Originally Posted by casmer
Tell me about the Mother's Milk tincture and the herbal sitz bath sachets (what's in them?). Also what do you use the witch hazel soaked cotton pads for?
The Mother's Milk tincture is an herbal galactagogue (lactation stimulant) supplement. Most people are fine as long as they drink lots of water, eating properly, and get lots of nipple stimulation (ie, nursing a lot), but I had some real issues with supply with my first son. There's also a pre-mixed tea that you can drink, but I can't stand the way it tastes, so i'd rather just have the tincture on hand if I end up needing it. Hopefully, my regular tea of RRL, nettle, alfalfa, oat straw and brewer's yeast will keep me going this time.
Like Masel noted, the witch hazel-soaked pads are to reduce swelling. I take the large all cotton pads (could use a cloth pad, whatever), soak in witch hazel (make sure it's pure witch hazel, not the kind of with additives), shape to a curve and stick it in a freezer bag in the freezer. I loved having these frozen pads to come home to!
The herbal sitz bath packets are nice because you can use them in a warm water sitz bath or just heated with warm water (applied directly to sore spots). These are also great prenatally if anyone suffers from pregnancy-induced hemerroids (ahem). The Earth Mama Angel Baby brand has Sea salt, organic oatmeal kernel meal, organic yarrow flower, organic witch hazel leaf, organic plantain leaf, and organic calendula flowers. I make a similar mix on my own, and you can too if there's an herb store anywhere near you (or you can mail order). Are you familiar with the book Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun Weed? It's a great resource for learning about herbs and how to make your own pre and post natal tinctures/teas/salves etc.
One thing I will definitely invest in this time that I did not with my older son is to get a good breast pump. I had to pump a lot last time because his latch was so bad and it was so painful that I coudn't nurse him for very long at any one time in the beginning. I had a cheap little electric pump because I was going to be home and wasn't expecting to need to pump very much, just a bottle's worth or two here and there. It lasted a few months, but it just wasn't strong enough to be effective. This time, I'm not taking any chances. Plus, once the first few weeks have passed, I'm going to rely on my husband to do some of the overnight feedings this time, so i want to make sure I have plenty of pumped milk on hand. It's not realistic for me to think that I can do every overnight feeding this time for 10 months straight if I've got to handle my toddler and the baby during the day by myself. Maybe I'll get a baby who sleeps better this time, maybe I'll get a baby who doesn't hate side-nursing and co-sleeping, but I'm not taking any chances!