I just finished reading The Birth House, by Ami Mckay (thanks Ilene for the recommendation), which was a good read except for the fact that I think it diverged a bit too much from the birth stories that it promised to tell. The few birth stories it shared were fascinating and I love, loved all the references to the natural remedies used in the older days.
In the story, Miss B is the resident midwife and healer of sorts in the small Nova Scotia village who has a vast knowledge of herbal tinctures for use by women in every stage of their "courses". Her willow book is an encyclopedia of remedies like:
- rubbing dill seed oil on a colicky child's belly
- sage to help with afterbirth pains, but careful! it dries up milk. brew sage tea when weaning a babe
- brew mother's heart with babyberry bark to make a tea to stop excessive bleeding
Being a nursing mama myself right now, I was most interested with the references to the galactagogues: natural agents which promote the secretion and flow of breast milk. I discovered this tea which includes a combination of three galactagogues--fennel, anise and coriander, and have been drinking it daily. It is surprisingly delicious, soothing and promoting healthy lactation for this little chubster: