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Monday Health & Wellness: Nourishing Postpartum Hormone-Balancing Tea

admin February 25, 2013

After my third baby was born, I didn’t really take care of myself that well.  Part of it was just the situation we were in — three small, needy children and a husband in the depths of a serious detox — and part of it was this strange idea that I needed to jump back into things immediately.  I hadn’t prepared enough in advance and didn’t know how to explain to people what I needed or how to help me.

I’ve decided this time I’m going to be a little more “selfish.”  I’m going to take more time to rest, sit around, let others take care of me.  When else in my life can I do it?!  And when else do I really need it?  I’ll spend my days reclining in bed or on the couch, in the early weeks, snuggling my new baby, napping when I want to, and doing just the fun parts with the older kids (talking, reading books, snuggling).  I’ll let others deal with the fighting, cooking, and cleaning!

I also want to take care of myself physically.  I want to recover well and without any deficiencies.  I now know that part of the reason my third pregnancy and recovery were harder was because I was magnesium deficient.  I tried to eat nutrient-dense foods but with the stress of pregnancy and birth, plus dealing with my husband’s detox, it was just not enough.  Of course, the situation is different now — he’s mostly past the detox phase (still working on yeast, but he’s much stronger) and more able to help me.  I have more friends who could come and help me too, and I’ll take advantage of that.

As far as the nourishment, though, I already shared my pre-baby cooking plan.  I want to have lots of nutrient-dense foods around to snack on whenever I need them.  But I also want to take some extra measures to help re-balance my hormones and nourish my body.

This tea is not just for postpartum.  This could help any woman who is hoping to balance her hormones and nourish her body.  It would be great for pre-conception and even late pregnancy.  The chosen herbs help female hormones as well as providing a ton of vitamins and minerals that women need.  I’ll be making up a huge batch of the dry herbs and storing them in a jar with instructions on how to brew the tea.  I’ll have someone brew me 2 – 4 cups daily in the early weeks to help me heal.

Ingredients:

These should all be done by weight.  So, for example, you might mix 2 oz. red raspberry, 2 oz. nettle, 1 oz. spearmint, and 1/2 oz. alfalfa.  Simply combine them in a glass jar or plastic bag, shake to combine, and set aside.

To brew, scoop a large amount (1/3 – 1/2 c.) into a quart mason jar.  Add boiling filtered water to cover.  Put the lid on, make sure all the herbs are saturated, and let it steep for 30 minutes to overnight.  Strain, sweeten lightly if desired, and drink.

I chose red raspberry because it is known to tone the uterus and smooth muscles in the body, as well as helping to balance hormones.  It also can increase fertility (although that’s not why I’m using it!) and reduce the risk of hemorrhage or excess bleeding.  It helps the uterus return to its usual size.  It also contains calcium, phosphorus, potassium, some B vitamins, and vitamin C.

I chose nettle because it is an incredibly nourishing and soothing herb.  It contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, vitamins B and C, and is anti-inflammatory.  It can also slow excessive bleeding.

I chose spearmint partially because I like the taste, but also because it’s rich in B-complex (especially folate).  It also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.  Too much mint can reduce your milk supply, so if you are sensitive to this, you should omit it from the tea.  (If you are using this tea for fertility or general hormone balancing and are not breastfeeding, you don’t need to worry about this.)

I chose alfalfa primarily for its vitamin K content, which can reduce bleeding.  It also contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.  It can help stimulate appetite (and as I tend to skip meals, this is good!) and fight bad bacteria.  It is anti-inflammatory and can boost milk supply.

That is why I will be drinking this tea daily!  Although I believe it is good for most women!  A quick note though: women with lupus or blood-clotting disorders should not use alfalfa, which can cause excessive clotting.

Do you drink herbal teas to boost health?

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15 Comments

  1. I AM SO HAPPY TO SEE THIS POST!! I have been looking for a recipe for tea to help balance my hormones. I’m past the baby-making stage, but my hormones have been whack-o my whole life. I have several herbal books I am in the process of reading for this very reason. I just hadn’t found what I was looking for. I have a ton of herbs at home, just not the alfalfa. Are there any other herbs that you would recommend as helpful for balancing hormones that would also complement this blend? Thanks so much for all your wonderful info. Praying for a safe delivery and healthy baby and mama!

