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There are several herbs that seem to increase the supply of breast milk. These herbs fall into a category of herbs called galactagogues. A galactagogue is anything that promotes lactation, or milk production. Most of the herbs in this category can be used as either a tea, liquid tincture or as a capsule or even baked into delicious cookies. If you are wanting a combination, it is often better to use the tea or liquid tincture forms. Some of these herbs include: Fennel, Fenugreek, Shatavari (asparagus root), Blessed Thistle and Alfalfa.
As you can see, some of these herbs can be incorporated into your diet (fenugreek in curries, fennel in soups and salads, alfalfa in salads and juices).
It is also important to look at your stress levels and their impact on your milk supply. Of course with a young baby there are “normal” stresses, but you need to be mindful of anything that is placing an added burden on your nervous system. These burdens and stressors can also be supported by the use of herbal remedies, teas and supportive foods which are dependent upon the situation.
Some basic suggestions include: making sure you drink adequate water to stay hydrated, incorporating nutrient rich vegetables and fruits in your diet and eating whole-grains like oats for slow release energy. It is also a good idea to continue with the same pregnancy multivitamin or pregnancy and breastfeeding vitamins you took prior to the baby’s birth. The intake of these extra nutrients ensures that your body is not sacrificial to the nutritional requirements of the baby.
Moira Bradfield: M.Acu, B.Nat, Dip TTM, M.A.N.T.A
Moira Bradfield has ten years experience working as a Naturopath both in Australia and overseas. Moira completed a Bachelor of Naturopathy from Southern Cross University in 2001, and in 2010 she completed a Masters Degree in Acupuncture through Southern Cross University. Moira has practiced on the Gold Coast as well as in the United Kingdom as a Naturopath, utilising a combination of lifestyle advice, practical everyday nutrition as well as herbal and nutritional supplementation and modern diagnostic advances. Moira has lectured in Naturopathy both overseas and in Australia, currently teaching at The Endeavour College of Natural Health, Southport, lecturing in nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, pharmacology and pathology.