Feeding is often one of the most stressful parts of new motherhood. Being able to easily nourish your newborn is essential to the physical health of your new babe, and to your own mental sanity as you enter into life together with your baby.
We knew that as part of DIY Mama (our month of homemade luxuries for mama and baby) we needed a homemade version of the Mothers' Milk tea that many new moms love to sip for relaxation and to encourage a sustained milk supply.
What's in Mothers' Milk Tea?
Herbs have been used for centuries to help create an environment of relaxation in the mother's body and to help encourage milk supply. The tea here is adapted from legendary herbalist Rosemary Galdstar's well-known blend, and the herbs used are known galactagogues (a substance that is known to increase milk supply in mammals).
- Fenugreek is a top milk-booster herb that is found in most lactation teas. Commonly found in curries, chutney, and as an artificial flavor in maple syrup, fenugreek contains phytoestrogen and helps stimulate female hormones.
- Nettles are packed with minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, C, and B, among others to help revitalize and deeply nourish the body so it can healthfully produce milk.
- Red raspberry leaf is rich in B vitamins and magnesium and an excellent support herb for the female reproductive system in general, as it helps to tone and strengthen the entire system.
- Fennel is a celebrated ally for nursing support, and also provides a sweet-spicy flavor.
- Lemon verbena is soothing and cooling, and also provides a sweet citrus note to the tea.
- Blessed thistle has been used for centuries to stimulate milk production and soothe mother's body after delivery.
Drinking Mothers' Milk Tea
As with any herbal treatment, make sure to consult with your doctor before beginning to ingest herbs to make sure there are no known interactions with other medications or conditions. Make sure to begin your herbal intake gradually. No two bodies are alike and it is important to start small and work your way up in dosage to ensure the perfect amount for your body. Begin with one to two cups daily and work your way up to an effective amount for your body.
Depending on intake, some mothers will experience a change within 72 hours, while others may notice a change after two weeks. This tea is designed to boost production; once your output is ample, you may discontinue use.
Serving & Storing Mothers' Milk Tea
We recommend making a bulk batch of the blend to have on hand and storing it in an airtight container. You can then make either individual cups of tea, or a big batch to drink throughout the day.
The flavor of the tea is herbaceous and sweetly spicy, but if the flavor isn't to your taste, drink it with a bit of apple juice or a lemon wedge to make the flavor a little brighter. Hot, iced, or "juiced," this sipping tea will have you flowing in no time.
The cheapest and easiest source for most of these herbal ingredients is often your natural health foods store, where you can usually buy these specialty herbal ingredients in bulk. Buy just what you need (not a whole bag) for less. If you don't have a good natural foods store close by, we like to search for dried herbs at Mountain Rose Herbs, Penzey's, and Amazon.
How To Make Mothers' Milk Tea (Lactation Tea)
Makes 2 1/4 cups tea (108 brewed servings)
What You Need
1/4 cup fenugreek seed
1/2 cup dried nettle leaf
1/2 cup dried red raspberry leaf
1/4 cup fennel seed
1/2 cup dried lemon verbena
1/4 cup dried blessed thistle
Teapot or tea infuser ball/individual tea bag
- Make the tea blend: Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Measure out 1 teaspoon of the tea blend per cup of water: If making an individual cup, use a tea infuser ball or individual tea bag. If using a teapot, measure out tea proportionally to the cups of water in the teapot.
- Fill your teapot or cup with boiling water: Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes to allow the herbs to infuse the water. Remove tea bag or infuser and enjoy. For optimal effect, work up to consuming at least one cup (8 fluid ounces) of the tea 3 times a day.
20 Homemade Luxuries for Mama & Baby
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