    Reply

  2. I am very interested when you write about herbs because you tell the negative as well. (Like the blood clotting thing with alfalfa.) Alfalfa made me feel not the best, and I have been diagnosed with factor v leiden, and could be more likely to have clots. I wondered if that is why it made me not feel well. All that to say I would love to see more articles on herbs and spices or maybe some sources to study the contraindications of certain herbs and spices. I like to know what I am taking and all the properties of it! 🙂

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  3. Can you give me an idea of how many total ounces one uses per quart of tea? I don’t know how much loose-leaf tea to buy.

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  4. So looking back, what would you do differently? Mark is starting GAPS intro in a few weeks, and at the very least Natalia will be doing full GAPS. Plus he is stressed with needing to finish his thesis and is pretty busy with work. I still have 17 (I hope!) weeks to go but after getting sick so many times over the last winter (not this one) then hormone issues, and digestion issues, and now 23 weeks of pregnancy nausea (after nausea all through the summer due to hormone imbalances) ect. ect. I am just tired… and it looks like we will be in a similar boat 3 kids, one with pretty strict eating needs, and a husband going through healing.

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    • If possible, I would create as much GAPS food in advance and keep it in the freezer/pantry so that cooking isn’t needed. This time we canned a lot of GAPS soups with our new pressure canner. I would ask for more help from people around me, allowing them to bring me meals (especially my “healthy” friends who would cook what I would, generally), come watch my older kids, or even just come and talk to me and keep me company. I would start heavy magnesium supplementation ASAP to improve fatigue and morning sickness. (Not kidding — I was so exhausted, had a month of early labor, morning sickness through the whole pregnancy, and then anxiety and other stuff post-pregnancy last time, was severely deficient. Labor was harder too when it hit, and so were the afterpains. I am sitting now at 38w3d and I actually pulled a groin muscle Sat. morning chasing my older son, but it was completely fine by Mon. night and I have plenty of energy, feel strong, not in pain, no morning sickness, no anxiety…totally different. I credit magnesium for most of this. I am also taking larger amounts of my herbal multivitamin and also lots of FCLO. My needs are so much greater now than usual and I am making sure to meet them as best I can.) Supplement yourself with whatever you need and seriously consider extra FCLO and magnesium especially. Iron and B vitamins and C too if you think you need those.

      Then, just slow down. Don’t take on extra projects. I was trying to publish daily on MAM and 3x a day on Babble at that time; I should have quit sooner than I did. You don’t have to be super mom. And spend time with Mark, connecting and both helping him and letting him help you. Line up your mom or his mom or a postpartum doula for the first few weeks after baby comes so you have someone who is there to really take care of you. Don’t worry about anything extra! I was trying to do canning when Jacob was 3 days old! I felt I *had* to be “fine” immediately and it didn’t help things. Take naps when you need them, in pregnancy and after (I do now!). have snacks when you need them. Try boiling 4 – 5 slices of fresh ginger with 1 c. water, then mixing the resulting tea with juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, 1 tbsp. raw honey, and enough water to make 3 c. total. Drink this throughout the day — it replenishes electrolytes and the ginger is anti-inflammatory and soothes the stomach (which will make you feel better from morning sickness fast).

      I hope you find ways to make it easier! Because it is not fun to go through that type of situation, at all.

      Reply

  5. SO EXCITED to see this post as well. Have leftover raspberry leaf & nettle from a bulk order during my pregnancy, and have been telling myself I should be drinking a postpartum tea for awhile now. Off to order some alfalfa & spearmint 🙂

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  6. Thanks for the great post. I have some tea brewing right now; here’s hoping it does the trick. 🙂

    Reply

  7. […] me through the end of the pregnancy, and probably well beyond. The best part? I just ran across a great post from Modern Alternative Mama using these same herbs to make a hormone-balancing post-birth […]

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  8. […] little pampering to see if you don’t just need to reclaim some “me” time. Steep yourself some nourishing postpartum tea. Talk to your partner about your feelings and decide, too, if together you need to get things off […]

    Reply

  9. […] little pampering to see if you don’t just need to reclaim some “me” time. Steep yourself some nourishing postpartum tea. Talk to your partner about your feelings and decide, too, if together you need to get things off […]

    Reply

  10. […] Herbal Tea: calendula, raspberry leaf, nettle and ginger along with a cup of roasted dandelion root tea with milk – yummo […]

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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