23 October 2009

To all you nursing mamas

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:


Lizzy said...

Interesting. I'll have to check that out. I've been having serious low milk problems with this second baby. Some friends recommended a herb called fenugreek, which is helping a lot, and my doctor gave me a anti-nausea (of all things) prescription which is suppose to help with lactation. But I need all the help I can get! I'll have to read that book. Thanks for sharing.

Jessica said...

That is such a great picture! He looks so sweet and handsome.

Ilene said...

I would like to say that I too was enlightened by that book. But, really, I'm not as smart as you.

I was just exasperated at the girl (can't remember her name) decided to have a life-long affair with her dead husband's brother. What a literary cop-out.

Kate said...

Cool! I would love to check that out...I love birth stories and I'm also a lactation counselor. Little by little I've been learning more about herbal remedies. You're little man is adorable, by the way.

Aimee Fuller said...

That picture is adorable. Those eyes are gorgeous! And I'm loving the extra chub he's sportin'!