. I would be careful not to give it to her orally.

      • I just went to local herb store and got basil oil no brand name and no I did not feed him til after I had washed and I pumped and dumped twice

        • Becky Webb says:

          Good. Yes, I really do recommend a high quality oil like Young Living. You can just trust that it is pure without toxins. Since many EO companies do not regulate the quality of their oils, when using oils around mamas and babies I am always extremely careful with what I use. 🙂

          • Sarah Murton says:

            Hi Becky – Just out of curiosity, I have seen things online that say to avoid using Basil while BFing. I have been using it topically (doTerra) for muscle pain when needed, because I haven’t wanted to use Peppermint, and now I’m really worried that I’m hurting my baby. Is there a reason not to use it during BFing?

          • Hi Sarah. Unfortunately there is lots of conflicting information about essential oils. The reference books I have say that basil is fine. I do recommend a pure source and I really can only recommend Young Living because of its purity. I would have to do further research on why some aromatherapists say not to use basil. I do prefer fennel myself and that is what I used to get my results.

  5. Rebecca says:

    Can you tell me more about using fennel to increase milk? I see on some sites it says its safe but a couple have said its unsafe and I’m getting confused!

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hey Rebecca. The only reason that fennel would be unsafe to increase milk production would be if it were an adulterated oil or an plant that has pesticides used on it. That is why I always recommend Young Living oils. The oils are very safe and toxin free. http://www.rootedblessings.com/essential-oils/ Fennel has been known to increase milk production for hundreds of years. You can drink it in herb form in a tea or it is very effective in the form of an essential oil.

  6. How often should the basil/fennel oils be applied?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hey summer, you can apply them daily or a few times a day. However, I’d take a day off a week so that they don’t lose their effectiveness. I actually take 1 drop of fennel oil orally on a nightly basis and skip a night a week. But, I only recommend that if you are using Young Living Oils.

      • I though you were not supposed to take EO internally. Is that because of the purity issue? I like to shop local so I get my oils from our local Natural Grocer. They are certified organic, is there something else I should look for?

        • Becky Webb says:

          Hi Serena,

          Yes, it is very much due to a purity issue. I can’t vouch for any brand you buy at a natural grocer. Young Living is unique because it is the only company that has its very own farms. Organic farmers still use pesticides, however they are just organically approved pesticides. Young Living enforces hand weeding on their property. They also will recycle essential oils that they can’t bottle and use them to ward of pests instead of even organic pesticides. It is a very unique and top of the lien process. You never know if oils you purchase from your local grocer are cut with a carrier oil even if they say 100% pure. I highly recommend checking out seedtoseal.com to find out more about Young Living’s purity process. Although I believe that everyone should research their oils before taking them internally, I do highly recommend Young Living oils above all else simply because of this amazing process. They also have a very open door policy. You are always welcome to go check out a farm and see the entire process.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I have used both Fennel and Basil to increase my milk supply and they worked great. My problem was my milk increased mainly in fore milk and not hind milk. I realized my daughter wasn’t gaining weight as quickly and her pediatrician suggested I pump to see how much hind I was producing. There was so much fore milk, that she’d fill up on that and wasn’t getting much of the real good fatty stuff. I decided to stop using the EO and go back to supplementing with formula the few times she need a little bit more. Wasn’t the happy ending I was hoping for but it was what it was.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience Stephanie! I typically recommend a very high fat diet as well as a nutrient dense diet for my clients in order to encourage hind milk. Super foods like pastured butter, cream, desiccated liver or herbs like Nettle, oatstraw can also be helpful in encouraging milk supply. I find that a lot of mamas that have issues with weight gain in infants often struggle with not having enough fat in their diet or they are not digesting it properly.

      • What is oatstraw? I have some and I am 8 months pregnant and afraid to use it because I am gluten free.

        • Becky Webb says:

          Oats are naturally gluten free. Oats are normally processed in a plant that also contains gluten unless they are marked gluten free and why you must purchase a gluten free version. Oatstraw is an herb that helps milk production. It does not contain gluten.

  8. The website I prefer to get my oils from only has Fennel Sweet. Is this the same thing?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Sorry Nicole. I can’t speak for a company I don’t know anything about. EOs are very potent extracts of the plant that could contain toxins if not cared for properly. I’m very picky about the EOs I use. I wouldn’t recommend it.

