Sunflower Lecithin Breastfeeding: Unclog Milk Ducts Naturally

| Reviewed By Sarah Schulze, MSN, APRN, CPNP

Sunflower lecithin, a natural and beneficial supplement, can greatly aid mothers who are breastfeeding.

Does sunflower lecithin increase milk supply? No, sunflower lecithin doesn’t increase milk supply. Sunflower lecithin makes breast milk creamier and thinner to help prevent and treat clogged milk ducts. If you have chronic clogged milk ducts, you should try sunflower lecithin to decrease your risk of developing mastitis.

Read on to learn more about unclogging milk ducts naturally with sunflower lecithin.

Sunflower Lecithin for Breastfeeding – What To Know

Check out these fun facts about sunflower lecithin and its benefits for breastfeeding mothers.

What Is Sunflower Lecithin?

Sunflower lecithin is a fat-like substance made from dehydrated sunflower seeds.

After dehydrating the seeds, the manufacturer will split them into solids, gum, and oil through a cold-press system. The gum is the lecithin.

Lecithin is used in processed foods as an emulsifier, which helps holds together two liquids without them separating.

Breastfeeding mothers prefer sunflower lecithin over other types of lecithin because of its all-natural ingredients and status as a non-GMO product.

Sunflower Lecithin Benefits for Lactation

Besides being an all-natural, non-GMO product, sunflower lecithin prevents clogged milk ducts and any unpleasant symptoms that come with them.

As a result of the change in your milk, you can benefit from the following:

  • Pain-free breastfeeding sessions
  • A calm, content baby during feedings
  • Less chance of developing mastitis, an infection from clogged milk ducts
  • Less chance of breast abscess, which can only be cleared by a medical professional

Is Sunflower Lecithin Bad for You?

No, sunflower lecithin isn’t bad for you, but like any supplement, it’s possible to consume too much of it.

If you have more than 5,000 milligrams of sunflower lecithin in one day, you may suffer from digestive issues, such as nausea, abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.

Compared to other types of lecithin, sunflower lecithin is typically considered healthier.

Does Sunflower Lecithin Decrease Milk Supply?

No, sunflower lecithin doesn’t decrease milk supply. It makes your breast milk smoother and less sticky to help prevent clogged milk ducts.

As an emulsifier, sunflower lecithin breaks up the fat globules in breast milk to allow it to come out of the milk ducts more efficiently.

Sunflower Lecithin Breastfeeding Side Effects

Sunflower lecithin has very few side effects when used to help with breastfeeding. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims that lecithin is safe for consumption.

If you take too much of it, you may experience stomach upset and diarrhea. Some babies and mothers are also allergic to lecithin, but since sunflower isn’t a common allergy, it’s usually safer to consume than soy lecithin.

Sunflower Lecithin Effects on Baby

There are no known side effects in breastfed babies whose mothers take sunflower lecithin. Since this substance reduces the stickiness of breast milk, it may make the milk easier for your baby to consume.

If you have any concerns, you should consult your doctor or your baby’s pediatrician before taking sunflower lecithin.

Sunflower Lecithin Breastfeeding Dose

The Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation suggests a sunflower lecithin breastfeeding dose of 1,200mg four times daily.

This amount is safe for consumption and effective in reducing the stickiness of a mother’s breast milk. For specific dosages, refer to the specific product’s nutrition information on the bottle.

Soy Lecithin vs. Sunflower Lecithin Breastfeeding

As the name suggests, soy lecithin is extracted from soybeans. It tends to be more economical than sunflower lecithin, but it’s not as healthy.

Sunflower lecithin doesn’t require a solvent during the extraction process, so the ingredients are more natural than soy lecithin.

Instead of using a solvent, manufacturers use a cold-press system, similar to how extra virgin olive oil is created. Sunflower is also a healthy alternative for babies who are allergic to soy.

A mother in a purple shirt breastfeeding her baby while lying in bed.

