If you are a tea lover but are still nursing, then the best thing to do is to choose caffeine free tea especially if you are drinking up to four cups daily.
Caffeine is a diuretic that causes the body to eliminate water through urinating which may contribute to dehydration. Caffeine can also increase cortisol levels which will reduce the level of vitamins and minerals in your body. The additional consideration when breastfeeding is that caffeine can easily pass through the breast milk and have a negative effect on babies such as a baby becoming unusually fussy, overactive or unable to sleep well.
There are, however, some specific herbs that are safe to take while still breastfeeding to increase milk supply which make a great addition to tea whilst nursing.
The most common herb uses in nursing tea are as follows:
Fenugreek seed has been used for centuries in folk medicine to increase milk production in lactating women. Fenugreek is also known as an estrogen booster to increase breast size. To fix up the bitter taste try to add 1 teaspoon of powdered creamer and a little bit of marshmallow.
This plant is also used as a stimulant for improving milk production in nursing mothers and to improve appetite. Use 1 teaspoons of dried blessed thistle in one cup of hot water.
A very recent study documented that women using milk thistle had a significant increase in breast milk over the population using a placebo.
Stinging nettle tea will help support the supply of breast milk and help to build up the blood supply which is helpful with treating anemia and fighting fatigue.
This common herb is believed to pass through a mother's breast milk to help a with a baby's digestion and to relieve symptoms of colic.
This tea is also good for lactation by increasing milk supply in addition to containing an abundance of minerals.
Chamomile tea is commonly used for relaxing and helping mum to have a better sleep in addition to calming a teething baby.
Alfalfa is common plant from the pea family. It has been consumed by nursing mothers for many years to help with the production of breast milk. Alfalfa is highly nutritious, containing many vitamins and minerals and is rich in antioxidants.
Ginger and Honey
Ginger and honey tea offers relief from cold symptoms when breastfeeding. Ginger tea is also great for soothing tummies, increasing circulation and revitalising.
For the best results, herbal tea must be used with consistency, otherwise it can negatively affect or decrease milk production. Make sure you always check the ingredients and the expiring date on the label before you make a purchase. Caution should also be taken as some herbs may actually aggravate hay fever or pollen allergies.
It's always best to consult with your health visitor or pediatrician before you drinking any herbal teas.