Modern lifestyles and environmental changes are adversely impacting humans and are leading to many lifestyle disorders and problems. Due to lifestyle modification, there is lack of time for proper diet and exercise which leads to many health concerns. Likewise hindered lactation in a postpartum pregnancy is one of the causes of lifestyle modification and environmental changes. In a physically fit and healthy mother there will be less chances of improper lactation. In this article we are going to discuss lactation in general, its Ayurveda aspect, Ayurveda diet and herbs that help in promoting lactation according to ancient Ayurvedic texts.
Lactation is the natural occurring mechanism of production and secretion of milk from breast which occurs in every female mammal after giving birth or postpartum pregnancy due to prolactin and oxytocin hormone secretion. The more the newborn sucks the breast then there will be more stimulation of milk production. Breast milk is the best food for newborn infants for almost one year which helps in building the immune system and fights off the infections.
Sometimes lactation may gets affected due to some hormonal and body changes like in:
- Premature birth
- Eclampsia relation pregnancy
- In obese mother etc.
- Less feeding
- Poor latching
AYURVEDA ASPECT ON LACTATING MOTHERS
During the postpartum stage of pregnancy the body experiences an excess of vata dosha (one of the three doshas of the body) and intake of various heavy meals during breast feeding results in impacted breast milk.
Doshas involve in milk vitiation:
- Vata Dosha: Astringent (kashaya) in taste and as on pouring into water it easily floats over water.
- Pitta Dosha: Pungent (katu), sour (amla) or salty (lavan) in taste and milk shows thick yellowish threads over the surface.
- Kapha Dosha: Milk could be thick (ghanam), sticky (pichchil) and milk sinks in water.
In order to balance the vata dosha and it’s drying quality we should add food items in our diet which may provide nourishment, warmth and are hydrating.
AYURVEDA DIET AND HERBS FOR IMPROVING LACTATION
- Methika (Trigonella foenum-graecum): Methika is an excellent galactogogue (food or product that promotes flow of breast milk). Methika seeds better help lactating mothers because it helps in balancing vata and kapha dosha. Better way to take fenugreek is in a tea form (add 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of boiling water, boil it over 15 min and have it for two or three times).
- Mishreya (Foeniculum vulgare): Saunf helps in balancing the tridoshas vata, pita and kapha. As per modern it is an estrogenic agent that helps in milk production. It can be taken in tea form (add 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in a cup of boiling water, boil it for 15 min and let it sit for a few hours. Later, strain it and have it for thrice a day) and saunf can be added to food items.
- Hydration: keeping yourself hydrated helps in increasing milk production, if you won’t drink enough water your body will become dehydrated and thus reduces milk production which may end in your baby becoming dehydrated as well.
- Strawberry (Fragaria ananassa): This contains vitamin C and high water content helps keep your body hydrated. If a lactating mother stays hydrated her milk production won’t be hindered. Thus her newborn will also stay hydrated.
- Nuts: These are good sources of protein, calcium, zinc and vitamin B which support milk production. Can be consumed raw or in roasted form. Cashews and almonds are more likely a popular option for nursing mothers, as cashews help in boosting breast milk supply and almonds have antioxidants.
- Coconut Oil: Can be added to diet plans this helps in hydrating the body and eventually increases milk’s flow.
- Jeeraka (Cuminum cyminum): These seeds are a great home spice and easily available which helps in stimulating milk production. Jeera helps in balancing vata and kapha dosha, as in lactation vata dosha aggravates. Jeerak seeds contain iron which helps mothers in avoiding anaemia like conditions (as anaemia can make breastfeeding a problem) and also helps in digestion, improves bowel movements.
- Rasona (allium sativum): This can be added to food items or if eaten raw gives more benefit. Garlic helps in promoting or increasing milk production. Rasona helps in balancing vata and kapha dosha through increased pitta dosha.
