Can tea really help you with lactation?
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I am about to start a new job, which requires me putting my little one in daycare. So, instead of breastfeeding him umpteen times a day like I have the luxury of doing now, I'll be needing to pump and store his milk to be bottle fed to him while I am at work.
This process seems fine and dandy, but I am noticing that I am not able to pump as much as I'd like. The way we used to do it, I would pump in the morning and my husband would give the baby a bottle of my breast milk before bed. This gave me a break and let the daddy be a part of the process too, which was nice for everyone.
I wouldn't pump until the next morning, which was hard because I often leaked in the night but ensured I had plenty of milk available for the next morning's pumping session. Now I am feeding the little guy at night (no bottle, just booby) and still trying to pump in the morning before I feed him and go for a run.
Interestingly enough I seem to have less milk available in the morning. Whereas I was getting over four ounces at a time I am not lucky if I can get three. I also need to make sure that I leave enough to feed the baby after I am finished pumping.
I've been advised that the more often I nurse, and let down, the more milk will come in. Although I am trying to do this as often as possible, including switching from one breast to the other and back every five minutes, I don't seem to be experiencing an increase in milk.
I am trying to drink plenty of water and eat healthfully, as the summer heat and humidity can take a toll on everyone, not just those of us breastfeeding.
So, what to do? A friend of mine, and her sister, suggested I try lactation tea. Yes, now they've thought of everything--there is a lactation tea (just as there are well woman teas and pregnancy teas and menopause teas!). The one they suggested to me is called Mother's Milk, which on the packaging claims "promotes healthy lactation."
Although I am sure there are many versions of this tea the store where I shopped offered only the Traditional Medicinals version, which is organic, so that's what I bought.
I have yet to try it for fear of putting anything foreign into my body. I am always suspicious of herbs and the like that may actually hinder rather than help in the long run. Enough testing simply hasn't been done on things not approved by the FDA for me to take a chance.
Still, I bought the box, and I don't suppose a few cups could really hurt that much. The product is caffeine free, which I like, but does recommend discussing the use of the product with a healthcare professional--OBGYN, lactation consultant--before using it. So I guess I will call the nurse at my OBGYN and see what her take is on it.
What about you? Have you tried lactation tea? If so, did you notice any results? My pal said she didn't see a dramatic increase in lactation, but that it did help. I'm willing to give it a shot (even though it is WAY too hot for tea these days) but will have to check it out with my doctor first.
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