I had a slight panic moment the other day when I realized (while drinking my pregnancy tea) that I will have a newborn in a month or so (nesting is now in hyperdrive).
With a precious new little one comes baby coos and tiny clothes and breastfeeding. I love the newborn phase but the early days of nursing are always a little tough for me and I feel that it is harder to get enough calories and nutrients when I’m nursing a baby.
This time, I’m prepared ahead of time as I’ve mixed up a batch of nursing mom tea to have on hand when this little one makes an entrance. I’ve also been busy getting my birth kit in order, eating dates (I’ll keep you posted on that one!), obsessively cleaning (nesting for the win!) and optimizing all of these factors to help make labor easier!
Nursing Mom Tea
Pregnancy is a time of extra demand and nutrient need for the body. Labor is a physically demanding time on the body. Breastfeeding is also a time of increased demand and nutritional need. All in all, having a baby is a couple years of wonderful exhaustion, and while it is easy to focus on the beautiful baby, it is also important for us, as moms, to nourish and support our own bodies during this time.
To the extent possible, it is important to get enough sleep during pregnancy and breastfeeding, eat a nutrient dense diet, and nourish the body in other ways. I’ve found that this is often easier said than done, especially when you have other children too, but since breastfeeding is often done sitting down, it is a great time to hydrate and replenish.
This tea has a combination of beneficial ingredients to help nourish the body and support adequate milk supply:
- Red Raspberry Leaf– High in Vitamin C, Magnesium and Potassium. Raspberry leaf is also recommended to support hormone health.
- Nettle Leaf– High in chlorophyll and trace minerals. It is said to support urinary health.
- Fenugreek– Used as a spice in many parts of the world and often added to curries. Contains potassium, Vitamin C and diosgenin which is the compound that is said to help breastfeeding and milk supply.
- Fennel– Source of Iron, Folate and Vitamin C and also helps improve digestion. Some midwives claim that adding fennel to a nursing tea can also help alleviate digestive struggles or colic in the baby as the benefits can pass through the milk.
- Alfalfa– Known as the “father of all foods” alfalfa is a nutrient dense plant high in Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Chlorophyll. It is often used in multivitamin blends.
- Chamomile– One of my favorite herbs and one I use often for children. It is a calming and relaxing herb and can support restful sleep for mom and baby.
- Dandelion– Good source of vitamins A, C, D, and B as well as minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon.
I order all the herbs in bulk from here and can make big batches of these and other herbal teas very inexpensively. If you aren’t a DIYer and don’t want the initial expense of purchasing herbs in bulk, you can also find this tea pre-made in tea bags.
Some of these herbs are not recommended during pregnancy, so I only drink this tea after the baby is born. It is also important to check with your doctor or midwife before consuming any herb while breastfeeding.
- ½ cup red raspberry leaf
- ½ cup dried nettle leaf
- ¼ cup fenugreek seeds
- ¼ cup fennel seeds
- ¼ cup alfalfa leaf
- ¼ cup dried chamomile flowers
- ¼ cup dandelion leaf
- Mix herbs and store in a glass jar. To brew, add 1 tablespoon to 2 cups of boiling water and simmer on stove for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain and serve. Can also make my the gallon using ½ cup dried herb mix and store in fridge after straining.
I’m grateful to have been able to nurse my babies, but realize that there are many cases where breastfeeding is not possible. Though I have not personally tried it, I have many friends who used this homemade organic formula option with great results.
What helps you stay nourished during breastfeeding? Ever tried a nursing mom tea?