In the period after birth, the mother’s body can be very depleted. In these instances, sometimes there isn’t enough in the mothers ‘reserve tank’ to go on and make good quality and quantity of milk. Add to the mix poor constitution, diet and lifestyle and some mothers find it near impossible to produce breast milk. As a practitioner I know that there are a few special herbs that tick all the boxes in making gangbuster breast milk and at the same time, supporting the mother back to pre-pregnancy wellness.
From a Chinese Medicine standpoint, breast milk is seen as an ‘extension’ of blood. With this in mind, if the quality and volume is depleted, the breast milk can’t flow. There are many things that will influence the cycles of breast milk, when the milk ‘comes in’ a few days post partum, how much the mother produces and how long she produces for. A mother who is strong in constitution and who has all round good vitamin and mineral reserves alongside good gut function shouldn’t have too much trouble producing milk. A woman who loses a lot of blood during birth or who requires anaesthetic or other interventions may see a delay with the flow of breast milk as this interrupts normal body processes. What’s more, in a world that’s busy, too often women find themselves depleted from the get go, be it from a constitutional perspective or from not resting enough after birth – the body will tell us by signs and symptoms that we need to listen to.
I’d like to talk about the ingredients in Breastfriend Tea and how they have traditionally been used for consumption.
Ground rice is unique in its ability to really tonify the gut and very gently support healthy gut function. Chinese Angelica is a well-known TCM herb that is included for its very powerful ability to nourish blood. By nourishing blood, we can begin to directly supplement the quality and quantity of breast milk. What’s more, the mother herself will benefit as her body is replenished postpartum. This means that Chinese Angelica will also aid digestion, in supplementing the body, it helps recover from fatigue, aches, pain, bowel issues and is a general all round tonic that is very safe for both mother and child.
The next herb; Fructus Liquidambaris is an important tonic that helps to replenish fluids, generate healing (great news for sore nipples and any battle scars from birth!) and help to treat other imbalances that come with motherhood like swelling and bloating. Fructus Liquidambaris is an important part of this blend for its overall ability to supplement breast milk quantity.
In Chinese Medicine we appreciate ‘root’ and ‘branch’ treatments – the root being the actual cause of the problem and the branch being the symptoms. By treating both cause and symptoms, we can quickly move toward seeing long term improvements since the body is shifting towards healing. With this in mind, we are all different in how long you may need to use breastfriend tea, depending on your constitution, birth and lifestyle post partum. The most important thing to remember is that breastfriend tea alongside a wholesome diet and plenty of water is a step in the right direction to nourishing both mother and child”.
Written by TCM Doctor Nat Kingroudis.
Yours in wellness,
Image via @miriamkax