Being pregnant and then becoming a mum are two things that are impossible to truly prepare for, or fully understand until you’ve been through them. That was my experience anyway! I thought I knew what to expect, and then it quickly became obvious that I didn’t have a clue!
One thing that I did know though, was tea. I’d been a tea buyer and blender for over 11 years when I had my first baby. I have a degree in Tea Science, having lived and worked in and out of China for over 10 years. And it was quickly obvious that tea could help me with some of the issues I faced. Sleep deprivation and breastfeeding being my major hurdles.
It’s what inspired me to set up HotTea Mama with my good friend Kate, after she had 2 babies in the space of a year, and I was pregnant with my second.
We wanted to make blends that could support mums on the journey that we’d been through – and help them while pregnant and also after their baby arrives.
A cup of tea can seem like such a small thing, but it’s truly a way to bring a moment of calm to your day, and if the cup includes herbs that have been used for millenia to support the female body – even better!
Each of our blends have a purpose, based on helping with areas that we struggled with as Mums. They’ve even won awards, including the Best Maternity Product in the 2019 Baby Awards. The key ways they can help are below…
Caffeine free boost (when you can’t have too many coffees!) – Get Up & Glow and Morning Rescue
These two teas are designed to give you a lift without caffeine. At any stage of motherhood this is important. Exhaustion is par for the course, but the more caffeine you drink on a daily basis, the less effective it will be in helping combat tiredness. Your body basically builds up a resistance to caffeine so keeping you intake low/moderate will actually make it more effective!
Morning Rescue has revitalising, zingy ingredients to give you a lift, and can also ease nausea. Whole ginger pieces, lemon grass, lemon balm, lemon verbena and African mint are invigorating when you most need it.
Get Up & Glow is a vitamin rich blend of fruit, with grapes as the base. The grapes are unusual to find in tea, but they give you a natural sugar lift, which can kid your brain on that you’ve had some caffeine! It’s smooth, tropical flavour is uplifting on its own too – and works whether it’s iced on a hot day in summer, or hot on a cold winters day!
Preparing for labour – raspberry leaf tea, The Final Push
Raspberry leaf is something that most pregnant women will hear about, usually in relation to inducing labour if you’re over due. The bad news is, that is is extremely unlikely to do this! The research actually shows that if it’s drunk from 32 weeks on, it can lead to a shorter second stage labour (where you’re pushing) and fewer interventions (forcep use) in birth.
It does this by making the muscles in your uterus contract slightly. Strengthening them for labour. This is why you shouldn’t have it before this point, as in early stages of pregnancy it could be dangerous. But at the end of pregnancy it is a great tool to prepare physically and mentally for labour – have a cup while you listen to hypnobirthing mantras, guided meditation or read a book on positive birth – it can do wonders!
Breastfeeding – Milk’s Up
For breastfeeding mums, our Milk’s Up tea offers a way to naturally support milk supply. Blending herbs that are known as ‘galactagogues’ to increase production of prolactin in your body, and therefore stimulate milk production.
Fenugreek is a key ingredient, and research has shown this tiny herb can not only increase women’s milk supply, but also the fat content in their milk. Fennel, anise and nettle have also been used for millennia, for the same reason, and we blend them all together with lemon verbena for a touch of sweetness. It makes a delicious way to hydrate and keep your milk supply going.
Stress, anxiety & sleep – Night Owl
We originally called this blend of relaxing herbs, the ‘3am Blend’ as we drank it so often after the 3am feed during it’s development! It is made up of natural anti-inflammatory ingredients, that relax your muscles. Whole chamomile flowers, lavender, valerian root, limeflowers, and rooibos, really help you to get a deeper sleep than without them.
Valerian root in particular is an amazing herb. It’s been shown to be more effective gram to gram than a pharmaceutical sedative in research! It’s also why we only have a small amount in there – it’s in safe levels for both pregnancy and breastfeeding!
We thoroughly recommend having a cup an hour before your last feed of the day too, so that some of it’s sleepy benefits can transfer into your breastmilk and through to your baby. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s got to be worth a try!
A prolonged caffeine pick me up – Newborn Wonder
Going back to caffeine after you’ve had a baby can often give you heart palpitations after 9 months off! We designed this blend of white tea and whole rose buds to support your body with a slow release caffeine boost.
White tea is higher in caffeine than a cup of builders tea, but also higher in theanine – a natural relaxant. In combination you get a slow release of c. 90mg of caffeine, perfect to
start your morning and a gentler start than a coffee. You won’t get a hard drop off, and the rose buds are soothing and fragrant.
I basically live of this tea 5 years into motherhood, so newborns are not essential to benefit from it!
Co-Founder HotTea Mama