Help for Pregnant Mothers and Breastfeeding

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Pregnant and Breastfeeding mothers need to be careful with herbs and natural treatments. What is good for us without child, is not the same for when we are carrying. Here are some simple guidelines from research that can help you on your pathway to a happy child and a happy life. 

"Mama… if you’re struggling with your milk supply, you've got to check out this great herbal blend from Bulk Herb Store! It’s Mama’s Milk Tea, and it’s great for all nursing mama’s who want to increase their milk supply or make their milk more nutritional for baby. With all of my babies, my milk supply has always been… just enough. As in, we made it just pass the one year mark before baby decided he was more interested in real food than mama’s milk and weaned himself. If there’s a next time, I’m definitely grabbing some of this to boost my supply and make baby’s milk even better for him (or hopefully her) than it already is!" - Young and Raw

It’s organic: Red Raspberry Leaf, Fennel Seed, Nettle Leaf, Fenugreek Seed, Dandelion Leaf, and Blessed Thistle.

About the Herbs

Red Raspberry Leaf is THE herb for pregnant and nursing mama’s. Not only is it packed full of nutrients, but it’s great for women’s reproductive health. The great thing about this herb is that it’s not just for women! The whole family could and should use it. This herb makes a great tea to keep in your fridge at all times. It tastes great, and it’s packed full of vitamins that your body needs!

Fennel Seed is a great tasting herb that does a variety of different things. Not only does it help to boost milk production, but it’s also used in weight loss formulas because it normalizes the appetite, and it’s used for digestive issues for babies (because of it’s great taste) and for those with gout.

Nettle Leaf is so healthy for you. This herb is a great addition to any herbal mix just because it’s so nutritional. It’s traditionally used for a lot of different things, but it mainly acts to increase urine production, increase the efficiency of the kidneys and liver, and to act as a mild laxative.

Fenugreek Seeds are mainly used for respiratory issues because of it’s expectorant like properties. It helps get the mucous and fluids up out of the lungs when you’re sick with something like bronchitis. But, Fenugreek Seeds are also very nutritious. They act like a fiber and are also full of fixed oils – often compared to Cod Liver Oil.

Dandelion Leaf is high in a lot of nutrients your body needs, but especially in calcium, and is recommended for increasing the nutritional content of breast milk. It’s also used medicinally as a blood purifier as it acts on some of the major organs like the pancreas, liver, and kidneys.

Blessed Thistle is most commonly used for increasing milk supply in nursing mothers, but it shouldn't be used during pregnancy… only afterwards. It’s an excellent source of potassium and sodium, and it’s thought to help with blood flow to the heart and brain.

Ways To Use These Herbs:

Obviously you can use this herbal blend as a tea, but you can also use this as a tincture if you don’t want to drink tea throughout the day. A tincture is the best way to use a little but get a lot out of the herbs, but a tea is also great because it keeps you hydrated and helps to flush your kidneys… a must all the time, but especially while nursing your babies.

Why You Should Not Detox During Pregnancy or Nursing

Eating Healthy During Pregnancy - We get asked almost every day whether or not it is advised to do a detox or cleanse while breast-feeding or pregnant.  The short answer to this question is no. The long answer is that there are several risks involved detoxing during pregnancy and while nursing.

Let’s explore why it’s not recommended to do a detox during pregnancy or nursing. You Risk Transferring stirred up toxins to the baby - When you “detox” your body is releasing the toxins that have been stored away in your cells back into your blood stream.  Why do our bodies store toxins in the first place? When we have over loaded our bodies with toxins to the point where our organs cannot safely usher them out of our bodies without causing damage along the way, our bodies attach a buffer molecule to the toxin. This buffer molecule helps to make it less toxic for the short run and then stores that toxin in your cell.  This keeps harmful toxins away from your organs and away from blood circulation. These toxins are knocked loose during detox and carried to the liver, where they are processed to remove the buffering agent, and then carried out of the body. Keep in mind that your blood will be passing through the placenta, as well as providing the nutrients to your milk.  This means that if there are tons of toxins being circulated in your blood, they will find their way to your baby, which is not good!

You Risk Becoming Dehydrated – When you detox, you will be increasing the amount you are sweating, urinating and moving your bowels.  This is OK under normal circumstances, but it is not ideal when you are pregnant or breast-feeding.  These three things can lead to dehydration, and combine that with an increased need for fluids, you could be putting yourself in a dangerous position for you and the baby.  This could affect the fetus, as well as milk supply if you are breast feeding.

Too Little Nutrition On A Detox – During pregnancy and lactation, your needs for calcium, protein and iron are doubled, and you have an increased need for pretty much every other nutrient as well to some extent.  This is why a detox meal plans is not a good idea at this time.  Often detoxes will cut way down on at least one macronutrient group, and will just not be providing all that you need for the little one growing inside of you, or for the production of good quality breast milk,

Many Herbs are Unsafe During Pregnancy And Lactation – There are many detox and cleanse programs that come with herbal supplements, or require fresh herbs as a part of their food protocol.  Herbs are nature’s medicine, and most are actually contraindicated during pregnancy.  The list of herbs that should be avoided while pregnant is long, and you can read it here. Be very mindful what you are ingesting.  Of special note are parsley and cilantro in large amounts:

Cilantro is a heavy metal chelator, this runs the risk of toxins being dumped into your milk and then being consumed by baby. It can also make a woman more prone to miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy in higher doses.(A little bit in your salad is probably ok, but to be safe you would be wise to just avoid it unless instructed to do otherwise by your Herbalist or N.D.)

Parsley can actually decrease or shut off milk supply in nursing mothers. It’s not a supportive herb for lactation at all so we recommend you don’t use it unless you’re not pregnant or nursing (as a pregnant woman parsley can cause miscarriage but in very high doses, a little bit isn’t usually enough to cause problems).Before using any herbs, seed the advice of a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner.

3 Ways to  Enhance  Your Nutrition Without Detoxing:

  If you are wanting to increase the quality of foods you are eating, while making sure that you are not throwing your body into detox, here are our tips:

1. Add Foods In- One of the simplest things you can do to increase the quality of nutrition you are taking in, is to simply add something fresh and raw to every meal.  Have a green smoothie with your breakfast.  Add a fresh raw salad with your lunch and dinner.  Do not cut anything out, just add fresh foods to what you are already consuming

 2. Make Simple Swaps – If you are used to eating white bread, just make the switch to whole grain or sprouted grain. Same goes for pasta, rice and other grains. Remove gluten from the diet wherever possible and switch to things like quinoa or wild rice. Swap out canned items for home cooked.  Go for the whole foods option of whatever you normally eat, over the processed option.

3. Make Alterations To Recipes – You can use healthy “detox” recipes, and make them more baby friendly.  Add a fat source and a protein source to all smoothies.  This can be done with a scoop of plant-based protein powder and a table-spoon of nut butter, a bit of avocado or 1 tbsp. of coconut oil. Add bulk to salads by adding extra avocado, cooked beans, quinoa or whole grains.  Just be mindful that your nutritional needs are increased, so increase them accordingly!

So even though doing a full blown detox plan is not ideal when you are expecting or nursing, you can still change your eating habits for the better, without putting yourself or the baby at risk.  Remember, this is a special and sacred time!  There will be lots of time to detox later, for now just enjoy the experience of giving life and honor your body and its processes.

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