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| Breastmilk Production for Twins |
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Brandy
Posted on: October 13, 2001
I have a question about breastfeeding. I am currently breastfeeding twins. To produce more milk I am drinking an herbal tea called mothers milk, three time a day. I also am taking one capsule three times a day of Fennel, along with two capsules three times a day of Blessed Thistle. And two capsules three times a day of Marshmallow Root.
My questions are: 1. am I taking too much? 2. will this hurt my babies? 3. will this affect them any way at all? 4. how long can I take this?
I plan on breastfeeding for a year. Can I take all of this for that long? If not which ones can I take for that long?
It is best to take a variety of nourishing herbs in the form of a tea while breastfeeding. The small amounts of herbs, taken in tea form, are unlikely to cause adverse reactions. When you are taking herbs over a long period of time, it is best to vary the mixture, to avoid side effects. I suggest that you buy some of the herbs listed below in bulk form and mix your own teas.
Herbs used to encourage breast milk supply are: Alfalfa, Blessed Thistle leaves (Cnicus benedictus), Dandelion root and leaves, Fennel seeds, Marshmallow root, Raspberry leaf, Nettles, Oatstraw and Red Clover.
Check the ingredients of your "mother’s milk" tea. Ingredients should be organic, with no additives, colourings or flavourings.
Make sure you are drinking at least 8 cups of fluids daily, as good quality spring water, juices, soup broth or herbal teas. You need sufficient liquid intake to produce a sufficient milk supply.
Maximum dosages of the herbs you mentioned are listed below. I would not recommend taking this maximum dose for more than a period of a few weeks. When herbs are combined, they produce a synergistic effect, so that less is needed of each individual herb.
- Fennel seeds: 600 mg powder in capsule form or 1/4 teaspoon crushed seeds steeped in one cup boiling water for 15 minutes. Especially helpful for mother’s indigestion or baby’s colic.
- Blessed Thistle is a bitter tonic, nourishes the liver and helps to improve mother’s mood. 20 drops of tincture, three times a day. This is a bitter herb, so if using in tea form, combine with other herbs.
- Marshmallow root: 1/2 teaspoon shredded root infused in one cup of cold water overnight. Soaking in cold water releases the mucilage, which is soothing and healing to the digestive system.
Susun Weed in "The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year" (Ash Tree Publishing) states that hops flowers are an old remedy for mothers of twins who need lots more milk. She suggests using hops for the nighttime feedings, because of its sedative properties, and that it is tastier taken as beer rather than a tea. Make sure the beer, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, is free of chemical additives.
Aviva Romm in "Naturally Healthy Babies and Children" (publisher Storey Books) suggests that the following foods have a reputation for encouraging milk production: barley, oats, beets, carrots (especially carrot juice), winter squash, almonds, avocados, brown rice, leafy greens and sea vegetables. Romm states that thick, grain-based soups and porridges are used throughout the world to encourage more milk.
1 part Raspberry leaves
1 part Nettle leaves
1/4 part Fennel seeds
Combine dry herbs in a jar. Take one teaspoon of the mixture in a cup or teapot. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the herbs. Steep 15 minutes, strain and serve.
1 part Nettle leaves
1 part Red Clover flowers
1/2 part marshmallow root
Place 4 teaspoons of the mixture in a one quart glass jar. Pour 4 cups cold water over the herbs. Cover and steep overnight. Strain and drink 4 cups a day.
Steeping these herbs overnight will produce a tea that is full of nutrients and healing mucilage.