Blocked Ducts: A Common Breastfeeding Challenge

By: Taya Griffin, IBCLC – Taya Griffin is a Toronto Based International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She prepares mothers for their breastfeeding journey in the prenatal period and provides in- home and hospital postpartum breastfeeding support. She can be reached at 

The breastfeeding breast is amazing!  Indications of the first changes it will go through begin as early as weeks into pregnancy. Breasts can feel tender and sore, the areola may darken and the Montgomery tubercles around the areola may become more raised. Many mothers also begin to see a crust-like formation on the nipples. This crusting is a minute amount of colostrum which is seeping out ever so slowly and drying on the tip of the nipple.

Milk production doesn’t truly begin until the placenta is delivered. The progesterone and estrogen levels drop and milk production begins. After the milk has transitioned from colostrum to more mature milk, in and around the seventy two hour mark, one of the most common issues with breastfeeding breasts that I see as a Lactation Consultant (after sore nipples and low milk supply of course!) is blocked ducts.  […]

By |October 17th, 2017|Post Natal Care, Self Care, Women's Wellness|0 Comments

Self-Breast Examination

By: Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND

Self-breast examinations are a very important part of self-care, as women need to know what normal is so they can detect changes in the quality of their breast tissue.

“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.”

John Hopkins medical center


“Normal” breast tissue will vary between women and change throughout the month due to the menstrual cycle. Note what your breast tissue feels like during the different stages of your cycle, as breast tissue is sensitive to hormonal fluctuations and can lead to breast tissue changes.

Important changes to note and if any of the following are observed please seek medical evaluation:

New lumps. Most breast lumps are not cancerous but should be examined by a medical professional for evaluation.
Changes, irritation or redness in the breast tissue, skin and nipple
Dimpling or thickening of the breast skin
Discharge from the nipple


Nutrition for Healthy Breasts

By: Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

It is not a stretch to say that health begins with what you eat. This is true of breast health and hormonal health in general. Changes in breast tissue from benign cysts to breast cancer have been linked to estrogen balance within the body or “estrogen dominance”.

“Estrogen dominance” is a term used to describe a high ratio of estrogen to progesterone or just globally high estradiol (one of the three types of possible estrogen). Estrogen dominance has been linked to many different types of women’s health issues besides breast health including PMS symptoms, menopausal symptoms, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, allergies, decreased libido, fatigue, fibrocystic breasts, headaches, infertility, irritability, and fat gain around the abdomen and on the top of the thighs. In addition, studies have shown a well-established link between excess estrogen and breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical dysplasia.

The good news is that hormones are affected by nutrition. Modifying specific dietary and lifestyle habits can help to keep hormones balanced! The following list includes nutrition habits that negatively impact healthy estrogen balance and healthy breasts. […]

By |October 17th, 2017|ND Editorial, Nutrition, Women's Wellness|0 Comments

Acupuncture, Fertility & Labor with Matthew Richardson, R.Ac.

Matthew Richardson, Registered Acupuncturist at Innate Wellness, High park, is an experienced acupuncturist who has spent a lifetime studying martial arts, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. One thing many people don’t know about Matthew is his experience in fertility, pregnancy, labor and delivery. Wondering about how acupuncture can help fertility? Concerned about the labor and delivery process? Matthew has personal experience and many tips to help you conceive and deliver your baby on your terms!

Matthew Richardson, Registered Acupuncturist

Q1. For those of us that don’t know – what exactly is acupuncture and how does it work?

This is the most common question I get, and the hardest one to answer.

The textbook kind of answer is this : Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medical practice that has been practiced, passed down and improved on for over 2000 years and involves the insertion of very thin sterile stainless steel needles into very specific points on the body. The stimulation of these points have the effect of regulating blood pressure, reducing pain, regulating the nervous system and promoting proper organ function. These combined effects are useful for treating any pain, symptom or disease of the body.

Put simply though, acupuncture stimulates the body to heal itself. Health is a state of balance.  Your best health comes from you, and acupuncture is the means by which we can improve the body’s function when it has lost balance.

