Here are some natural soothers to support your body and spirit while you’re breastfeeding.
More than 30 herbs are considered to be powerful galactagogues—agents that promote the secretion and flow of breastmilk. The best known is fenugreek. Numerous anecdotal accounts testify to the restorative powers of this herb and is commonly used to increase milk supply.
To make fenugreek tea:
- Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds.
- Steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain and drink four or five times a day.
Breastfeeding your baby gives you both so much, and yet it can also leave you with neck and shoulder tension. Here are two stretches that help relieve upper body tension.
- Stand erect. Reach your right arm up and over your head to cover your left ear. Pull your head gently toward your right shoulder as you keep your left shoulder even. Hold your head for a count of 10. Release and let your head float up on its own. Repeat on the left side.
- Clasp your hands behind the middle of the back of your head with your elbows flared. Bow your head toward your chest. Relax 30 seconds in this position. Raise your head slowly as you sit up. Take three deep breaths.
A rocking chair is a must for a new mother. Rocking not only soothes fussy babies, it also soothes mothers. Scientific evidence now documents the benefits of rocking, which stimulates the balance mechanism in the inner ear. Rocking assists an infant’s biological development and promotes the baby’s ability to be alert and attentive.
Rocking even burns a few calories, about 150 an hour. It will help you recover from childbirth more quickly. Here are some things to look for in a rocker:
- Is the seat cushioned?
- Is it very comfortable?
- Could you sit in it for hours?
- Are the arms of the rocker a comfortable place for you to rest your arms while holding the baby?
- Does it have an even, steady, comfortable rock?
- Is it attractive and do you like its style and design?
About Peggy O’Mara. I am an independent journalist who edits and publishes peggyomara.com. I was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine for over 30 years and founded Mothering.com in 1995. My books include Having a Baby Naturally, Natural Family Living, The Way Back Home and A Quiet Place. I have conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. I am the mother of four and grandmother of three. Please check out my email newsletter with free tips on parenting, activism, and healthy living.