Choose a postpartum tea that's right for me?
Updated: Mar 12, 2021
The best answer is almost always 'whatever appeals to you most', that said, it's good to know about a few types of teas that can be especially helpful and comforting to you specifically during your fourth trimester as well as if you're nursing. Teas are also an excellent way to stay hydrated postpartum. The herbs below are generally safe during postpartum and when nursing but everyone is unique, so always consult your doctor to be sure they're right for you.
•For easing that first bowel movement after birth try Senna tea. Because, let's face it, even though it's expected, pooping after giving birth puts even the toughest of us on high alert. Senna tea is both gentle and effective. A warm cup before bed will help to get things moving.
•For uterine support Red Raspberry Leaf tea is a popular and often-reached-for option. Soothing, red raspberry leaf tea is known for strengthening the uterus while it does the work of returning to a healthy non-pregnant size.
•For nursing - a blend of alfalfa, fennel, milk thistle, fenugreek, red raspberry leaf, stinging nettle, anise, and marshmallow root. Earth Mama is one of my favorites. A trusted brand, they've been around for a long time.
•For perineum care (a tea for your bath) - calendula, lavender, yarrow, and/or plantain combined with witch hazel, coarse sea salt and oatmeal (optional). Sitz baths were top on my list in the early days of recovery. I would take 2 or 3 every day for the first week. It was heaven. You can easily make your own (see below) (which also makes a lovely gift for a new mama) or you can choose a popular pre-made soak.
•Herbs to avoid if nursing - peppermint, parsley, hibiscus, and sage as they may reduce milk supply. Over using senna can lead to over active bowel movements for the drinker, and while it's generally considered safe for nursing dyad's, it has been known to loosen the stool of babies even though it wasn't detected in breastmilk¹.
•NEVER: Assume that herbs are safe. Some herbs, when combined with OTC and/or doctor prescribed medicines, can interact with each other and/or affect other conditions you might have. Some can also pass through the blood/brain barrier if nursing.² Herbs are powerful medicines and should be used with care, research and caution.
•ALWAYS: Consult your doctor if you have questions and whenever you have concerns about your health, your body, or when you start a new health regimen. This is always true but especially during your 4th trimester as you recover from birth and while nursing. •Four resources for further reading: Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, Senna Tea, Nursing Teas, Sitz Baths
¹ Hale,T. 2019,Hale's Medications & Mothers' Milk™️ (p.682) Springer Publishing, New York NY
² Kellymom.com Herbs to Avoid While Breastfeeding
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