While breastfeeding is a natural process, sometimes mama’s want a little boost to help with their milk supply. There are many natural herbs and foods that can make this journey just that bit easier.
The act of taking a few minutes to enjoy a warm cup of tea can help boost oxytocin which helps with milk flow. If the herbs used in the tea can also help boost milk production, then it’s a win-win solution. For busy mama’s, making a thermos will help keep your tea warmer for longer. As well as teas, herbs can also be taken as tinctures, in capsule form or even used in smoothies.
Below are some common herbs used for boosting lactation.
Fenugreek is one of the most commonly used herbs for promoting breastmilk production. You may already have this spice in your cupboard as fenugreek seeds are a common ingredient in curries.
When women are taking the prescribed dosage of fenugreek, their sweat and urine may smell like maple syrup.
Another herb/spice that you may already have is fennel. It is a great herb for helping with milk production. It is quite pleasant tasting and can be used in teas. Another added benefit is that fennel can help soothe your baby’s digestion through your breastmilk.
Alfalfa is said to help with development of glandular tissue of the breasts and also help with increasing milk supply. It is highly nutritious and contains many vitamins and minerals. It can be bought in powder form and added to smoothies.
Nettle is another highly nutritious herb that is beneficial during postpartum. It is a galactagogue so it helps with milk production and it can also boost iron levels. It tastes quite nice as a tea.
The scientific name for Goats Rue is galega officinalis which translates to ‘bring on milk’. It is a powerful galactagogue that can help develop breast tissue and stimulate both production and flow of breastmilk.
This Ayurvedic herb has been used for centuries. It is excellent for increasing breast milk production and as a general tonic.
This is another nutritious herb packed full of vitamins and minerals. The leaves are a natural galactagogue that help increase breast milk supply.
Blessed thistle helps promote lactation and supports digestion. Lactation specialist and pediatrician, Dr Jack Newman says that “Fenugreek and blessed thistle seem to work better if you take both, not just one or the other.”
This article is intended as a guide only. Reach out to a naturopath or herbalist for more information or for advice regarding your particular situation.
Successful breastfeeding relies on a multitude of factors so make sure you also seek the help of a midwife or lactation consultant if you are needing more support.
For more tips on how to get breastfeeding off to a good start, head here.
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