What are the benefits of drinking fennel tea for breastfeeding mothers? Can it help with colic?
Fennel tea is a popular non caffeinated refreshment and is drunk by many seeking a warm drink without the buzz that regular teas and coffee can give you (great when you are breastfeeding or trying to reduce your caffeine intake). But what is the hype towards this drink and should you be drinking it too?
Background to Fennel tea
Fennel has been used as a natural medicine for centuries with its properties been having said to help prevent and relieve muscle spasms, improve digestion, flatulence, and stomach cramps. Many of the symptoms associated with colic in infants.
The tea is made by steeping the ground dried seeds and sometimes the leaves in boiling water to create a mild aniseed/liquorice tasting drink clear golden yellow in colour.
How can fennel tea help with colic?
When you breastfeed the food and drink you consume is usually formed into your breast milk around 6 hours later (as an average taking different metabolisms into consideration). It has been said that the benefits of the tea can pass through the milk to child and both mother and baby too can experience relief from tummy discomfort and wind.
Do I have to drink it?
In very small babies that are exclusively breastfed the easiest way to get the tea into them is by you drinking it. Bottle fed babies and those who drink formula can also experience colic and tummy discomfort and you can give them some cool fennel tea to drink. Hipp Organic sell baby fennel tea and say it is suitable from one week of age.
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What is colic?
Many people refer to their young baby as having colic many people have never heard of it before having children. Colic can start at different ages in babies but is a very common ailment. Here are some of the symptoms parents report:
it happens most often in the evening
they cry inconsolably for around 3 hours
it happens frequently (some experts say it can be classified as colic if it happens for 3 hours a day, at least 3 nights a week for roughly 3 months.
This can be an extremely distressing time and it feels like nothing you can do will help. There has been a lot of research into what Colic is and why some babies are effected by it, trapped wind is a common belief that effects colic that is where fennel tea comes into play. Here is some more information about how to identify if your baby may have colic.
During our Baby Massage and Baby Yoga classes we offer fennel tea to parents to drink. Many, like myself didn’t think they would like the taste of the tea and once they had tried it were pleasantly surprised and found they do enjoy the taste and it’s not to over powering-ly aniseed-y tasting. Which can be really off putting for many. I didn’t love it at first but now drink it daily and look forward to a cup of the warm tea as many of themums attending class have told me! A plus side to drinking herbal teas is they’re still drinkable luke warm or cold - as many mothers know it can be almost impossible to finish a hot drink!
I encourage mothers to drink a cup of the tea during class and many mums have gone on to report a real change in their baby and the reduction of discomfort and they continue to drink the tea regularly outside of class.
Does it really work on colic? How to make the most out of adding fennel tea to your diet.
Maybe it’s a placebo or magic, herbal medicine magic. Who knows if it really works but taking into consideration ‘You are what you eat’ you probably wouldn’t drink lots of fizzy drinks or caffeine and not expect you & your little one to be buzzing around all day. Why not give it a try for a week and see if you notice any difference? If your baby suffers in the evenings be sure to drink some tea around mid day.
If your baby suffers in the mornings drink some tea in the evening and the night feed early morning should be full of fennel goodness. Or if baby suffers in the early evening then drinking the tea in the early afternoon may be best. Drinking Fennel tea compliments a good diet and regularly massaging your baby’s stomach to encourage bowel movements and the elimination of gases.
Here are some of our favourite fennel tea brands
Health & Heather
Buy organic if that is available to you. Or you could try and make some fennel tea for yourself.
If you would like more information about the benefits of fennel tea and a recipe on how to make your own tea here is a blog we found useful.
Please share photos of you drinking your homemade teas or if you have any tips on how you dealt with colic in your family.
Disclaimer: if you think your child may have colic or any other digestive issues please seek advise from a medical professional. In no way is drinking fennel tea an alternative to medical treatment or medicines.
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