- Til beej (Sesamum indicum): It is an easily available thing and can be consumed for better results in increasing milk supply. This helps in suppressing the root cause for improper lactation by calming down vata and kapha dosha.
- Dalchini (Cinnamomum zeylancicum): It helps in balances vata and kapha doshas. This is another most common ingredient a nursing mother can take during breastfeeding. Thus, it helps in increasing milk production. Can be easily taken in powdered form by adding it to tea.
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus): This provides support in stimulating prolactin hormone thus increases the milk production and also helps in improving the body’s immune system which helps in fight off the infection while you’re breastfeeding.
- Moringa (Moringa oleifera): This herb helps in preventing anaemia which helps in promoting and enhancing the milk’s flow. This helps in balancing vata dosha which got vitiated during childbirth.
- Goat’s rue (Galega officinalis): It is a green leafy plant that helps in boosting milk supply. Its dried leaves are more often galactogogue and are safe to use because it’s green leaves are more toxic and shouldn’t be used. So this herb should be used in dried form as it helps the nursing mother in growth of breast tissues and in producing more breast milk.
HERBAL REMEDIES FOR LACTATING MOTHERS
Planet Ayurveda is one of the best herbal manufacturing units. The products manufactured by the planet Ayurveda are purely herbal and safe and being manufactured under the guidance of our team of expert Ayurvedic doctors by using the ancient time tested formulas as described in the ancient Ayurveda texts. Planet Ayurveda provides the best herbal combination for lactating mothers such as shatavari capsules (Asparagus racemosus), female health support and nourish max powder. These combinations are natural and 100% pure, formulated by using best quality herbs which show no side effects and are safe to use. These combinations are free from chemicals and preservatives.
1. Shatavari Capsules
This herbal supplement consists of shatavari herb’s extract. Shatavari capsules increase fertility rate and vitality in females due to its madhur(sweet) rasa and madhur vipaka. It’s phytoestrogen property (a compound similar to estrogen hormone) helps in stimulating milk ducts and increases milk’s flow. It helps in improving anemia and strengthening the female reproductive system. Shatavari capsules by planet Ayurveda formulated by standardized extract of best quality Shatavri herb.
Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily after meal with plain water.
2. Female Health Support
These capsules contain standardized extracts of: Ashoka (Saraca Indica), Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) And being formulated keeping in view the basic principles of Ayurveda. All these herbs help in regulating the vitiated vata and pitta dosha and restore their balance in the body. This formulation helps in maintaining overall health in females as this supplement helps in strengthening the female reproductive system and improves libido.
Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily after meal with warm water.
3. Nourish-Maxx Powder
This supplement helps in nourishing the whole body, general weakness, weight gain, short height and helps in maintaining the proper functioning of all the organs. It is a pure vegetarian formula free from preservatives, chemicals, colours, and starch. This herbal powder contains a combination of herbs like:
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus): That Helps in stimulating milk production, increases milk’s flow and strengthens the female reproductive organ.
- Safed musli (Chlorophytum borivilianum): Due to its madhura and rasayan properties it provides essential elements to the mother and helps in promoting lactation to the mother during pregnancy. Safed musli also helps in increasing breast milk’s quantity and flow of milk.
- Ashwagandha (Somnifera withania): This herb helps in boosting the immune system as it contains antioxidant properties. Eventually enhance the stamina and strength in the body.
- Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris): This herb helps in lowering the high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels in the body. And also quite effective in severe headaches and migraines.
Dosage: 1 teaspoonful to 1 tablespoonful twice daily with normal water.
As per Ayurveda, improper lactation is caused by the aggravating vata dosha which gets vitiated during delivery or childbirth and due to few factors involving dietary and hormonal changes that might be resolved only after making few changes in diet plans and by having herbs. The regular use of Ayurveda diet plans and herbal combinations that we’ve mentioned above will definitely help in improvising the improper lactation by providing nourishment to the body and by promoting milk production thus enhancing the milk’s flow.