  9. I jus read on another blog that these two oils can have a carconogenic effect. What is your take on this?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Leah, I have not see anything on these oils having a carcinogenic effect. And, to my knowledge thus far I could not see why they would. I have seen them used with great success.

  10. Hello, I was wondering if you could direct me to an oil consultant in my area. I’m trying to increase my milk production and somebody suggested your fennel oil but I have no idea about this kind of stuff!

  11. Hi I was wondering if there was something to do about the smell. I haven’t tried fennel yet but the basil is a bit nauseating. Anything I can do for that??

    • Becky Webb says:

      No, sorry stacy. There is nothing I can suggest for the smell. Try fennel. You might find it more pleasant.

      • I agree! I did a basil/fennel combo rubbed on my breasts last night and YUCK! it was disgusting! I was only able to sleep because I cocooned my body inside my blanket with my head poked out but everytime I got up to nurse it was awful smelling. I was wondering if I can add a third oil to adjust the smell? I like Stress Away, would that be ok to try to tame the grossness?

  12. Rachel Luitjens says:

    I am 3 weeks away from giving birth and am wondering when I should start using the essential oil fennel to increase my milk supply as with my daughter it didn’t come in till after I left the hospital and just decided to use formula. This baby I really want to breast feed but want to make sure I have the supply for him.

    • Becky Webb says:

      I would say that the Fennel may not be helpful until after you give birth. Diet is a great place to start when increasing your milk supply. Make sure there is plenty of fat, you are staying hydrated, and you are getting plenty of nutrients. A mother’s milk tea could be a great place to start with this now! Or, drinking a nettle tea on a regular basis can get you up to par for childbirth. If you are wanting to get started on some essential oils Young livings Ningxia red taken at 1-2 ounces a day could also be a great place to start for building milk productions and regulating blood sugar.

  13. Rachel Luitjens says:

    So I should hold off on the yl fennel until after and drink the mothers tea. I have some of that but really don’t like tea very much.

  14. My sister was wanting to try yl fennel to increase her milk supply. She also has high blood pressure and someone told her the fennel would make her blood pressure high. Ive searched everywhere to find a documented answer for this from young living and i can’t. What are your thoughts.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Renee. I can’t say that Ive ever found anything about fennel and high blood pressure. However, I would encourage you to make sure you do all your research.

  15. Hi there. I think I made a mistake by diffusing YL peppermint as I noticed my breastmilk supply dropping when I pump. i will stop using peppermint asap but will my milk supply come bck LIKE before? I’m worried now.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hey Jocelyn. Do you have any fennel. I would just stop using it and your supply should increase. If not, I would try some mother’s milk tea and some nutrient dense foods. Drink plenty of water.

  16. Ok I will order fennel next. Am taking fenugreek pills n drinking loads of water. Actually the milk is there but I can’t get a let down. I used to, within the first 2-5 mins & currently I’m not undergoing any stress. I also checked my pump at the service centre & it’s working fine. Will peppermint oil inhibit milk let-down? I really hope this is not permanent.

  17. Hi Becky, I am currently using YLO Fennel and you are so spot on… IT WORKS. I do have some questions. 1) Have you ever heard of using lemongrass oil to improve the quantity AND quality of breast milk production? I’ve spotted it around on a few sites, but nothing on any of the YLO feeds have it so I’m wondering as to the validity of this theory. Also, I seem to have a coughing fit each time I use the fennel. Have you ever heard of fennel irritating the bronchial tubes? I am slightly asthmatic so that could be part of the problem…. Finally 🙂 I’m hearing whispers from the conference that Dr. Young is changing the company’s recommendations re: fennel and pregnancy/lactation. Have you heard anything about this? I’m just wondering. Thanks!

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Amy! I have not read anything on lemongrass oil improving quality or production. I would have to try and research it a bit. I would recommend that you take fennel in a veggie capsule with a little bit of carrier oil. It should have the same effect. And, I really don’t know about Gary Young changing any recommendations. I wasn’t able to make it to the conference this year. If I hear anything I can let you know! Thanks for your comment!

