Whether nursing your first baby or fourth, it can be different every time. Each little baby has their own set of needs and personalities and what comes easily to some babies (they just want to nurse) is more difficult to others (they are so distracted by the new world around them!). You might need to increase your breast milk supply for a number of reasons; so you can pump for an extra bottle for the freezer, have enough breast milk for twins, or most often, you’re a mommy going back to work and need to pump to keep up the supply… it’s a long eight hours until you’re home again!
Easily found herbal supplements can be used to increase your breast milk supply.
The first herbal is Matricaria chamomilla also known German chamomile. When breast milk is lost due to lack of consistent nursing, ineffective pumping or anxiety from the mother, chamomile tea, made from the whole fresh plant or dried herbs, 2 to 3 times per day can bring back the lost breast milk. So easy to use during work or when you’re traveling and away from the baby.
Another herbal with impressive side effects is fenugreek. Grown and used like crazy in India and the Middle East, fenugreek or T. foenum-graecum is used in cooking in multiple ways. It can be dried like an herb, the seeds are used as a spice and the leaves of the plant are used fresh, like microgreens or sprouts. Fenugreek tea is a natural herbal supplement used to increase breast milk.
Herbals for increasing breast milk are found as teas. Chamomile tea and fenugreek in tea are easy to pick up in your local grocery store, no special stops needed. Traditional Medicinals makes a tea “Mother’s Milk” which contains fenugreek and is a great product.
One last point with herbal teas and breast milk production; Breast milk is naturally made of almost 90% water. If your breast milk supply is low, you might just be dehydrated and increasing water (not juice, soda or coffee) can improve your breast milk supply. Since both chamomile and fenugreek teas are caffeine free, none of the dehydrating effects of caffeine, they work to increase your breast milk. Finally, anxiety is a HUGE deterrent of breast milk. Anxiety and stress increases the production of the “anti” breast milk stress hormone, cortisol, which winds up your body tight, increases your heart rate and makes it hard to relax. Breast milk and breastfeeding need calm so the “pro” breast milk hormones prolactin and oxytocin can work.
There is nothing more calming than sitting down with a cup of tea, knowing you’re doing your very best for your child. Try chamomile or fenugreek tea to increase your breast milk.
* Lockie, Andrew M.D. The Family Guide to Homeopathy, Symptoms and Natural Solutions. Copyright 1989 By Dr. Andrew Lockie