August 18, 2010,
R.C. asks from Portland, OR on April 23, 2010
Tea to Drink While Nursing
I like drinking things. I'm fond of many beverages, but favor herbal teas to drink during the day at work and evening. I drink plenty of plain water, I just like the extra flavor in tea, and it also helps me relax.
But now that I'm nursing, I'm having a hard time finding favorite tea blends. My old faves mostly seem to have herbs that either aren't safe, are questionable, or decrease supply. I barely keep up with baby needs, so I don't want to test that. I have some tea that supports milk supply, but it's not all that tasty, and I drank it in the evening a couple of times and was engorged in the morning (Baby sleeps 8 hours, thank heavens), ouch. I'm not crazy about rooibos, and want to avoid caffeinated ones (I already have a favorite black tea and green tea, and I wanted to try yerba mate but can't find out if it's safe while nursing). I generally like chamomile, but am getting a little tired of it. Many blends with chamomile end up with some of those herbs I shouldn't have.
I also used to check herbs on the kellymom site, but she seems to have taken down the encyclopedia of herbs portion; anyone have another source to check?
I'd love to get some suggestions. Thank you!
So What Happened?™
I think I've decided to just do rooibos, even though it's not really all that exciting to me. I'm going to try to find some nettle tea, also. I got the book "Mother Food" from the library and I have to say WOW what a wonderful, wonderful book. I'm getting read to incorporate foods she recommends into my diet. She has a fair amount on herbs, but not on all herbs, so I wasn't able to get answers on some (like lavendar). Thanks again for your answers!
T.J. answers from Seattle on April 23, 2010
There are some good teas specifically for moms, like mother's milk, I really liked that one. It supports lactation so it is totally safe to drink while nursing! There are plenty of lists if you google "herbs breastfeeding" that will tell you which ones to avoid. I love my drinks too, it's so hard when you're pregnant or nursing to remember all the stuff you can't have! I would smell my friends' red bulls on occasion and sneak a sweet tea in at times :)
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K.B. answers from Sacramento on April 23, 2010
hmm, I probably won't be much help to you, I loved me some Rooibos while I was prego and breastfeeding. I have tried some Rooibos I didn't care for, but I found a vanilla rooibos that I really liked , sometimes sweetened it a tiny bit, spiced rooibos not so much. Rooibos is just so full of good vitamins and minerals. Yerba mate has a natural stimulant in it I believe, I probably wouldn't make it a regular daily beverage. Other than that I would sometimes drink a rosehips or berry tea, especially in the summer as iced tea. I loved Peet's hibiscus iced tea as a special treat in the summer although I don't think it's recommended for breastfeeding. Happy baby nurturing!
p.s.-just saw someone's response about asking a pediatrician, have to disagree with that one, how much training do they have in herbs, not much! In my experience, midwives and herbalists are the pro's in that area. I have called a random midwife a couple of times and they were more than happy to answer my questions.
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S.G. answers from Philadelphia on April 23, 2010
I second the suggestion of the "Mother's Milk" tea blend. I know you can find it at organic grocery stores, like Whole Foods. My MIL bought it for me to help increase my supply (because I was drying up fast!), but I just can't stomach the taste of tea (hot or cold). Instead, I've used Fenugreek supplements (in capsules) to supplement my milk production. Worked great for me.
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D.W. answers from Indianapolis on April 23, 2010
I'd really pose the question to your pediatrician to verify if the information you've received on the content of herbs in your favorite teas is accurate.
I've asked my pediatrician about several things I've read on here, and he's rolled his eyes as old wives tales continue to be repeated and perpetuated to a much larger audience.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics parenting website, the only issue with tea and nursing is the absorption of iron when drinking tea at the same time as consuming dairy products:
Hope that helps - my best advice, if there's any question, is to ask your pediatrician and see what their advice is as your child's Primary medical provider.
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D.A. answers from Portland on April 24, 2010
If you want info. on herbs/teas that will help produce milk and which hinder, try this book, "Mother Food: A Breastfeeding Diet Guide with Lactogenic Foods and Herbs - Build Milk Supply, Boost Immunity, Lift Depression, Detox, Lose Weight, Optimize a Baby's IQ, and Reduce Colic and Allergies," by Hilary Jacobson.
One of the nurses at Providence St Vincent in Portland recommends this book as the breastfeeding bible. I found it to be very informative and I didn't have to read it from cover to cover, I could scan through and find out which herbs like parsley hinders milk production if too much is eaten. You can definitely find out which foods to include in your diet and which to omit. It should help with which teas are safe and which are not.
Yerba Mate is not safe since it has a high stimulant. It is probably worse than black or green tea with their caffeine levels.
Lots of water and a snack around nursing time helps tremendously. You can get dehydrated from nursing and not keeping up you own fluids. Of late, Iiked a slice of lemon in some hot water. Very refreshing.
Happy nursing, don't get discouraged. Oh, and if you base your supply on how much you can pump; it is totally different than what your child actually gets. I could barely get anything when pumping, it got better the more I pumped, but never as much as my little one would take.
Good luck to you,
C.H. answers from Savannah on August 18, 2010
Sorry I dont have an answer but i would like to know what that tea was called. I am having trouble keeping up with baby's needs myself and I am looking for things to help me increase my supply. He is 3 weeks old now.
S.S. answers from Seattle on April 24, 2010
A lot of people don't know this, but yerba mate is FULL of caffeine -waaaaay more than in coffee!! Try this site: http://www.breastfeeding.com/reading_room/herbs.html