What Is Sunflower Lecithin, And How Does It Help With Breastfeeding?

Key Points

If you are pregnant and planning to breastfeed or had your baby recently and are breastfeeding, you already know that you are doing the best thing for your baby. Breastmilk is known as liquid gold for a reason because it contains the correct number of nutrients, fats, and minerals for your growing baby that can help them grow well and stay healthy. Not everyone can or wants to breastfeed, which is okay as the formula that exists today comes very close to breastmilk even though nothing compares since it is not natural.

However, there are always challenges with breastfeeding, but fortunately, there are solutions most of the time. One common challenge that nursing mothers face is that their ducts become clogged. It often happens because of insufficient or poor drainage of the ducts. Milk can build up in those ducts, and as a result, painful lumps develop, which can turn into mastitis, a painful infection.

The good news is that there are methods to remove the clogs and help the milk move quickly through the ducts to prevent those painful lumps and reduce the risk of mastitis. A product that can help with that is sunflower lecithin.

What Is Sunflower Lecithin, And What Is Unique About It?

Lecithin is a substance that comes from animals or plants, and as it helps to provide a moist and smooth consistency in food that helps prevent the separation of ingredients. Therefore, it is a fat emulsifier. The term comes from the Greek lekythos, which means egg yolk since the substance is fatty and yellowish-brown. Not only does lecithin help to prevent the ingredients from separating in food such as your cookies, but the substance has health benefits for your body.

It contains choline which also comes from eggs, phosphatidylcholine, and essential fatty acids, phospholipids. So not only is lecithin good for your brain, but it is also good for your liver function, your skin, your joints, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. You can find lecithin in plants such as sunflowers and also in soy. However, sunflower lecithin is much better than soy lecithin because it contains many health benefits, whereas soy lecithin is only an empty additive.

The other thing about soy is that many people have allergies to soy, which is also not good for your baby as it can hurt their hormonal development if it goes through breastmilk. Soy is also genetically modified, whereas sunflowers are not, and soy lecithin also goes through chemical processing.

However, sunflower lecithin is entirely organic and does not go through any chemical processing. Sunflower lecithin may cost more as a result, but it is worth it for the breastfeeding mom and her baby – and it does a fantastic job of keeping ducts clear, which prevents blockages and lumps.

What Does Sunflower Lecithin Do For Breastfeeding?

The one thing that any breastfeeding mom wants to avoid is having their ducts clogged by the milk, which unfortunately happens quite often. Therefore, if the milk does become backed up, it will cause lumps, and the only way to prevent painful mastitis is to keep the ducts as clear as possible. That means to help keep the drainage happening and flowing, so nothing backs up at all.

One of the best solutions to prevent the milk from backing up into the breasts is sunflower lecithin. That is because it is a natural fat emulsifier, and as you know, it helps the ingredients of food stick together; it can also reduce the chances of the milk getting lodged in the ducts. It removes the stickiness from the milk, and that is what helps the flow stay consistent. In addition, it prevents the milk fats from sticking together and causing lumps as well. If there are fatty clogs in the ducts, the sunflower lecithin can also remove those lumps and help them flow much easier. That is why every breastfeeding mom should have sunflower lecithin on hand to prevent any clogs from happening. It will help reduce frustration among pain!

How Do Manufacturers Process Sunflower Lecithin?

Manufacturers process sunflower lecithin by taking a sunflower and dehydrating it in three parts. First, they separate the oil, the gum from the seeds, the solids from the sunflower, and the lecithin derives from the gum. Then, a cold press system processes the lecithin the same way it processes olive oil. Finally, the manufacturers clean it well and naturally as it does not go through any processing involving harmful chemicals the same way manufacturers make soy lecithin.

Sunflower lecithin can come in the form of powder, a gel capsule, or liquid. The preferable form is entirely up to the user who wants to take it.

How To Take Sunflower Lecithin For Breastfeeding

If you are a breastfeeding mom that wants to take lecithin to prevent the ducts from clogging, whether you have a history of clogged ducts or not, you will want to talk to your doctor about how often and when to take it. However, you will need to take the sunflower lecithin on an empty stomach. You will want to also not eat any sooner than a half-hour after taking it because it will not absorb properly. You can take it in any form you wish, whether you want to take it in liquid or powder form or take it as a gel capsule.

How Much Sunflower Lecithin To Take For Breastfeeding

The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor about the dosage of sunflower lecithin to take. If you have not had a history of clogged ducts, you can take anywhere from 1,200 mg to 2,400 mg per day. That means that it is anywhere from one to two capsules a day, as that will be enough to help prevent clogs from happening. However, if you have clogged ducts or history, you will want to take anywhere from 3,600 to 4,800 mg of lecithin daily. If you have clogs right now, you will want to take the latter, which is the equivalent of four capsules a day if they are 1,200 mg each.

If you are breastfeeding anyway, you will need to eat about five to six small meals to keep your energy reserves up, as it takes many calories to breastfeed your baby alone. Therefore, you can take one capsule (or the form of your choice) before breakfast, then another before lunch, then another before your snack, and then the last one before dinner. If you take it for maintenance or as a preventative for other clogs, you can take one before breakfast and another before dinner if you choose to take two a day.

Are There Side Effects Of Taking Sunflower Lecithin For Breastfeeding?

Taking sunflower lecithin is safe for most people, and most of the time, you can handle it well. However, some side effects can happen with it, such as bloating and pain in the abdomen. You may also have decreased appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and increased salivation. If your appetite decreases, don’t panic, as the side effects will subside once your body becomes used to the lecithin. However, you will want to eat foods full of health benefits and higher calories, such as nut butter and avocado. Once again, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor and a registered dietician who can provide the guidance you need.

If you have allergies to lecithin, or if you are taking topical diclofenac for arthritis pain, you cannot take lecithin. However, you want to ensure that you don’t have any medical condition that can worsen if you take it as well, which is why you need to talk to your doctor before taking it. Also, if you are taking other medications or herbal supplements, you need to discuss that with your doctor.


If you are a breastfeeding mom or are pregnant and plan to breastfeed your baby, the last thing you want to face is clogged milk ducts in your breasts‘. It is painful, and if you don’t treat it immediately, you will be at a higher risk for developing mastitis, which is very painful. The good news is that there is an easy way to prevent the clogging of ducts and a way to remove clogs easily.

The solution for preventing and removing blockages is by taking sunflower lecithin. This fat emulsifier can remove the clogs, improve the flow, and prevent the milk from sticking together in the ducts. However, before taking it, you need to talk to your doctor and a registered dietician to learn about the benefits, side effects and to see if you are a candidate for it. If you are, then the solution is right there for you!