• How to Use Herbs to Increase Milk Supply 06 February 2017 | View comments

  • Breastfeeding is beneficial for babies and women but it might not always be easy for a mum and it can become rather stressful. One of the biggest stressfactor is when she has the feeling that the baby is hungry and that she doesn't produce enough milk. 

    Thankfully, there are a variety of safe and natural ways women can increase their milk supply, all of which are readily available and fairly inexpensive.

    Take a look at some of our favourites:

    Fenugreek

    A remedy that’s been used for over a thousand years is Fenugreek. It can produce results within 25-72 hours – for some women, extra time might be necessary before you start seeing results.

    The way Fenugreek exactly works it not quite known. However researches believe that fenugreek seeds increases the sweat production by stimulating the sweat glands. The milk secreting-tissue is also known as mammary gland, which is a more improved sweat gland andis equally stimulated. There have been a few studies on the positive effect of Fenugreek on lacatation: For example Swaford in 2000 or a more recent study from 2015.  If Fenugreek seeds are consumed in capsule form rather than as tea it can cause mums to smell a bit like curry. However, if used as tea much less is necessary to achieve the same results, as the hot water already dissolves the essential oils. This makes it easier for the body to absorb them and so there won't be any 'smell side effects'. It still is of course necessary to breastfeed frequently and enjoy a balanced diet. 

    It’s inadvisable to take large amount of Fenugreek if you are pregnant but after birth, it’s considered safe. 

    This is one of the most common herbs used to increase the production of milk and is suitable for both long-term and short-term solutions. 

    Aniseed

    The traditional folk remedy included aniseed and rum, but for the modern mum, skipping the rum is potentially a better approach. Derived from eastern Mediterranean culture, aniseed or anise seed is a common commodity in a lot of foods and in terms of milk supply. It includes anethole, an organic compound that has oestrogen-like effects that can help to increase milk supply. It also helps with digestion and may reduces wind. Hence adding it to a breastfeeding mum's diet will help mum's digestions but also baby's, eventually. Overall aniseed is said to have over 20 health benefits and should be considered a staple food. By the way, aniseed or anise seed is different herb from star anise which shouldn't be consumed when breastfeeding. 

     

    Verbena

    Verbena or Vervain is probably one of the most beneficial herbs for women in general.  It not just increases milk supply but also helps to relax. Something breastfeeding mums should do plenty of. There are many additonal benefits of including verbena in your diet:
    It is said to help with nervous tension, headaches , insomnia, menstrual cramps and different forms of anxiety. Amongst all those other properties, verbena is used by herbalists to prevent depression and restore strength after a cold. 

    Caraway

    A great supplement for improving the quality of breast milk, caraway is thought to reduce colic in breastfeeding babies, as well as improving nourishment. Amongst its other properties, caraway is similar to aniseed and can help to ease bronchial inflammation and also has a number of other therapeutic uses such as; stimulating appetite, enhancing your digestive tract and providing marginal pain relief.

    Fennel

    Similar to aniseed, fennel is another liquorice-flavoured herb that can help to improve a mother’s milk supply. Originating in ancient Egypt, this herb is a common ingredient in both cooking and healing. 

    Ingestion of fennel can be administered in a variety of ways, including drinking fennel tea, eating it as a vegetable or using it as a herb in your cooking.

    These five herbs are just some of many that are thought to have an impact on the production of a mother’s milk and are easy to include in your everyday diet, whether that’s what we eat or a drink.  Everybody is different so for some mums, these herbs may not have the same effect, but for many others there has been a noticeable increase in milk supply when breastfeeding.

     

    If you don't want to mix them all yourself you can find all of those lactation herbs in a very convenient form and tried-and-tested dosage in our  Neuner's Organic Nursing Tea.

    Wishing all mums and babies a great summer. xx

    Warm Regards from your Neuner’s team

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