Breastfeeding is rewarding but it can also be a challenging time for new mothers.
Not only are you recovering from the birth of your child you are also tired from lack of sleep and worried about how much or how little milk your baby is getting. Anxiety can creep in but remember that if your baby is gaining weight adequately then he is getting enough milk. He may be crying for some other reason and that is the frustrating part. She can grow quickly at times or more slowly so don’t worry if the growth is not uniform.
What teas are good for milk production?
Herbal teas are a wonderful aid for breastfeeding mums to increase the milk supply. Black teas and chais contain caffeine and are the teas best to avoid as the caffeine can affect the baby. The best tea for breastfeeding and increasing breast milk supply is a combination of herbal teas all of which have been used for centuries to increase breast milk.
What herbal teas are good for increasing milk supply?
The teas that I have chosen for the Botanica Breastfeeding Tea are Fennel seeds, Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, Nettle Leaf, Spearmint and Raspberry Leaf. I have changed and added to this combination over the 30 years that I have been formulating teas as a Herbalist. I have found this tea to be very effective in increasing the milk supply. It is also delicious! This good mother’s milk tea can start working quickly. Sip 3-4 cups per day with a little honey if desired.
How long does it take for mother’s milk tea to start working?
You should notice that you have more milk by the end of the day within a few days.
Of course, you need to look at other factors that may influence your supply. Place your baby skin to skin whenever possible as this has been shown to be beneficial for you both. Focus on your baby and remove that mobile phone or Ipad so that are not distracted.
Drinking enough water each day is very important and unlike black tea which is dehydrating the herbal teas can be counted towards your two-litre intake each day. Your lactation consultant may tell you to drink some stout and beer. They are also renowned for increasing milk supply – in moderation of course! Anxiety and worry about your baby can be overwhelming and can also affect the supply. Drink a relaxing tea such as our Botanica Snooze Tea to help you and the baby relax. Your baby is very tuned in to you. Play some peaceful music through the house, sing to your baby and go for walks in the sunshine.
It is also important to get as much rest as possible during the day. Sleep when the baby sleeps or ask a relative or friend to take them out in the pram so that you can grab some rest. Try not to worry about a messy house or dishes piling up. It will all get done eventually (and hopefully by someone else!)
What foods should breastfeeding mums avoid?
It is important to eat regularly to keep your blood sugar stable and energy up. Eat lots of protein such as meat, fish and chicken, vegetables, some fruit and nuts and seeds. Eat plenty of almonds and oatmeal as these two foods can also increase your milk supply. If your baby is crying a lot and not feeding well then keep your diet as bland as possible with no spicy or garlicky food.
If your baby is colicky or unsettled remove all dairy products from your diet and gassy vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Teach your baby to drink from a bottle with expressed breast milk so that you can give her Chamomile Tea if she is unsettled. Chamomile tea soothes the nerves of the stomach helping the baby’s digestion as well as having an overall relaxing and sleep inducing effect.
What supplements can I take when breastfeeding?
As well as the teas I always supplement mums before during and after pregnancy with a good multivitamin, a Practitioner brand probiotic and a high-quality fish oil. These supplements benefit both mother and baby in many ways. The probiotics are most important as they help the baby’s immune system and may help to prevent colic, allergies and skin conditions. Fish oil helps the baby’s brain to develop. Try not to buy them from the supermarket as these supplements are often substandard and not standardized to our standards. You can always visit, call or email my store and my friendly Naturopaths will help you. Contact Us
Robyn Thompson is the founder and owner of Botanica Medicines in Melbourne. With a background in science, she has been a Herbalist and Homoeopath for 35 years. Robyn formulates all of the herbal tea and liquid herbal formulas at Botanica Medicines and continues to enjoy helping clients specializing in oncology support and couples with fertility issues.