“Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food”. When Hippocrates quoted this, he wasn’t speaking about modern medicine. He was talking about the way proper nutrition and a balanced diet can change the way your body functions and heals from issues. However, modern nutrition cannot really be one’s medicine. The reason is the heavy amount of additives and chemicals used as preservatives. The main advantage that people with plant based foods have is that most of the plants found in nature have healing qualities for different body parts and functions. Whereas, the people who are regularly consuming packaged and fast foods which consist of processed meats and grains continue to create more issues for their bodily functions. The major setback that modern food habits bring is the decline of reproductive health, which also includes the health of lactating and nursing mothers.
When a newborn is not nurtured and nourished properly, they grow up to have a number of physical and mental issues. While mother’s milk is the only recommended diet for babies, a lot of mothers turn to synthetic milk formulas to save time and effort for their daily lives. Over the counter baby food and powdered milk consists of heavy metals like lead, which causes blood and brain issues as the child grows.
Some women also use synthetic drugs to reduce weight or enhance sleep quality after birth, which affects the milk making process in their body negatively. Hence, some homoeopathic practitioners suggest traditional home made foods to nurture lactation and avoid side effects for the baby. Lactation supplements are another way of increasing lactation but there has to assurance they won’t have major side-effects. Most foods come with nutrients that directly or indirectly improve milk production. However, all bodies function differently and need specific foods or supplements to support lactation. Let’s learn about the traditional foods along with supplements that help with lactation. You can choose which is best for you.Traditional foods that improve lactation
Most foods that will increase the milk supply of a nursing mother can be found on the shelves of a kitchen. Here are some of the foods that improve milk production-Yams, beets, and carrots
Red and orange vegetables are good for nursing mothers. They include the natural compound called beta carotene which promotes breast health and strengthens the mammary glands. Along with beta carotene, yams, beets, and carrots also add iron and other minerals to the milk you produce.Dark green and leafy vegetables
Leafy greens, especially dark coloured vegetables, have a lot of goodness packed for mothers. They have a lot of enzymes that are important for postpartum health and are also chock full of vitamins. Most importantly they are high on calcium content which is essential for making body milk in humans. The special nutrient that dark leafy greens provide is phytoestrogen which helps build up mammary glands and produce milk. Including kale, spinach, arugula, swiss chard (radish and beet leaves), and collard greens (haak saag) is beneficial for nursing moms.Green Papaya
Nature is magical, so when you pierce a green papaya, milk like fluid flows out. Even the shape of a papaya seems like a breast full of milk. Hence, green papayas are revered in India for their strengthening qualities for new mothers. It has a good amount of phytoestrogens which help in making the hormone oestrogen, essential for milk production in women. Along with that it also has a lot of vitamins and minerals which are good for the baby.Oats
Oats are considered a natural comfort food because of their anti-inflammatory properties. Sometimes, lactation is suppressed due to inflammation and stress in the body. Eating a comfort food is thus known to release the hormone oxytocin which is essential for milk production. Oats are also great for improving metabolism and indirectly supporting absorption of nutrients in the body which are combined with breast milk.
These are the most common foods that support milk production in nursing mothers. However, the excess of some of these foods like oats and papayas, can also cause imbalances in the body. Oats in excess can cause loose motions and cause unhealthy weight loss. While papayas in excess can cause hormonal imbalances and shall not be eaten while you are still pregnant. With that being said, if you have experienced earlier troubles with any of these foods, you can try lactation supplements.Lactation supplements for milk production
There are a lot of naturally occurring substances which act as supplements to breast milk production. Most of these lactation supplements are found in India with ease. Here are some of the herbs that are excellent lactation supplements-Asparagus Root
Asparagus root or as known in India- shatavari, has essential hormone enhancing enzymes which are necessary for secreting oestrogen and oxytocin. Both of these hormones are essential for lactation and signal the brain to enhance milk production in the breasts.Vidarikand
Vidarikand or alligator yam is a well known lactation supplement. It has phytochemicals which improve the reproductive system, which in women also includes the breasts. It helps the body prepare for lactation and increases the amount of milk ducts in the breast to improve milk supply.Dill
Dill or Sowa seeds are commonly found herb seeds which have nutrition made by nature for lactating mothers. The main work of sowa seeds is to improve the balance of hormones in the mother’s body which is essential for milk production.Mulethi Root
Licorice or mulethi root is considered as one of the superfoods for humans. It has health building qualities that keeps the lungs healthy. It is well known that the lungs are directly connected to breast health. When a mother has a lot of mucus build up in the lungs it causes the mammary glands to malfunction. It decreases the milk production and whatever the baby does suckle, gives them a cold. Mulethi improves alveolar health since alveoli are important for milk production.Singhara
The inexpensive fruit- water chestnut seems to have the qualities of a galactagogue (lactation enhancing supplement). Water chestnuts are full of hormone enhancing nutrients that improve the secretion of prolactin and oxytocin in the body. Both of which are indispensable for milk production.
While you can’t readily find all the herbal supplements noted above, you can certainly gain the goodness of them all with an all-in-one lactation supplement. Namyaa’s Amritbaras Lactation Supplement Granules come with natural extracts from all these precious herbs and fruits. Having a spoonful in milk or warm water everyday greatly enhances the lactation capabilities of mothers.