Nursing Time Tea – An Interview with Herbalist Pam Caldwell

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding >> Nursing Time Tea – An Interview with Herbalist Pam Caldwell

Pam CaldwellPam Caldwell, founder of Herb Lore, was instrumental in formulating Fairhaven Health’s Nursing Time Tea. We chatted with her to learn more about how Nursing Time Tea can help nursing women with lactation issues. Hi, Pam. Thanks for chatting with us.

Pam Caldwell: Hi – thanks for having me! As an herbalist, you’ve worked extensively with lactating women for years. In your experience, what are some common issues that women experience when trying to breastfeed?

Pam Caldwell: The most common problem I see is low milk production. There are certainly other issues that breastfeeding women may encounter, but this tends to be the most common, and can be quite distressing for a breastfeeding mom. Fortunately, there are safe and gentle herbs that have been used successfully for this situation down through the centuries that are available for us today. How do the herbs in Nursing Time Tea help with lactation?

Pam Caldwell: All of the herbs in the Nursing Time Tea are well-known for increasing milk production in breastfeeding women. The Fennel, Goat’s Rue, Blessed Thistle & Anise Seed are all classified as “galactagogue” herbs, which means they increase breastmilk production in nursing mothers. The Alfalfa is loaded with readily available vitamins and minerals, helping to enrich the breastmilk while working to stimulate production as well. The Lemon Verbena gives the tea a wonderful lemony, light flavor. It’s a very nice tasting tea. How long does it take to begin receiving the benefits of drinking Nursing Time Tea?

Pam Caldwell: With taking the suggested 3 cups of tea a day, a woman should see results within 12-24 hours of taking the tea. If the desired results are not achieved at this dosage rate, she can increase the herbs and take an extra cup or two until she gets the results she’s looking for. I understand that Fenugreek is a helpful herb for increasing breastmilk production. Why isn’t it in the Nursing Time Tea?

Pam Caldwell: Yes, it’s true that Fenugreek works very well to increase breastmilk production; however, it must be used with consistency and regularity in order to achieve best results. Using Fenugreek inconsistently can decrease milk production or create an inconsistent supply. If Fenugreek is in a combination item, it’s nearly impossible to regulate how much of the herb you’re getting in each serving, which creates the potential of having it negatively impact the supply, rather than help it. Because of this fact, Nursing Time Tea does not include Fenugreek to ensure the best results for the user. Using Fenugreek as a single item, where it can be closely regulated, is the best way of using the herb for a nursing mother’s best results. How can Nursing Time Tea help relieve issues of gas or colic in newborns?

Pam Caldwell: Both the Fennel and Anise Seed are well-known for their “carminative” effects, meaning that they work to dispel gas, colic and indigestion. The herbal effects pass through the breastmilk to the baby, helping soothe gas or colic for the baby. Some clients have even reported that herbal preparations made with Fennel and/or Anise Seed have even helped relieve constipation in their little ones. Blessed Thistle, known as a digestive bitter as well as a galactagogue, aids digestion while helping to relieve gas and colic in mom and baby. Why is Nursing Time Tea a loose-leaf tea? Aren’t tea bags more convenient?

Pam Caldwell: Yes, tea bags are convenient, but as an experienced herbalist, I really prefer a loose leaf tea. The herbs tend to stay fresh much longer when they’re in their more whole form, rather than grinding the herb down to a small enough particle to fit within a small tea bag. With any herb, even your cooking spices, a fresh herb will work much better for you than an old, compromised herb. I’m sure you’ve noticed this if you’ve used any herbs or spices in your cooking. Loose leaf teas can be just as convenient as making a tea with a teabag. I simply make a large batch of tea every couple of days and keep it in my refrigerator. This way, it’s ready to go any time I want to have a glass. For a quick cup of hot tea, you can either pour some of this pre-made tea into a teapot and reheat on the stove, or you can use a tea ball infuser, which is very simple. Just heat a mug of water in the microwave, and pinch some tea out of your bag with your tea ball infuser. Place it in your cup of hot water, and in a couple of minutes, you have a nice hot cup of tea all ready to enjoy! It’s easy, it takes no longer than when brewing a cup of tea with a tea bag, and most importantly, your herbs are likely to be much fresher and work much better for you when they’re in this form. Any other recommendations for nursing women to help with nursing?

Pam Caldwell: Stress is a big contributor to low milk production. This can be emotional stress, or physical stress, as with illness, travel, returning back to work after maternity leave, etc. Getting adequate sleep (as best you can!), keeping up with good nutrition, adequate fluid intake, and using herbs will all help in overcoming low milk production. (Your Nursing Time Tea count towards your daily fluid & water intake!) Adequate nipple stimulation, whether from putting your baby to the breast or by pumping, is a critical factor in producing adequate breastmilk. Also, ask your friends, family or neighbors for help and take whatever measures you need to eliminate your stress. Most people are extremely happy to help and take great joy in helping! Being a new mother can be difficult, especially the first six weeks. The problem is that many new mothers tend to be isolated or feel very alone, and no one knows that they’re struggling unless they say something. So ask for help! This in itself will greatly reduce stress and hardship for you as a new mom, and make your experience much more pleasurable. To summarize, a peaceful environment (or at least decreased stress), getting support, good nutrition, adequate fluid intake, nipple stimulation and galactagogue herbs, such as those in the Nursing Time Tea, will make a significant difference in helping to increase breastmilk production and make your nursing time a joyful time!

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

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