He is feeding like a champion and sleeping like an angel. I am very blessed.
That being said, a few weeks ago I noticed that my milk was not 'letting down' as often as it used to and that there was not as much coming through.
Seemed to me he had something to be upset about...
"Uh oh" I thought to myself. "My milk is drying up... again..."
If you recall, from way back when I first started this community, my milk dried up pretty quickly with my daughter and we had to go with a homemade formula based on goats milk kefir. She thrived and continues to however this time I really wanted to breast feed as long as possible. I was leaving nothing to chance!
This time I wanted to nip it in the bud. There are plenty of remedies out there to keep your milk flowing however I wanted something fast, easy and proven to work.
Enter STINGING NETTLE INFUSIONS - again!
I had been taking Nettle straight after the birth and I had an abundance of milk! It was wonderful - I was pumping off the excess because the little man couldn't keep up. I fell off the wagon thinking I had plenty and all would be well. It didn't take long - about 4 weeks - for my milk to begin to suffer.
For those of you that know me or have been following me for a while, you'll know that I rave about Stinging Nettle. I can not stop going on about! It does SO many amazing things, has so many healing and health benefits - and this week I stumbled across another one of its amazing benefits.
Stinging Nettle is a galactagogue, which means it is a herb used for increasing milk production. Studies have shown that Stinging Nettle added to the fodder for cows increased milk supply.
"Surely it could do the same for us?" I thought to myself.
It sure can!
Stinging Nettle is very nutrient dense and is thus excellent for lactating mothers and newborn babies. Nettle contains many nutrients, including iron, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K, as well as phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, and vitamin D. They also contain some B vitamins and appreciable amounts of magnesium. They contain up to 20% mineral salts, mainly calcium, potassium, silicon, and nitrates. Nettle extract has been found to contain all of the essential amino acids. Just these facts alone demonstrate how useful Nettle is for all of us let alone those of us who are presently lactating!
A few of the other benefits of this herb is that it is a known adrenal tonic and liver and blood cleanser. So whilst boosting your milk supply you are also giving you and the baby a good flush out of any toxins AND supporting your adrenal glands which have been given a good hard thump by having a baby in the first place!
What more could a lactating mother want or need in a herb?!
Eco Mum's Breast Milk Booster
30g dried Stinging Nettle herb (just over a cup of dried leaves, not roots)
1 litre of boiling water
Plunger or 1 litre glass bottle with lid
- Place the Nettle into the plunger or bottle and pour over the boiling water.
- Leave to stand for a minimum of 4 hours (I prefer overnight).
- Strain and drink throughout the day. It is best to have 1 - 2 litres of this per day for energy and milk supply.
- Once strained it will keep in the fridge for up to 48 hours after cooling.
Because of my history of being a little strung out, and the fact that I am a single mother with a 12 week old and a 4 year old running a company with 6 staff on my own, I like to add other herbs to help support me in other ways too.
Eco Mum's Favourite Infusion Blends
- - Holy Basil (Tulsi) for anxiety and stress management
- - Oat Straw for grounding and calm
- - Peppermint for coffee substitute (NB: DO NOT USE WHILST BREAST FEEDING AS IT WILL DRY YOUR MILK!)
- - Lemon Balm for magnesium boost and a tonic for my nervous system
- - Raspberry Leaf for toning the uterus during and after birth
- - Red Clover for balancing female hormones
For more information and some great recipes on herbal infusions you can try at home, check out Sussun Weed.
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From Westfall RE. Galactagogue herbs: a qualitative study and review. Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice. 2003, 2(2):22-27.
GALACTAGOGUE HERBS: A QUALITATIVE STUDY AND REVIEW Rachel Emma Westfall, PhD
POTENTIALS OF HERBAL GALACTOGOGUES IN MILK PRODUCTION IN RUMINANTS UK Mishra, JS Kanesh, AK Mandal, RK Das, K Rayaguru* and SC Parija** Department of Anatomy, Histology & Embryology, *Assistant Research Engineer, AICRP on Post Harvest Process Technology, **Head, Department of Veterinary Pharmacology, OVC, OUAT, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & AH, Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, Bhubaneswarâ751 003 (Orissa),