We all know that the pretty flowering yellow and white herb chamomile is advantageous to your health in so many ways. It’s renowned for its incredible health benefits and calming properties that can help you sleep, aid digestion, reduce anxiety, and improve a variety of skin conditions. Sounds ideal when you are looking after your baby.
Chamomile is the common name for the daisy-like flower. It is derived from the Greek word chamomíli, which translates into ‘earth apple’ and perfectly describes its apple-like aroma. Interestingly the botanical name of the most widely cultivated type, Matricaria, is derived from the Latin word for womb.
Herbs have been integral to traditional and non-traditional forms of medicine, dating back at least five millennia. Chamomile is one of the oldest, most widely used, and well documented medicinal plants globally and recommended for various healing applications.
Giving birth is one of the most important things a woman will experience in her life, but it’s full of responsibility and decisions. A big decision that a lot of mums make is that they choose to breastfeed their baby every day instead of use baby formula. When they do this they have to do a lot of research to make sure they’re doing it right. Are they feeding their baby enough? Because sometimes it’s hard to tell. If they’ve used a milk pump how long does it last before going off? As it doesn’t last as long as you think. Is anything in their diet potentially harmful to their baby? You’ll want to make conscious nursing decisions as you feed your newborn baby. Everything that you eat or drink will affect you both. So let’s explore the benefits of drinking chamomile tea while you breastfeed.
Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant. When caffeine reaches your brain, the most noticeable effect is alertness, and you will feel less tired and more awake. It is therefore important to reduce your caffeine intake so that you don’t have a hyper baby. Replace most of your caffeine drinks with herbal varieties instead and make sure that they are breastfeeding friendly. Remember that whatever you consume will also be in your milk.
Organic Is Best
Where ever possible in your diet, go organic, particularly when it concerns chamomile tea brands. It’s known that many non-organic herb farms can use substantial amounts of pesticides during the growing process. The chemicals will end up in your tisanes or teas and have a direct effect on you and your baby. Choose your chamomile tea wisely and go organic to avoid unnecessary additives.
Is Chamomile Safe?
Herbalists, nutritionists, and mothers have used chamomile for centuries. Although there have been limited studies into the herb and breastfeeding infants, it is thought to be safe. It possesses numerous benefits for sleeplessness and tummy troubles such as colic. Not only is it calming in your milk, but you can also use it topically for any minor skin problems, diaper rash, and cracked nipples. Older toddlers can drink chamomile in their sippy cups before bed too.
What Are The Benefits?
Not only does chamomile taste gorgeous, but it’s also bursting with goodness that can help you heal, including calcium and magnesium. What’s more, drinking a warming cup of chamomile at bedtime will help you relax; the goodness is transmitted into your milk and helps calm your baby, so you both sleep well. A 2015 study in Taiwan showed that 40% of postnatal women reported improved sleep quality after drinking chamomile tea.
Chamomile is the master of provoking calmness and automatically soothes any tummy troubles your baby might be experiencing and is excellent for digestion. It’s like a gentle, calm cloud that cures all baby upsets.
Chamomile And Colds
A 2010 Mol Med Report suggests that chamomile can help ease the symptoms of the common cold and relieve any associated anxiety. Chamomile tea has beneficial antibacterial properties that can help treat common cold-related infections.
Does Chamomile Tea Increase Breast Milk Supply?
There is some evidence, albeit anecdotal, that chamomile tea has galactagogue properties that promote plant-derived lactation in humans. Although there is insufficient research about chamomile’s effects on breast milk production, it is thought that if you take time to prepare chamomile tea and give yourself time to enjoy drinking it, it will allow you to relax.
In turn, this nurturing time will make you worry less about your milk supply, and you may produce more. Scientifically, the most reliable method of increasing milk supply is to nurse your baby more often.
The Best Way to Select Chamomile Tea
Always go for brands that are pure and organic; look out for chamomile tea that is USDA-certified organic. This will ensure that the chamomile contains no pesticides and is processed with strict hygiene standards. If you like loose tea, choose a brand with a factory sealed pack; not only will the tea be fresh, but free from contaminants.
Alternatively, try plastic-free tea bags for ease. Before buying, always check the ingredients to ensure that the chamomile is pure. Make sure to store the team in an airtight container away from sunlight.
Although it is very rare, you or your baby might be allergic to chamomile. If you are at all concerned, then you can try a skin test, which means to rub a little bit of the tea onto your or your baby’s skin and wait for a few hours to see if there is a reaction. If there is no redness or irritation, then you should be OK. If you have any concerns, contact your health professional.
Overall, chamomile tea is beautifully restful, and you and your baby should enjoy the calmness that it evokes.