This homemade lactation drink is hydrating and healthy. It’s a simple, nutritious way to increase milk supply naturally, and it can be enjoyed during pregnancy and postpartum.
Breastfeeding is natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. From ensuring a proper latch to clearing clogged ducts, there’s a learning curve.
I struggled with low milk supply issues after having Little Bear. I was concerned about facing those challenges again after the birth of Wilder Baby, but this time around, I was better informed and better prepared.
If you can relate, don’t give up hope. You can increase milk supply naturally. After more than two years, my nursing journey continues — with both of my boys. As I type this, I’m tandem nursing my toddler and newborn.
“Drink more water,” was common advice midwives and lactation consultants shared with me. I do feel extremely thirsty when nursing; especially, right before or during let-down. Instead of reaching for a glass of plain water, I prefer to sip on this lactation drink, made with nettle and oatstraw, because it quenches my thirst while providing important vitamins and minerals that may have been depleted during pregnancy.
I wish I had known about all the benefits of this herbal infusion sooner. In addition to boosting my milk supply, it has helped me deal with postpartum fatigue and exhaustion.
There are still days when it seems I can hardly find time to brush my hair, let alone make a batch of healthy lactation granola, but I try to enjoy more restful moments with this lactation drink in hand. And if my hands are full, I still try to keep it on a coaster nearby or in the fridge keeping cool.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
This lactation drink is easy to prepare, with only three ingredients: dried nettle, dried oatstraw, and water. As an overwhelmed new mom, that was music to my ears.
Don’t mistake them for a common weed and a bland cereal grain: nettle and oatstraw are nourishing, supportive herbs. They are loaded with nutrition. Both contain numerous vitamins, such as the B complex variety, as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Nettle is also energizing, a quality I especially appreciate these days when I’m not getting as much sleep as I’d like. Oatstraw is a nervine; it’s soothing, calming, and relaxing. Personally, I’ve found that it eases anxiety. Reducing stress is invaluable when it comes to increasing milk supply naturally.
I believe placenta pills helped increase my milk supply, but I only have a handful of them left. While I continue to have great success with breastfeeding supplements, they can get pricey. Thankfully, it’s simple to get more nettle and oatstraw, and buying these herbs in bulk makes this an incredibly cost-effective recipe.
Tips for Making a Nettle and Oatstraw Lactation Drink
- Be sure to use organic, dried herbs.
- Warm the glass jar by rinsing it with warm water before adding the herbs and boiling water.
- Start making it at night before you go to bed, so it can steep while you sleep. It will be ready to drink when you wake up in the morning or during those middle of the night nursing and pumping sessions.
- After straining, store your lactation drink in the fridge and consume it within two days.
- I like to make and keep mine in a mason jar for convenience. I’m a homebody who doesn’t like to leave the mountain much, but I imagine the lids make them a great option for on-the-go moms.
- If you haven’t finished it in 48 hours, you can water your plants with it.
- Leftover lactation drink can also be used as an herbal rinse to add softness and shine to your tresses.
- You will know if it has spoiled because it will taste and smell differently.
- I like to drink mine cold, but you can reheat it on the stove.
- Make popsicles with the herbal infusion to enjoy on hot days.
Does this lactation drink really work?
Although it has definitely helped me, an increase in supply can’t be guaranteed, since every woman’s body is unique. I think it’s worth a try, though. Nettle and oatstraw are both galactagogues, which are substances that increase milk supply. Plus, proper hydration is essential, since breastmilk is primarily composed of water.
Is it safe?
Nettle and oatstraw are mild, nourishing herbs. I feel comfortable sharing this herbal infusion with my toddler, but I encourage you to do your own research and seek qualified medical advice to determine if this lactation drink is right for you.
When should you start drinking it?
Anytime! I started drinking this herbal infusion after Little Bear was born. I also drank it before trying to conceive Wilder Baby, and with my midwife’s approval, I drank it during the pregnancy as well.
How is this lactation drink different from tea?
Even though you may find both nettle and oatstraw in teas to increase milk supply, herbal infusions are more potent. They contain more herbal material and are steeped longer. “The result is a liquid much thicker and darker than an herbal tea, leaving no doubt that you are dealing with a medicine, not a breakfast drink,” herbalist Susun Weed explains in her book, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.
Tools You May Require
- Measuring cup
- Quart-sized glass jar with lid
- Tea kettle or pot to boil the water
- Sieve/stainless steel mesh strainer
How to Make a Nettle and Oatstraw Lactation Drink
- Combine half a cup of dried nettle (Urtica dioica) and half a cup of dried oatstraw (Avena sativa). It should be about an ounce by weight.
- Fill the jar with boiling water.
- Put the lid on the jar and steep for 4-10 hours.
- Strain out the plant matter and press on it to squeeze more liquid out.
- Pour the lactation drink in a drinking vessel of your choice.
Be sure to pin this recipe for later.
- 1/2 cup of dried nettle (Urtica dioica)
- 1/2 cup of dried oatstraw (Avena sativa)
- Filtered water
1. Combine half a cup of dried nettle and half a cup of dried oatstraw. It should be about an ounce by weight.
2. Fill the jar with boiling water.
3. Put the lid on the jar and steep for 4-10 hours.
4. Strain out the plant material and press on it to squeeze more liquid out.
5. Pour the lactation drink in a drinking vessel of your choice.