      • Jocelyn says:

        Hi Becky, I just need to be safe here since my body is so sensitive to the oils when it comes to milk supply.
        Which oils can I use from our premium starter kit? At the moment, I know lavender, lemon & thieves are safe for nursing moms. What abt P&C, panaway, stress away, frank, valor & joy? Citrus fresh?
        Wld love to know as I don’t want my oils to go to waste cos am planning to bfeed for another year. Tks lots

        • Becky Webb says:

          Hey Jocelyn,

          Most/all of the oils are great for nursing moms. I just caution peppermint because it can decrease supply. I also would diffuse peppermint around the baby or use panaway when you are directly around the baby due to the menthol. 2% of children have a hard time with menthol. So, best to be cautious. Other than that though you should be great!

          • Jocelyn says:

            Tks Becky for yr reply. Blends like panaway and P&C has peppermint in there. So was wondering whthr it’s ok. I still don’t dare to use it. R they ok?
            I also heard ylang ylang is a no no too. Is that so? Hope to hear fr u soon. Tks

          • Becky Webb says:

            I would go easy on the Panaway. P & C is mostly citrus, no mint, so it would be safe to use.

  18. My first pregnancy ended in stillbirth at 39 weeks, and I felt blessed when after she was born there was no milk. I did not know then that it could be an indicator that I might have milk production issues. Fast forward 3 1/2 years later I have my second child. I pumped for two weeks and the most milk I got in one day was 2 oz. My son was eating that at each feeding by that point. I tried mother’s milk tea and just about everything my doctor told me to do. One thing the lactation consultant told me to do is consult with a lactation consultant next time while I’m pregnant. So after that background my question: Is it safe to begin using these oils while still pregnant? I want to ramp my milk production just prior to giving birth the next time I’m pregnant.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hey Jenn. I’m so sorry to hear about your first little. Hugs. As far as starting essential oils while pregnant I wouldn’t start using fennel oil until after birth, I would ask your healthcare provider about it. Fennel during pregnancy in some cases may cause the placenta to become unattached from the uterine wall. After birth, I would also recommend starting out very slowly. I would use them aromatically in a diffuser and I would use them topically diluted in a carrier oil like olive oil, or coconut oil. And, just integrate them slowly. I would also make sure you are purchasing a brand that is committed to quality since these many essential oils brands are not tested for pesticide use or other issues that I see that could come from third party growers. You can check out seedtoseal.com for much of the reason that I chose Young Living. I think fennel can be helpful to get your milk supply going as well as an oil like valor which could help support your kidneys and align the body to other things that may be going on that are causing your milk supply issues to start out with.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Actually, this is another topic that aromatherapists don’t agree on. It is true that fennel shouldn’t be used during pregnancy, but many well known aromatherapy texts recommend fennel to be safe for nursing.

      • Can I ask what texts support using Fennel while nursing? Anything scientific?

        • Becky Webb says:

          I’m sure there are some Kimberly. Fennel has been used for hundreds of years as an herb in order to increase milk production. I don’t have anything handy right now though to support it scientifically. I don’t think it would be difficult to find though.

  19. I have used YL oils for the past 5 years. I am about to give birth to our daughter soon and wondered about taking oils internally while breast feeding… I want to boost immune system etc. And wonder if Thieves is ok for me to take in vege capsules while breastfeeding. And any other oils that I can take? or should not take internally?

  20. I just got some basil oil. How fast dose it work and what’s the best place to put it.
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    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Marina, You can add a drop to a small bit of a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil and rub it on your feet. You can also rub a drop to the carrier oil and rub it around your breasts (but not on the nipple where baby would get any in their mouth). It really depends on the person how fast it would work. I’ve used fennel and it has worked with in 10 minutes. It may take a few applications for you or it may work right away.

  21. hi! I have just began to use Basil and I’m curious to how often should I use it and how much? I just have a simple right now and so I just put on a few dabs around each breast is that right? Is that enough? Too much?

    • Becky Webb says:

      I’d ease into it. One drop diluted in a carrier oil and rubbed on your breasts. (Not on the nipples.) I would apply before feeding.

