Monday, 17 February 2014

Mother's Milk Tea Organic Miracle

As a father I recognise that we, men, don't really have much hassle when it comes to baby feeding. I assume I prefer changing nappies to feeding, and I'll tell you why. Action is in my nature; we all have different personalities, and mine likes motion, getting things done, act, plan, program, execute. Sitting down watching my baby gently sipping from his bottle it's a calmer, but not my first option on a daily basis. I'm more about preparing the milk bottles, clean stuff, getting his toys together, sterilise his plastics, tucking his bed-linen, run from the lounge to our room 5 times every 10 minutes just to stop him from crying when he "purposely" spits his dummy away. I'm more about the things my wife is not. Like assembling furniture, getting his car seat in the car,  burp him, walking him around in my arms for him to sleep, finding information on all the thousand questions on baby development my wife snipes me with through the day... that kind of stuff.

When it comes to feeding I'm out of my depth, way out of my league. I do it, don't take me wrong, I just don't really like doing it because I feel bored. Very, very bored. But I like to read about it; ways to enhance milk production, volume of milk per feed, the quality of the different formulas available. I found some good forums on the web, and let me highlight BabyCentre for they are really good.  

In one of my recent quests for information I was made aware that many mums face the difficult task of expressing enough milk for their "starving" babies. And when such problem arises stress can surface if they are not aware that solutions are at hand. I found different individual advice that summed up would very well resume the package leaflet of the one we bought from Traditional Medicinals [1]:

Bitter fennel fruit, the one ingredient that actually gives that toothpaste odor is popularly known to improve the digestive tract when facing problems like bloating, colic in infants, heartburn. [2]
Anise fruit (see image below), that actually looks and tastes the same as fennel but is a completely different thing. It contains anethole (a phytoestrogen) associated with regulation of menstruation. It works as a galactagogue (promotes lactation in humans), thus has been widely used as a popular botanic remedy for that sense. [3] lists a number of references on anise and lactation.

Coriander fruit can also be found on this list. It is also linked to the "cure" of digestive track-type of ailments like upset stomach and diarrhoea. [4]
Fenugreek seed, another plant also related to the health improvement of people suffering from gastritis, constipation, and the like. Apparently it works by slowering absorption of sugars in the stomach and stimulating insulin. [5]
Marshmallow root, another plant root directly related to the easing of diarrhoea, constipation and the mucin (stomach lining) layer. [6]
Spearmint leaf, Lemon Verbena leaf and West Indian lemon grass leaf, which I guess are intended solely for the bettering of taste. I could not find good enough info on their role as galactagogues. If there are any, they are totally based on plebeian creed.

After summing all these ingredients it almost makes me believe that if your tummy is protected than your milk will also be!!! Other mothers also advise on drinking loads of water, taking plenty of rest, using borage leaves, and also eating oatmeal and barley.

My wife got this tea for £12.50 online, from a reputed seller, but there are many companies selling this herbal tea online these days. Although only 16 tea bags for more than a tenner, makes you think twice. All you need to is make sure that it comes from a trustworthy source. Even though there are no studies concerning the positive effects of such composition in increasing breast milk production, many mothers on different forums raise their hands in concordance, this tea really helped them manage a poor milk expression level.

[1] GNC Live Well, Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milk, [], last visited on the 17th of February 2014, last update unknown.
[2] WebMD, Fennel, [], last visited on the 17th of February 2014, last update unknown.
[3], Anise while breastfeeding, [], last visited on the 17th of February 2014, last update on the 07th of September 2013.
[4] WebMD, Coriander, [], last visited on the 17th of February 2014, last update unknown.
[5] WebMD, Fenugreek seed, [], last visited on the 17th of February 2014, last update unknown.
[6] WebMD, Marshmallow root, [], last visited on the 17th of February 2014, last update unknown.

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