Why Is Breastfeeding So Important in Ayurveda and How Can You Improve Breast Milk Production?

Published by LivAyur
at August 6, 2022

Breastfeeding is acknowledged as the healthiest form of nutrition for infants, and therefore most mothers only feed breast milk to their kids for the first few months. However, the journey of motherhood comes with its own set of challenges. Many mothers face difficulty breastfeeding their infants due to insufficient breast milk production. 

Have you ever found yourself in such a situation? Have you felt frustrated for not being able to calm your baby’s hunger pangs? If yes, then here are some natural Ayurvedic solutions to improve your breast milk production. 

However, before we dwell on the Ayurvedic remedies to improve lactation, let’s have a look at the benefits breastfeeding provides to you and your newborn.

Concept of Breast Milk and Breastfeeding in Ayurveda

Breast milk is called Stanya in Ayurveda. According to Acharyas, it is formed from Rasadhatu, which is created from the food we eat. The ejection of breast milk happens mostly due to the suckling reflex of the baby. 

The first form of breast milk, known as colostrum, is rich in various nutrients and is extremely important for the newborn baby. Ayurveda also highlights many benefits of breastfeeding for the mother. Let’s have a deeper look at all these benefits here.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Newborn

  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of morbidity, mortality and hospital admission, caused due to diarrhoea or respiratory tract infection. 
  • Breast milk also contains long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that aid in the neurological development of the child. 
  • Breastfeeding has also shown benefits in protecting infants from having single or recurrent episodes of otitis media.   
  • It also helps reduce the risk of developing many diseases in future, such as obesity, acute leukaemia and type 2 diabetes.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mothers

  • Women who breastfeed their infants have been found to have less anxiety.
  • Breastfeeding soon after giving birth provides women with protection against pregnancy due to lactational amenorrhea.
  • Breastfeeding is also associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease in women. 
  • Breastfeeding mothers also have less risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. 

3 Best Herbs To Promote Milk Production and Support Lactation

According to Ayurveda, breastfeeding is extremely important. Therefore, Ayurveda suggests many herbs to promote milk production and boost lactation in breastfeeding mothers, some of which are: 

  • Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are known to have lactogenic properties. They are abundantly rich in anethole, a compound which helps promote lactation. 

Fennel seeds also help improve the blood levels of prolactin, a hormone that signals the body to produce breast milk and is, therefore, one of the best remedies for boosting lactation. You can either chew fennel seeds after taking meals or drink fennel tea to avail its benefits. 

  • Methi or Fenugreek 

According to Ayurveda, fenugreek seeds are rich in lactating properties and help boost breast milk production. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends drinking fenugreek tea every day. 

  • Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are known to have lactogenic properties. They are abundantly rich in anethole, a compound which helps promote lactation. 

Fennel seeds also help improve the blood levels of prolactin, a hormone that signals the body to produce breast milk and is, therefore, one of the best remedies for boosting lactation. You can either chew fennel seeds after taking meals or drink fennel tea to avail its benefits. 

  • Shatavari 

Also known as the queen of herbs, Shatavari is a well-known galactagogue in Ayurveda. It helps boost the secretion of milk from the mammary glands, induce lactation, enhance the quality of breast milk, balance hormones and improve the health of the uterus after delivery. You can take one tablespoon of Shatavari powder with a glass of warm milk every night to promote breast milk production. 

On a Final Note

According to Ayurveda, breastfeeding is essential for both mothers and newborns. It helps protect the child against various diseases like respiratory tract infection and helps reduce the risk of diseases like leukaemia, obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc. For mothers, breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer and many other diseases. 

To boost the production of milk and promote healthy lactation, Ayurveda also suggests many herbal remedies like fennel seeds, fenugreek and Shatavari. Breastfeeding is very important for the health of both the mother and the newborn. It has been said in the ancient Ayurvedic scriptures and is now even backed by scientific evidence. 

Do not let myths and misconceptions about breastfeeding rob your child of the nourishment they deserve. Speak to your healthcare practitioner in case of any doubt.  

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