Best Sunflower Lecithin for Breastfeeding

Check out the best sunflower lecithin products for breastfeeding.

Legendairy Milk® Sunflower Lecithin

This is my personal go-to sunflower lecithin. It’s designed by a certified breastfeeding specialist and mom, this product quickly unclogs milk ducts, especially when paired with other methods.

It’s non-GMO, made in the USA, and has no soy, dairy, or fenugreek. If you currently have clogged milk ducts, take 3-4 capsules daily. If you want to prevent clogged milk ducts, take 2 soft gels daily.

Drops of Nature Organic Sunflower Lecithin Liquid Drops

As a vegan alternative that’s easier to swallow than other sunflower lecithin products, these liquid drops offer effective breastfeeding support for mothers.

It has a natural strawberry flavor to help with consumption. It’s non-GMO and doesn’t contain gluten, sugar, or alcohol.

You can consume up to 2 milliliters of these liquid drops daily, whether you want to take them by themselves or mix them with a smoothie.

Naturebell Sunflower Lecithin

This sunflower lecithin product is an economical choice since you get a lot of capsules for the price you pay. You only need to take one pill daily with meals to start seeing results.

Containing all-natural ingredients, these sunflower lecithin capsules are non-GMO and do not have soy or gluten.

Clogged Milk Duct Symptoms

If you’re a breastfeeding mother, look out for these clogged milk duct symptoms:

  • Your breasts may still feel full, even after you finish nursing your baby.
  • You may feel a soft, dense, or tender lump on your breast or anywhere up to your armpit.
  • The area around the lump you feel may be irritated and red.

Causes of Clogged Milk Ducts

Clogged milk ducts are caused by:

  • An inconsistent breastfeeding or pumping schedule.
  • Wearing an infant carrier, shirt, dress, or bra that’s too tight.
  • An improper latch that goes without correcting.
  • Engorgement that comes from not draining the breast frequently enough.
  • Missing feedings.
  • Making your breastfeeding sessions too short.
  • Spacing breastfeeding sessions too far apart.

How To Prevent Clogged Milk Ducts

The best way to prevent clogged milk ducts is to empty your breasts regularly through nursing or pumping. Follow these tips to avoid plugged milk ducts:

  • Make sure your baby is latching properly, or work with a lactation consultant to correct a poor latch.
  • Keep your baby on a consistent breastfeeding schedule, whether on demand or by the clock.
  • Wear loose clothing instead of tight-fitting bras, shirts, or dresses. You may even want to go up a cup size in bras.
  • Try different breastfeeding positions during a nursing session so your baby empties all areas of your breasts.
  • Stay hydrated to keep up your milk supply and flow.
  • When you want to wean your baby, do it slowly and gradually instead of all at once.

How To Unclog Milk Ducts Naturally

If you have clogged milk ducts, they usually resolve within a few days. Besides taking sunflower lecithin and other supplements, you can unclog your milk ducts naturally by following these tips:

  • Breastfeed regularly and consistently.
  • Take a warm shower or apply a heating pad to your breasts.
  • Take a bath with Epsom salt for about a half hour.

Related Questions:

Will a Clogged Milk Duct Eventually Dry Up?

Yes, a clogged milk duct will eventually clear up in 24 to 48 hours with or without treatment.

Since a mother’s breasts have several milk ducts, one clogged milk duct doesn’t mean her breast milk will dry up. You can use sunflower lecithin supplements or a warm bath to clear a clogged milk duct.

Does Sunflower Lecithin Help With Weight Loss?

Yes, sunflower lecithin can help with weight loss. The benefits, such as healthy blood circulation, that it provides can contribute to weight loss.

Since lecithin breaks down fats, some people think that sunflower lecithin can help your body metabolize fat more quickly.

Conclusion

Sunflower lecithin can help prevent and treat clogged milk ducts. If you have recurring plugged milk ducts, give sunflower lecithin a try to avoid getting mastitis and other infections.

Sources: