by Susun S. Weed
With the resurgence of interest in breastfeeding, there is increasing demand for natural remedies for the minor problems that accompany nursing. These remedies, taken from my book Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, offer simple, safe ways for nursing women and their infants to counter problems and stay healthy. This information has been collected from wise women, old wives, and granny midwives. May you benefit from their wisdom.
Increasing and Maintaining Milk Flow
One of the easiest problems to remedy is lack of sufficient milk. First, it is important to see to it that nursing takes place in a safe, inviting space where both mom and babe can be relaxed. Second, try to include one or more of these herbs and foods that are well known galactagogues, that is, able to encourage abundant breast milk.
Nourishing herbs, such as raspberry leaves, stinging nettle, oatstraw, and red clover blossoms – prepared as strong infusions*, not taken in pills, capsules, tinctures, or teas – not only encourage a plentiful supply of breast milk, they support the overall health of mother and child. The minerals in these herbs are amazingly abundant, so they counter mineral loss from nursing, and help keep mom calm and alert during those first few weeks of round-the-clock infant care. I don’t combine the herbs, but use them individually, to derive the unique benefit of each.