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Entries in Boost your milk supply (4)


Make your own lactation tea with fenugreek 

Fenugreek has been proven to be as effective as the drugs the doctor might prescribe to boost milk supply. However all galactagogues are only effective for 7-10 days, after that your body adjusts and is not so responsive to them.

In Ayurveda we recommend taking fenugreek as a tea to balance out it's dryness, not capsules. And also we mix it with other herbs to balance it's heating qualities. So here is my lactation tea recipe:

Mix 2 parts whole fennel seeds with 1 part whole fenugreek seeds. Add 1/2 teaspoon to 1 Litre of water and sip warm throughout the day. You can make it up in a thermos in the morning and keep it by your feeding chair.

You can buy organic spices from here if you don't already have them in your cupboard.

In the longer term you need to work on boosting your oxytocin levels to promote strong flow of milk. Oxytocin is boosted by doing anything that you love. For example when you breastfeed devote that time to gazing into your baby's eyes, stroking your baby's hair and singing your baby a song. Watch movies that make you laugh. Have a massage. Enjoy some sunshine or fresh air. Have a bath. Just take some time out for you.

This recipe is taken from my book "Nourishing Newborn Mothers - Recipes to heal your mind, body and soul after childbirth"



5 kitchen spices for new mums

I love eating and I love the idea of healing with foods. It's medicine we can enjoy! Ayurveda, Indian medicine, would have us reaching for the spice rack for all sorts of common discomforts. Here's five spice to get you started.

Cumin kindles the gastric fire thereby improving appetite, reducing gas and aiding digestion of minerals in the intestines. It supports lactation and gently balances the hormones and restores the body’s tissues. Cumin is very popular in North Indian food, and more surprisingly, Italian food too.

Fennel is sweet, unctuous and warming. It is particularly valuable, in combination with fenugreek, for boosting your milk supply. It calms the nervous system and promotes mental clarity.  It can aid with digestive difficulties including abdominal pain and cramping. Fennel can be added to sweets such as rice pudding or biscuits. It adds a lovely liquorice flavour to Chinese food.

Fenugreek is known around the world for supporting breastfeeding. You may be advised to take fenugreek capsules, but Ayurveda recommends taking fenugreek as a tea, which is more balancing. Mix one-part fenugreek seeds with two-parts fennel seeds, add one teaspoon of this mixture to one litre of boiling water. Fenugreek is also useful for expelling the placenta and for the health of the reproductive organs.

Coriander can help with excessive thirst and digestive acid. Add fresh or seeds to stir fries, coconut curry and dhal.

Dill is a wonderful herb for colic. Taken by the mother the baby can reap the benefits including reducing hiccoughs, gas and cramps. Dill is sweet and warm and can be used in Mediterranean food or added the stews.


Is garlic bad for babies?

Your breastfed baby tastes everything you eat, and there are many old wives tales saying you shouldn’t eat garlic cause it may give your baby indigestion or that your baby won’t like the flavour.

In fact research* shows babies actually love the flavour of garlic, and will suck longer and drink more garlic flavoured milk then regular milk.

But as always garlic is only a temporary way to increase your milk supply. If you already eat lots of garlic your baby will already be used to it’s flavour and it won’t have any effect. If you don’t eat garlic regularly try increasing your intake of garlic for a week. In case you are wondering garlic flavour peaks in your breast milk about two hours after you eat it.

Garlic can give a quick boost in your milk supply. It is also a safe way to help you beat thrush and boost your immune system.

The best garlic is fresh purple garlic, crushed and well cooked in butter. Use it in recipes as you normally would, but don’t take it raw or as capsules, it’s just too harsh this way.

But as always don’t worry about getting it right, just get in touch. If you or your baby are not comfortable with garlic, then leave it alone.

*Mennella, J A, and G K Beauchamp. "The effects of repeated exposure to garlic-flavored milk on the nursling's behavior." Pediatric Research 34.6 (1993): 805-808.)



How to eat fat without getting fat

Breastmilk is high is saturated fat and cholesterol, and new mums have the same needs as their newborn, so it is vital for new mums to eat plenty of saturated fat and cholestorol too! Not convinced? Skip to the bottom of this post.

If you want to lose your baby weight give your self a three month reprieve first. Sally Fallon has found that you actually need to eat fat to lose weight. Ironically good fats will help your body gain weight if that's what it needs to do. Once breastfeeding is established and you are feeling more comfortable in your new role as a mum then we can get into the love-your-new-body stuff (which isn't only about losing weight!)

New mothers burn up massive amounts of energy through breastfeeding, so the extra calories will not be stored for later. And eating lots of good fats can help build you milk supply too.

Good fats are grounding, juicy and nourishing for new mums. Cholesterol is needed for needed for creating certain hormones.  Good fats are saatvic, meaning they promote harmony and balance in the mind, and they help new mums to relax and sleep more deeply.

If you are ready to enjoy eating fat without guilt then here is the shopping list for you. Choose a few fats from the enjoy list that you could easily eat on a daily basis, and stock up before the baby is born.

Choosing organic is really important for fats, because plants and animal store toxins in their fat cells. Really good quality fats are best eaten raw, unless specified.

Fats to enjoy:

  • Ghee (cooked is ok)
  • Sesame oil
  • Butter
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil (cooked is ok)
  • Olive oil
  • Linseed, walnut, or almond
  • Animal fat raised on grass not grain
  • Unhomogonised full fat milk

Fats to avoid:

  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Hydrogenated
  • Homogenized
  • Trans fatty acids
  • Margarine
  • Deep fried

If you are still not convinced about eating saturated fat here are a few more examples:

  • Saturated fats have been used by human societies as the MAIN form of cooking oil for thousands of years – lard in China, butter in Europe, ghee in India, coconut oil in the tropics – without causing any harm.
  • In France the rate of heart disease is less then half that of the USA and their staple foods include butter, cream and eggs.
  • In China, the rate of heart disease is significantly lower in regions where they drink full fat milk.
  • An Eskimo diet includes up to 60% fat from cold water fish and seal meat and they have some of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world.
  • In modern times, the rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other degenerative diseases began to shoot up AFTER people started to eat less saturated fats and switch to polyunsatured vegetable oils, as well as artificial fats like margarine, which contain harmful trans fats.

For more please check out my book "Nourishing Newborn Mothers - Recipes to heal your mind, body and soul after childbirth" please visit pozible.com/nourishingnewbornmothers