I have personally struggled with keeping up a healthy and rich milk production for my babies. I have battled with discouragement and failure when not able to satisfy my child’s need. The Lord has done a good work in my heart, calling me to trust Him that He will provide my child with the nourishment required to grow healthy and strong. My responsibility is to do my best in eating nutritionally, nursing as frequently as my son needs it to increase my supply, but ultimately God is in control, to which I am thankful.
Here are a few resources and recipes I have found helpful in the journey of nourishing my babies…
I am currently studying herbology in my spare time, which I have found truly fascinating. There are many available herbs in creation that are galactagogues, herbs that increase breast milk supply. Once again, I am amazed at God’s glorious provisions for us. Thank you Lord!
There are several varieties of Mother’s Milk tea that include these herbs available on the market. I have tried and enjoyed Tropical Medicinals Mother’s Milk Tea and Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid Tea. Milkmaid Tea is superior in flavor and effectiveness, although more expensive than Tropical Medicinals. Overall, I favor the frugal and fresher alternative in a homemade variety. I have been making my own Mother’s Milk tea for the last few weeks and have been encouraged with the results. These herbs are not only good for milk production, but also will encourage and strengthen your entire body, keeping it healthy and strong. All these herbs are available in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs, which offers the best herbs that are either organic or cultivated without chemicals.
Mother’s Milk Tea
1/2 cup nettle leaf, dried (a vitamin factory, high in calcium, iron, potassium, etc. -strengthens and tones entire system)
1/2 cup red raspberry leaf, dried (nourishing tonic for the reproductive system, high in calcium)
1/4 cup alfalfa leaf, dried (a superlative restorative tonic, rebuilding vitality and boosting milk supply)
1/4 cup dandelion leaf, dried (beneficial for all conditions due to the wonderful source of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and micronutrients)
1/4 cup fennel seed (Increase milk production and tone the digestive system, curtailing colic and indigestion) – you could also substitute fennel with any of these seeds: anise, cumin, caraway, coriander or dill
1/4 cup blessed thistle, dried (Stimulates the milk flow and helps restore vitality to weary mothers)
ground cinnamon, to flavor
You can make as little or as much as you desire. I choose to make a larger batch at once and used 1/4 cup as my 1 part measurement, but you could cut the recipe in half as desired. This produced about 1 quart full of dried herbs. Combine herbs well and cover securely with a lid. Store in a dark cupboard as light will cause nutrition lose. Use about 1 tablespoon herbs per cup of boiling water. Allow to steep covered for 15 minutes before consuming. Best results if you consumed 3-5 cups per day. You can change this recipe as desired, if you do not have access to all these herbs. The best galactic herbs are nettle, alfalfa, blessed thistle, and red raspberry leaf. The other herbs add wonderful nutrition and are healing to the body. The herbs can be rather bland and grassy tasting on their own, so I added cinnamon (about 1-2 tsp for this quantity), which provided a delightful flavoring. You could try chamomile or lemon balm as an alternative. A teaspoon of honey tops it off for a refreshing tea beverage. I use my french press for this recipe with perfect results.
Other methods of increasing milk supply include:
Oatmeal- a good bowl of oatmeal daily is an excellent means of increasing your milk supply.
Bump Up the Calcium – Loading up on calcium is very valuable.
Water – drink lots of water!
Rest – when the body is weary, it will not be so inclined to produce milk.
Fenugreek – I have been taking a fenugreek supplement in capsule form for its helpful benefits of increasing milk supply. Fenugreek can also be added to the mother’s milk tea listed above.
Here are a few tips from A Wise Woman’s Herbal for the Childbearing Years (page 85):
Apricots, asparagus, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, pecans and all leafy greens such a beet greens, Parsley, Watercress, and Dandelion leaves are considered helpful in increasing and sustaining lactation.
Borage leaves – The leaves of this herb are highly regarded as a tea for increasing milk flow. Half a cupful of borage tea at each nursing insures an abundant supply of milk, acts as a mild laxative, and soothes jangled nerves.
Fennel/Barley Water - Prepare barley water by soaking 1/2 cup pearled (regular) barley in 3 cups cold water overnight or by boiling for 25 minutes. Strain out barley and discard or add to a soup. Heat a cup or two of the barley water to boiling as needed, store the rest in the refrigerator. Pour 1 cup boiling barley water over 1 teaspoon fennel seeds and steep for no longer than 30 minutes. The combination not only increases the breast milk, but eases after-pains and settles the digestion of mom and babe.
What if none of these recommendations work? Here are a few resources for the safest and healthiest supplementation:
GMO-Free Infant Formula – great article on increasing your milk supply and safe infant formula alternatives.
Recipe for Homemade Baby Formula – the best alternative if you cannot produce your own milk supply.
It works for me!
Any tips to share for naturally increasing your milk supply?