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What Is the Best Tea for Breastfeeding?

It's important for pregnant women to know which herbs are most beneficial when drinking an herbal tea.
Fenugreek is one herb known to increase a mother's milk supply.
Ginger can be added to tea to help soothe the stomach of both mother and baby.
The best breastfeeding tea will have no unintended side effects.
Article Details
  • Written By: Kaitlyn N. Watkins
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 15 December 2014
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If a mother is breastfeeding, some care must be taken when choosing a tea to drink. Some teas can have adverse effects on a mother's milk supply, so it is best to choose a tea for specifically for breastfeeding women. The best tea for breastfeeding will not contain caffeine, will have galactagogue herbs, and will not have unintended side effects for the baby or the mother.

Some teas, like black tea, have almost as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, but herbal teas tend to be decaffeinated or caffeine-free. Almost all “decaf” teas contain a small amount of caffeine, however. For these reasons, an herbal tea is best for breastfeeding women because caffeine can pass through the breast milk and make a baby fussy or unable to sleep. It is usually safe to begin gradually adding more caffeine back into the diet after the baby is six months old.

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When drinking an herbal tea for breastfeeding, it is important to check the ingredients, as some herbs can actually decrease a woman's milk supply or aggravate hay fever or pollen allergies. Teas with sage, mint, menthol, and black walnut, among others, have all been shown to have a negative impact on milk supply and should be avoided in tea for breastfeeding. Galactagogues, or herbs thought to help increase milk supply, include fenugreek, blessed thistle, fennel, and raspberry leaf. Combinations of these herbs can be found in tea that is specifically formulated for breastfeeding, as can goat's rue, nettle, milk thistle, brewer's yeast, and hops. In fact, a few of these galactagogue herbs are thought to be so beneficial in increasing supply that they are taken in vitamin capsule form.

Ephedra, gingseng, black cohosh and kava-kava, should not be consumed in tea for breastfeeding mothers and neither should borage, star anise, wormwood, or ginko. In addition, aloe, licorice, and basil should also be avoided. Green tea can actually act as a diuretic and cause dehydration in breastfeeding women if several cups are consumed in one day. Teas with fennel, chamomile, or ginger may help calm a fussy or gassy baby when passed through the breast milk, but it is important to observe the baby's reaction closely to make sure they are not becoming more irritated than usual. It is a good idea to consult with a pediatrician before trying a new tea during breastfeeding.

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serenesurface
Post 3

I tried breastfeeding tea with raspberry leaf, fenugreek and nettle after a friend said it worked for her. Unfortunately it didn't make any difference for me. I'm not sure why. I'm now also giving formula to my baby because my breast milk is not enough.

burcinc
Post 2

@SarahGen-- Some breastfeeding teas are certainly tastier and more effective than others. If you can, read some customer reviews about the products to get an idea about their effectiveness before trying them. Some tea companies may actually offer samples to try if you email them.

When I was breastfeeding, I drank a great tasting, organic herbal tea mix. As far as I can remember, the ingredients were fennel, thistle, anise and fenugreek. I think it had some lemongrass in their too because it tasted kind of lemony.

Anyway it was very delicious and it did improve my milk supply. It seemed to have a relaxing effect on me as well which was much needed!

SarahGen
Post 1

Are there any breastfeeding mothers here that use a tea made specifically for breastfeeding?

I want to increase my milk supply and I was recommended to try one of these combination teas. But there are different ones out there with slightly different ingredients. Does one work better than the others? Or which ingredients should I look for specifically?

It would also be nice if the tea tastes good!

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