As a side note, when people ask me about acupuncture I often suggest they come in to experience a session. There is a look that people have when you ask them to do something they have never imagined themselves doing before like acupuncture. I don’t think people are afraid of needles so much as they are afraid of the unknown or they think it will be painful since most needles we use hurt.

Let me just say Acupuncture doesn’t hurt.

There may be some areas that are more sensitive, but you don’t feel pain. Acupuncture is safe and painless, so if you feel anxious about it, I would say try it once and you will be pleasantly surprised. Common sensations you feel are warmth, tingling, heaviness or pressure in the area or just a general feeling of relaxation. It is these sensations that let us know we are having a healing effect on the body.


Banish Stubborn Cellulite with Traditional Chinese Cupping & Acupuncture

With Matthew Richardson, R.Ac.
Unwanted cellulite can be very tricky to get rid of. It occurs as a result of a build up of fatty tissue closer to the surface of the body that creates an uneven or dimpled appearance on the skin. This tissue commonly accumulates on the hips, thighs, abdomen and on the back of the upper arms. We are often looking for the right cream or exercise that can change the tone of the skin and remove the uneven look but it can be very difficult to find a cream that is actually effective.


How is it treated?


New @ Innate: Pelvic Massage (Mercier Technique) for Fertility Treatment!

Patti MacGregor, Registered Massage Therapist, is new to Innate. She is pleased to offer Mercier Technique. This is a form of pelvic massage that can loosen adhesions and decrease tension in the pelvis. This non-invasive technique is an excellent addition to your fertility package. Patti is available on Saturdays from 9am-3pm. Book in advance as her spots are limited!


Why Naturopathic Doctors Recommend Professional Natural Health Products

Question: Why do Naturopathic Doctors recommend professional supplements when other brands are sooooo much cheaper and have similar ingredients!?

By Kathleen Regan, ND

On days where I don’t practice as a naturopath, I consult at a law firm on medical files. Last week I walked into the staff room to find a group of lawyers standing around talking about the price of supplements. I got a lot of questions put to me directly about the cost, quality and regulation of supplements. These are questions that patients might not be comfortable asking… in so many words. Nobody asks questions as directly as a lawyer!! So I thought I might pick a few of them and provide some answers.

How is all of this regulated anyways? Is there quality control in place for the natural supplement industry?
Why do you recommend such expensive professional products?! 
Is there really a difference in quality or is this just a scheme to make money?
Are there certain supplements that you should buy from a ‘better’ company and others that you can get on the cheap?
What products or details do you pay special attention to when recommending a brand?


By |November 21st, 2013|Nutrition, Self Care, Women's Wellness|0 Comments

Recovery from Female Hair Loss

I was reading Gwenyth Paltrow’s new cookbook, “It’s all Good”.  Gwenyth speaks about the impact that adrenal burn out had on her health. She shares how holistic medicine and healthy eating helped to restore her well-being. I noticed looking at her pictures that her hair was thin and dry, not the usual beautiful Gwenyth hair.  I could relate to all of this!  I myself have experienced a prolonged period of stress where I lost too much weight, was burned out, anxious and half of my hair fell out.

While I was going through this period of ill health I spent much time running tests and trying different things in order stop the gobs of hair from falling out daily in the shower. I tried everything to get my shiny, never thick, but full head of hair back to its glory days.  I am happy to say that things have turned around and I have a lot of short baby hairs growing in – a sign of new hair growth.  AND shampooing my hair is no longer a traumatic experience!

There are many reasons for female hair loss or thinning.  Firstly we have to differentiate between hair breakage and actual hair loss.  Hair breakage occurs due to over-processing and blow-drying which results in split ends and hair breakage.  Whereas actual hair loss occurs when hair falls out from the root.  Hair loss will be noticed when shampooing as handfuls of hair will fall out.  Or you my notice that your brush is full of hair a lot faster than it used to be.  We are talking about hair loss here, not breakage.

Causes of hair thinning or loss

 Nutrient deficiency

A number of nutrients need to be considered when we are assessing […]

By |September 11th, 2013|Post Natal Care, Self Care, Women's Wellness|0 Comments