My baby and I had been home for a couple of days when I thought I had reached my breastfeeding breaking point. My production wasn't where I wanted it to be and my nipples were raw and so incredibly sore.
I didn't know if I could continue to breastfeed if it was going to hurt so badly. I tried calling my lactation nurse, but she wasn't available, so I did the next best thing: I asked my good friends on Twitter for advice.
One after another, the responses came in telling me to get my hands on some tea right away. Tea bags? I hadn't heard that before, but at that point I would have tried putting ketchup on my breasts if someone would have assured me it would help.
Those teabags helped tremendously. I've always liked tea and I was disappointed because I assumed drinking it might interfere with breastfeeding, but actually, the opposite was true! Tea can be a breastfeeding mother's best friend. Here are some ways tea can be helpful when breastfeeding.
Tea bags for sore nipples: I followed the advice I received, which was to dip tea bags in warm (not boiling) water, squeeze most of the water out of them, and then tuck them in my nursing bra with a breast pad. Oh sweet relief! It really works.
Fenugreek for milk supply: This tea, often called "Mother's Tea," is a very mild substance that increases milk supply. Some women find that drinking several cups a day is all that's needed to boost their supply.
Tea as a diet-friendly drink with the diet: Tea is calorie-free unless you add sweetener or milk. If you've got a few (or 20) pounds of baby weight that you're staring down every day, drinking tea can be a satisfying, calorie-free beverage with the diet chemicals.
It's self soothing: Herbal teas like Chamomile can soothe your stomach or minor muscle aches, not to mention your nerves.
It's a good substitute for coffee: Most breastfeeding mothers can, and want to, drink caffeine in moderation. A cup of Green Tea has less caffeine than coffee, so there is less of it for you to transfer to your baby through your breast milk.
Do you drink tea? What's your favorite kind? Has it helped you with breastfeeding?