  22. Hi I just started using the YL fennel oil, just want to make sure I’m using this correctly…how much coconut oil should I use per drop? And do I only rub it around my breasts? Also, how often should I apply this and when? Thank you!

    • Becky Webb says:

      I Diana, I would use about a dime size amount of carrier oil and just about a drop of essential oil. I would start with applying it once a day and then increase as needed.

  23. Great thank you !

  24. I should be getting my YL Fennel in tomorrow and I’m beyond excited!! I recently got sick and my supply went from 8 oz a pumping session to 4!!! So I am desperate! If I use the fennel for a couple days will my supply stay up??? Or will I have to use to everyday?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hey Ashely! It really works differently for everyone. Fennel worked wonders for my supply, but I’ve talked with others who it has helped and those who it has not. I would use it as needed. You could use it for a few days at first to see if it is working for you.

  25. Hi! I just came across this great article. i wondered if the thieves oil will lower breast milk supply because it has thyme in it?

  26. How soon will your production increase. I had been sick for about a week and feel like my milk production has decreased. I just got the fennel oil and would like to know how to apply it and how soon after should I see results.

    • Becky Webb says:

      It is hard to know Karina, Everyone is different. I took mine internally and saw the results within 10 minutes. Others chose to apply topically. And, at times it takes people longer to see results.

  27. What kind of results did you see with fennel oil?

  28. Do you apply the oil directly on and around the breast?
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  29. My doctor told me I had to supplement with formula. I’m doing that but I’d like to just get my supply back up. I bought some fennel HL from my friend who is a consultant. I was reading your blog and wondered if you recommend applying to breasts (not nipples) and drinking it too. Or just one or the other. I started with application first. TIA

    • Becky Webb says:

      Loretta, I took a drop in water and drank it. I am sure it would be also helpful applying it to the breasts as long as it wasn’t in baby’s face.

  30. Hi! I just want to make sure I am understanding your directions before getting the oils and trying this for myself. I can get the fennel or basil oil and put a dime size amount of coconut oil on my palm, add a drop of the oil and rub it together and then do you rub your entire breast minus the nipple? Or just the top or bottom? What would you recommend? You also said you can put the oil in water and drink it. Is 1 drop of either oil in a regular 16.9 oz bottle of water sufficient? And how many bottles of water would you recommend to do this with a day? Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Becky Webb says:

      These oils work different for different people. I would take 1 drop of fennel oil in water before I would nurse. It would help me in about 10 minutes. You can also apply them topically to the breast, just don’t put it where your baby’s face would be in it and that could help as well.

  31. Wondering if u can take basil internally as well ot would u recommend it only topically? I take the fennel internally but wanted to take the recommended break from it so I just recieved my young living basil oil and I’m wondering which ways I can take it? Thanks!

  32. Thanks for your blog! I know you’ve been repeating yourself a bit! I noticed that in one response you suggested putting the oil on the bottom of mom’s feet. I’ve placed oil on the top of my breast and armpit three times since yesterday. I think I am seeing results, but I feel worried about the baby getting some in his mouth. I’m also wondering if the EO makes it’s way to the breast milk and what effect this might have on baby. Is application on the foot as effective?
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    • Hi Kristin. I would take it internally and I didn’t have any problems. If the baby does get any of it I am sure it is a very small amount after your body conjugates it in the liver.

  33. I have been using the fennel and basil for 2 months and love it so far. I was reading today that fennel can cause your period to start ? I don’t want a period while nursing, can this happen and why?

    • Hi Carrie, I’m not sure. I haven’t had this with fennel. I used it frequently while nursing and it didn’t cause my period to start. I would have to do some more research on its affects.

  34. Hi, I found your blog while trying to research essential oils and breastfeeding … someone just gave me “germ fighter synergy” for my kids… I was going to disfuse it in the house but wasn’t sure if it was safe with me nursing and with baby in the house. Could you give me some advice I’d love to know your opinion! Thanks!

    • Sorry Jodi. I can only recommend Young Living essential oils because I have seen the benefits of them. I have not seen the benefits with other essential oils that I have used and I can’t speak to germ fighter synergy. After using several oils on the market I know I can trust Young Living essential oils around my children and I have a hard time trusting other brands due to what I’ve researched.

