When I heard the word breastfeeding for the first time, my first thought was: No thanks!. I like to drink tea and I also used teas to get my cycle going when I wanted to have children (e.g. with cycle tea and rattle stork tea), but breastfeeding seemed to me to be somehow unnecessary.
Well, what can I say? Our son has been born a few weeks ago (he was born in November 2016) and I not only drink a lot of it, I even like to drink it 🙂
If you also want to give milk tea a chance, you will find out what you should know here and I have also written down my recipe for breastfeeding tea.
What is a Breastfeeding Tea?
A breastfeeding tea is a tea that is said to have a milk-forming effect. It consists of herbs that stimulate milk production in women and should thus provide more milk.
However, if you are not breastfeeding, you need not be afraid of a cup of breastfeeding tea: it will not ensure that breast milk is produced if there is no baby to breastfeed.
Effectiveness of milk infusion teas
Scientists have also been dealing with herbs that are supposed to stimulate milk production for some time now and want to find out whether there is actually a proven effect and, if so, what it is based on.
So far, however, research has not progressed very far: While a milk-forming effect seems likely for some herbs (especially boxhorn clover (English fenugreek) e.g. in this or this study), there is little evidence of their effectiveness for others – but also none for the fact that they don’t work (interesting summary e.g. here)
With a breastfeeding tea it should therefore be ensured that it contains boxhorn clover. You can then add other herbs as you like and add them to your own preferences.
Which Herbs Are Suitable For Breastfeeding Tea?
The following herbs are generally said to have a milk-forming effect:
- Fenugreek seeds
- Fennel seeds
- Caraway seed
- Raspberry leaves
- Lemon balm
- Lemon verbena
- Milk thistle
What Herbs Shouldn’t Be In The Breastfeeding Tea?
The following herbs should not be drunk while breastfeeding, as they are said to have a weaning effect:
You can consciously use this effect if you really want to stop breastfeeding at some point: A few cups of peppermint tea can ensure that the milk is reduced or is even absent.
My Recipe For Breast Tea
However, it is also easily possible to mix a useful nursing tea combination yourself. For 100 g breast tea I take:
- Aniseed fruits (30 g)
- Fennel fruits (30 g)
- Fenugreek (20 g)
- Caraway fruits (20 g)
Preparation: Lightly crush the mixture with a mortar. Pour boiling water over 1 to 2 teaspoons per large cup (250 ml). Then let it steep for 8-10 minutes.
With tea herbs, you should make sure that they come from organic or biodynamic cultivation and are therefore free of pesticides or other residues.
Variations: You can use rooibos as a good basis for the tea and combine it with other herbs if necessary. I also like to drink my nursing tea with lemon balm and verbena, which makes it a little more fruity.
If the tea tastes too aromatic or if you have problems with the somewhat special taste, then a splash of lemon or a teaspoon of honey can help directly.
Why Drinking Tea Is Doubly Beneficial?
Every breastfeeding mom will probably notice it sooner or later: Breastfeeding drains quite a bit on her own reserves. Our bodies work at full speed and give everything so that we can optimally care for our little baby.
Adequate hydration is therefore much more important than usual during breastfeeding. If you don’t drink enough, dizziness can result. The body actually regulates a great need through a greater desire, but in everyday life with a baby it is sometimes not so easy to listen to your own body. One quickly forgets enough to drink (or even eat).
Because I know that this can happen to me quickly, I brewed a pot of breastfeeding tea in the morning and always had it with me along with a water bottle. So I was automatically reminded to drink something over and over again.
Gynecologists and midwives recommend clear water as drinks while breastfeeding, diluted fruit juices but also tea preparations with herbs or fruits.
Storage and Shelf Life of Breastfeeding Tea
The best way to store the homemade tea blend is in a screw-top jar in a dry, dark and cool place. However, the refrigerator is not the right place to keep tea because it is much too humid.
Even prepared tea blends have a shelf life of up to 18 months. Musty or foul-smelling tea mixtures could indicate mold and should no longer be used.
When to Start Drinking Tea?
My midwife advised me not to start drinking the tea at the start of breastfeeding, but to start drinking it in the final weeks of pregnancy. Experience shows that the tea is already very well tolerated and the milk-forming effect can also occur on time at the start of breastfeeding.
How Much Breastfeeding Tea Did I Drink Per Day?
I usually made myself a whole pot of tea with 0.7 liters of tea and drank it throughout the day. This corresponds to about 3 to 4 cups. I tolerated this very well personally. In general, it is always a question of your own well-being: If you do not really like the tea and you do not want to drink more than one cup, this is completely ok and you should under no circumstances force yourself to drink more of it.
Getting an overdose of tea is usually very difficult. If you still have the feeling that this is the case for you, pay particular attention to nausea and stomach pain and if in doubt go to your family doctor.