Milk’s Up – the story behind the breastfeeding tea blend
We know that what you eat and drink can have a huge impact on your breastfeeding journey. In this blog post, we welcome Bethan, from HotTea Mama to explain to us what makes their galactagogue packed 'Milk's Up' tea unique.
Breastfeeding is one of my proudest achievements in life, hand in hand with my kids themselves and my Milk’s Up tea blend.
I completely underestimated how difficult breastfeeding would be when I was pregnant. I envisioned joyful moments of boob related bonding from the get go, rather than the reality which was a struggle through sleep deprivation, cracked nipples and a baby that wasn’t putting enough weight on.
I would cry alone at night while trying to get her to latch, desperately pumping after she’d gone back to bed, to ensure my milk supply didn’t drop. It led to significant dehydration, which didn’t help my supply, and sleep deprived anxiety.
However, I got through it, and it led me to use my experience as a tea taster and blender, to develop a blend that could help women through this difficult but exceptionally rewarding journey.
The herbs I selected to go in our blend, have been used for millennia to support breastfeeding and whilst they are a natural remedy and therefore work to varying degrees for different bodies, we’ve had amazing feed back from mothers that have been helped by them. It definitely helped me second time around, when my breastfeeding journey was more relaxed, and helped not only by the tea, but by the ritual of making myself the tea, and enjoying it after every feed, while my son dozed by my side.
The herbs included are called galactagogues. And any herb linked to increasing milk supply, has this incredible sounding word as it’s definition.
This is the herb most commonly linked to supporting milk supply, and is where most research has been focussed. Kelly Mom (my go to resource on all things early motherhood) has a great summary with recommended levels of fenugreek to take - https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/fenugreek/, and essentially 2-3 cups of tea a day are recommended. This is what we’d recommend to, to support and hopefully stimulate more milk supply.
One incredible effect that you should be aware of, is that if you drink a lot of fenugreek, it can make you and your baby smell of maple syrup.
There have been several small studies into this galactagogue’s effectiveness at boosting milk supply, plus the fat content of breast milk and increased baby weight gain. There’s even anecdotal evidence that if you have an infection, immersing your breasts in an infusion of fennel and mallow root can help reduce swelling. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501793/
NETTLE & LEMON VERBENA
I included these 2 herbs as there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that they help breastfeeding, however, there are no large trials to prove this. In combination with this, they have bring a delicious flavour balance in the blend, so they are a tasty and hopefully functional addition.
In combination with as much sleep as is possible, and a healthy diet, this tea can set you up with the best chance to feed your little one for as long as possible.
Milk's Up is available on www.trufflepigkitchen.com