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Herbs for a postpartum birthparent! - Lavandoula

Herbs for a postpartum birthparent!

I frequently make up batches of nourishing galactagogue herbal tea blends for postpartum clients. Galactagogue is a kooky herbalist term for plants that encourage the production of breast milk. My most recent batch was this:

Custom-mixed "Mother's Milk" tea
Custom-mixed “Mother’s Milk” tea

It contains goat’s rue, nettle, linden (leaf and flower), marshmallow (root), moringa and fenugreek. Should be steeped overnight (or however long you can manage, because really, whatever you manage to do postpartum is appropriate!). Maximum mineral extraction happens the longer the tea is steeped, and the cooled water allows the mucilaginous components of both the linden and marshmallow to come through. These are extra moistening, and extra soothing to frayed nerves of under-slept new parents.  Many folks rely on herbs to support nursing, and this blend is much stronger and more effective than its grocery store counterpart. I had a client exclusively breastfeeding her twin boys with the help of a blend like this!

I also made this new mom an herbal postpartum sitz bath:

Herbs to soothe a postpartum bottom
Herbs to soothe a postpartum bottom

This recipe includes plantain and comfrey leaves, calendula blossoms, rose petals, lavender flowers and yarrow. I love making these baths because the calendula, rose and lavender give it such beautiful color. Plantain contains the tissue proliferant allantoin, which gently encourages skin to heal (especially nice if stitches were needed). Other herbs encourage healing (yarrow), are antimicrobial (lavender), and gently astringent to tighten and tonify tissue back to its comfortable state. These herbs can be steeped for 20 minutes, like a tea, strained well, and added to a sitz bath or used in a peri-rinse bottle.

My ceramic herb mixing bowl is a product of Liz Kinder pottery. I used to sell her pots when I worked at Wild Indigo Boutique in Boston’s South End.

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