  35. im reading in the Gentle Babies book that you take two drops of Fennel in a spoon of honey every two hours, has anyone tried that?

  36. I’ve just started using the fennel oil. I take it internally by dropping 2 dross under my tongue. Is that OK? I see your recommendations involve water or honey, etc.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Anne, I think it is fine if it doesn’t bother you to take it that way. I don’t really care for the taste so I tried to gulp it down quick.

  37. hi becky,
    Do you think fennel safe for baby that diagnosis as g6pd while nursing? FYI, im from malaysia and found your blog while google about boost up breast milk.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Sorry zubaidah, I’m not familiar with g6pd. However, I found fennel to help increase my milk supply quickly.

  38. I’m 26 weeks pregnant with baby number three. Milk supply has been an issue for me. My milk never fully came in with our last. I have the young living fennel- should I start using this before baby is born or wait until after?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Samantha! Fennel oil is not recommend for pregnancy. So I would wait until after you have had your sweet little one.

  39. How soon before I nurse or pump do I apply the fennel oil?

    • Becky Webb says:

      I am sure it varies for everyone since everyone is different, but for me it was helpful just 10 minutes before.

  40. Is it possible to use the YL fennel and basil oil as tea? or will it only work topically applied?

  41. I’m allergic to the fennel in the pill form, (terrible runny nose and head congestion), do you think it would affect me the same if I applied it topically???

  42. Jessie sia says:

    1. I am new to this products. I want to boost my milk supply very much and stock up more in a day. How can I do that?

    2. My son is coughing so hard that the phlegm is stuck in his throat that made him felt so uncomfortable especially when he sleep at night and day time. And they have sleeping problem which I hardly can get them to sleep peacefully and early.

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Jessie,

      I used fennel 10 minutes before I nursed. I used 1 drop in a glass of water. It increase my supply that quickly. But, everyone is different.

      Also, how old is your son? Peppermint that comes in the Premium Starter Kit may be helpful for this (beware of non-Young Living peppermints. They smell like 1 candy cane. You want them to smell earthy like the plant.) You can find info on the Premium Starter Kit here: http://www.rootedblessings.com/essential-oils/

      Also, my favorite blend for breaking up phlegm is RC. It is amazing! Oils that can help with sleep is lavender (also in the PSK), in some cases Frankincense (in the PSK), Valor, Cedarwood, and Peace and Calming are some favorites. You may want to mix and match to see what works for your son.

  43. Why does my head hurt w these oils?

  44. Since I’ve been using young living fennel and basil to increase milk my daughter has had very liquids stools. Is there a connection or just a coincidence

  45. Becky,
    I found your site after googling young living EO to boost milk production. YL didn’t have fennel in for awhile, but I tried other things in the mean time. I tried tons of water, food, lactation cookies, fenugreek, herb drops, etc. I came back to work and noticed the drop. Fennel finally came back up and I ordered that and Basil at your recommendation. I feel silly saying this, but I feel like it was an answered prayer. I just came back to look to see if anyone has asked questions about how many times we can apply it, because I feel like if I skip (started this past Monday) an application in between feedings and pumps, my supply is low. It looks like you answer everyone’s questions, so I should be good since I read all of them. I just wanted to say thank you for this information and answering our questions. I will try dropping it in water today, I have yet to try that.
    Thank you,
    PS I love YL! I started them when I was pregnant and am hooked!

  46. After mixing 2 drops of basil with 2T of coconut oil, do I run a small amount around my breast or use the entire mixture? If it’s a small amount, then can I store the remainder for later use? TIA!

    • Becky Webb says:

      You don’t need to use the entire mixture. You can store the rest for later use. Just make sure you store it out of direct sunlight.

  47. I feel a bit silly asking this but what is the lymph area? You mentioned applying to the breast and lymph area.

    Also doTerra is another brand I hear about a lot besides Young Living. Do you know anything about this brand?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hey Amber! You have lymph nodes under your arm pits and there is also lymph tissue around you breasts. There are actually lymph nodes throughout the body. Yes, I do know enough about doTerra to know that I prefer Young Living because of their seedtoseal guarantee and the fact that I can visit their farms and in fact know that they have superior quality to any other brand.

