6 Herbs All Nursing Mothers Should Know About
When it comes to breast feeding, some mothers are blessed with an over abundance of nutrient rich milk supply and others find they have to work really hard at it. I was one of those. I had to maintain a vigilent routine of breast pumping between feeds and a very strict increase to my diet of protien and nutient rich foods to keep up with my hungry little baby. I also turned to herbs known as galactogogues, (a substance that helps increase breastmilk supply) to increase my supply, and for me the improvement was dramatic.
Many people are quick to tell new mums to avoid caffeine and replace your morning cuppa with herbal teas, but which ones are good alternatives for you and bub?
The following is a list of herbs all nursing mums should know about:
Rooibos tea is a fabulous herb, drunk by all ages in its native country South Africa. It is caffiene free, highly nutrient rich and a perfect tea alternative as it is one of the few herbs you can serve with milk, spices, lemon or any other additive you would normally add to a daily cuppa.
Nettle: Has a consistent history of being an effective galactagogue (encouraging lactation). It is rich in iron, calcium, vitamin K, silica and potassium. In Europe Nettle is reputed for its ability to increase iron and nutrient quality of breast milk.
Blessed Thistle: Contraindicated during pregnancy but fabulous once bub is born. Blessed Thistle can be a real help if milk supply is a little light on. (Blessed Thistle is a different Herb to Milk Thistle)
Fennel Seeds have been used for centuries as a popular galactagogue as well as an effective herbal infusion for managing conditions such as colic in babies.
Reducing milk flow
Peppermint is one of the most common herbal teas drunk in Australia. If your milk supply is excessive or if you are trying to wean baby, peppermint is a great herbal tea option. While wanting to keep your milk supply plentiful it is best to avoid all herbs in the mint family as they have a reputation for drying up breast milk.
Sage, commonly drunk in parts of Europe for its digestive benefits, Sage is highly reputed as an effective lactogenic (substance that reduces milk flow). Common advice is to avoid this one until ready to wean.
As with most things, consuming any herbs is best in
moderation and should never be considered an alternative to correct diet and nutrition. It is always advisable to check with your healthcare consultant when making any changes to your diet.
Where to find some great herbal tea options for nursing mothers:
Healing Mummas Nursing Mum Organic Herbal Tea - Includes some of the best reputed herbs for improving lactation quality and quantity in nursing mothers, including Blessed Thistle, Fennel Seeds, Nettle and Roses. Healthy for Mum and Bub and blended for taste as well.
https://teatherapy.com.au/collections/herbal-tea-tisanes - Tea Therapy is a one stop online shop for organic herbs and teas including Peppermint, Rooibos and many more.