  48. Jocelyn says:

    Hi Becky,
    What wld u recommend for milk blisters & cracked nipple? Tks lots.

  49. Hi Becky,

    Thanks for the advice, I have had supply sided related to my little one’s six week early arrival. LC told me that nursing is the best way to increase supply, but my little guy had to be tube fed and then his bottling and nursing were both limited for a while. I was pumping while in the NICU and barely keeping up as he feedings increased to 2oz, and fell behind immediately when we returned home. I have the oils and I am going to try them, just wondering I should use them before each pumping, and how long should they stay on of I have using them topically. I am thinking about using them internally as well. Thanks for your help!

  50. Do you think this will be as effective if I am inducing lactation for adoption? I’ve nursed 3 bio kids with no issues, but my youngest is 7. Plan to start pumping at the end of July, baby comes in September. Should I try it for pumping or wait until baby latches?

  51. Stephanie says:

    How long does it take after using the basil to start producing more milk? Right now my baby is 8 months and I only pump no actual breast feeding, and I am only getting maybe 2-4oz every 4-5 hours. So i am hoping this works.

  52. Christine says:

    I would to know more about basil and breastfeeding before ordering

  53. Jerstar says:

    THank you for your article. I am a user of YL oil too! I read that you mention you put a drop of the fennel oil into water 10mins before you feed. Is it every single time? if that’s the case, I would bring it to work to put it into my water before I pump.

    Is there any side effect in using fennel oil? Just a little worried in using it to increase milk production…

    • Becky Webb says:

      I did just use it whenever I needed a boost. There are lots of opinions it seems on fennel oil. I’ve read that some aromatherapists say it is fine and others disagree. I experienced no side effect, but I always recommend doing your own research and being comfortable with your choice.

  54. So u will stop at 10th day for 5 days?

  55. jerstar says:

    What’s the max no of time u took fennel within a day?

  56. Can i apply the peppermint oil too the breast or do i need too take it by mouth?

  57. I just used a mixture of basil and fennel on my upper breast away from baby’s mouth…but I sweat there and it ran down to the nipple before next feeding…. Will she be ok?

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hey Bethany, how is she doing? I don’t recommend getting it in babies mouth, but I am sure it wasn’t very much. I’m sure she’s fine. I think kids get given many more crazy things.

  58. Hi, if I rub Basil or fennel around my breast before a feeding, must I wipe it off before baby latches? Perhaps the smell isn’t good for her? Thank you!

  59. I drink Mothers Milk Tea twice a day which also has fennel in it and rub a drop of fennel and a drop of basil oils with coconut oil on my breasts three times a day. Would this be too much fennel for me? I’m worried about it increasing flow through my urinary tract.

  60. Hi! I’m a doula and wondering if you have any more info on the reasons some say to not use fennel. I’m finding the conflicting info and just looking for the sources to read up on it all. And when they say *why* they recommend or don’t recommend that really helps in my decisions (I’m a YL member and have another aromatherapy book as well as the YL pocket guide. And they conflict lol)

    • Becky Webb says:

      Hi Marsena. I would examine studies on fennel to get more details on why some say not to use fennel and why others say to use it. I have found that most of the advice comes from the examination of studies. It is good to take a closer look at the scientific studies and point people in that direction when they are deciding about the safety of an oil or in this case fennel oil. Also, if there isn’t enough evidence either way for studies people will often say not to take it and error on the side of caution.

  61. I would suggest you buy Robert Tisserand’s book, Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition. Before you write your blog telling people what essential oil to use for an ailment, you could research this in the book. The author has 40 years of experience in the essential oil field, he is not trying to sell you anything. This book is a reference manual, not a book to tell you what oil to use for an ailment. He does not give medical advise.
    Fennel and Basil essential oils should not be used while pregnant nor while breastfeeding. Robert Tisserand explains this in his book. He based his statement according to the chemistry of the essential oils and the constituents in the oils.
    Unless you have some background in essential oil chemistry, it would be great for you to do more research before you post in a blog. You do not want to be responsible for telling someone to use an oil that would be harmful to them or their family.
    If you are a rep for an essential oil company, you cannot legally give medical advise as you would be practicing medicine without a license…a big no no by FDA rules. Telling someone to use an essential oil for a condition or ailment is giving medical advise. About all you can say is an essential oil supports the various systems in our bodies.

    There are some HERBS that can assist with milk production, NOT essential oils. Don’t get herbs and essential oils mixed up-they do not work the same way. A fresh sprig of a herb is very mild. One drop of an essential oil is potent and strong and it takes pounds of herbs to make one drop of essential oil (just estimating here, each oil is different on the amount of fresh materials it takes for make a drop).

    • Becky Webb says:

      Dear Ms Pat,

      I do extensive research before I post a blog. Similar to any other profession out there there are individuals that disagree with each other on how an element may be used in order to support the body’s natural abilities. The same goes for essential oils. There are several trained aromatherapists, which are also not part of network marketing companies, FYI that endorse the safety of fennel essential oil.

      Perhaps before you decide to attempt to publicly shame someone by leaving a comment on their blog, you may want to do additional research of your own of varying opinions on usage for whatever product you decide to use. As I have found for much of what I do with clients nutritionally as well as with essential oils there is no one size fits all for anything.

      This blog does not contain any medical advice. The above article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate any disease. This article is intended aid nursing mothers in continuing to maintain a healthy milk supply. NO ONE other than a MEDICAL DOCTOR is allowed to give any sort of medical advice. This includes aromatherapists. I am not a medical doctor, and I do not give medical advice.

      I assume your comment was made with the most nobel intentions I urge you to continue to read and consume information on essential oils. The amount to learn is endless.

  62. Hi just wondering can you apply the fennel EO on the breasts not on the nipple and then nurse 20 minutes later or do yiu have to wait for an extended period of time

  63. Hi I just came across this as I was frantically searching the Internet to bring my supply back up. I am so scared because on Thursday I had a massage and I didn’t realize there was peppermint oil in the oil she used and since then I have had a dramatic decrease in supply. I am praying it’s not too late and I haven’t done permanent damage. Going to get fennel and basil oil today! Just curious if you have any other advise. I never had a supply problem before this.

    • Becky Webb says:

      I would not worry. Drink plenty of water and eat well. Usually mamas supply will come back if they don’t use it again. I haven’t ever known anyone that it didn’t return after stopping use. Make sure any of the clothes that you may have put on after the massage are washed and that aren’t using peppermint oil other than that.

  64. My daughter is trying to increase her milk supply and I suggested YLEO. My research found fennel and basil to be helpful. Our problem is that my granddaughter has only gained 2lbs and she is 4 months old, my daughter said her supply seems good until afternoon and then she does not seem to have enough milk. I saw that you suggested a higher fat diet but my daughter is having to watch fat intake because of a gallbladder issue. Could you please explain about fore and hind milk.

  65. I am nursing an 8 month old. Is it safe to touch theives oil and smell it quickly? I touched the outside of a bottle that had a little bit of the oil on it and I have dry, cracked hands. It burned a little and I applied coconut oil, that helped. My concern is will the oil be absorbed into my breast milk and be harmful to my baby?

    • Becky Webb says:

      I have known many mothers that use Thieves successfully during nursing. I wouldn’t us it highly concentrated or diffused right in your baby’s face, but I am yet to meet a mother that has had a problem.

  66. Hi Becky- I have a 2 oz glass dropper bottle and I want to make a blend of Fennel, Basil and Geranium for a friend who needs help with her milk supply. My question for you is, How many drops of each oil would I use? I will be adding fractionated coconut oil as the carrier oil. All oils are Young Living. Thanks!

  67. What about clary sage? When can I start using it, while pregnant or after birth? Where to apply and how often? It’s not a cheap oil so I don’t want to waste any.

  68. Hi Becky

    I applied fennel oil without dilute on my breast but out of a sudden my baby woke up and need to nurse. Will he be ok if I nurse him? Since the smell of fennel is strong.

  69. Jessica Marques says:

    I had low milk supply since the birth my baby with c-section. I tried hard to put my baby on formula but he didn’t agree to take bottle. After researching a lot on the net I found Healthy nursing tea and decided to try the product. Wow! it worked wonder and stimulated my breast milk production.

  70. What if you diffused the fennel, would that still help?


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