Breastfeeding week has been observed in the first week of August (1st to 7th August) throughout the world. The purpose of celebrating this week is to spread awareness about breastfeeding and its importance for both the mother and the Baby. Breastfeeding your baby makes you a complete mother.
” You have kept the Baby inside your body for 9 long months, there is nothing that can stop you from breastfeeding him/her.”
This amazing phenomenon is a startling experience for all new moms. They have all kinds of queries about breastfeeding their baby, also about its effect on their own health as well. This article focuses on the benefits of breastfeeding and how to improve breastmilk production through some superfoods and home remedies. So let’s get started:
The most important benefits of breastfeeding are:
- It helps the Baby gain proper weight as well as helps in developing immunity. It prevents ear infections, diarrhea, and pneumonia as well. As per the latest research, 6 months of breastfeeding must be done for the baby.
- Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which helps in constricting your uterus and making it achieve the pre-delivery state again.
- Breastfeeding your baby gives both of you some quality time with each other thus improving the bonding between you two.
- It helps in the reduction of pregnancy weight faster, this study suggests.
- Breastfeeding reduces the chances of ovarian and breast cancer in mothers considerably.
Some new mothers suffer from the decreased or no production of milk due to hormonal changes, don’t worry. Here are a few Ayurvedic home remedies/superfood that has been used in the old times and they are now backed up by the latest research.
Some of the most effective Galactagogues are as follows:
- Black lentils (urad dal) – Have it once or two times a day. This will improve breast milk production as per the appetite of the baby.
- Fruits – These are good for milk production, some best fruits that boost breast milk are grapes, sapodilla, pear, papaya, etc.
- Peas – These are other super-foods that ensure milk production, both the pea curries and the raw pea are good for breast milk.
- Cumin – Roast the dry cumin, and make powder. Add some sugar to it and make small tabs. Have it two times a day, both morning and evening.
- Split Red gram (Arhar dal) – Steam it and mix some ghee in it and have it in any of your meals to boost the milk production in your mammary glands. You can make the lentil soup as well, just add some clarified butter (ghee) to make it work.
- Barley – Barley is a polysaccharide that helps in increasing the production of the prolactin hormone, which in turn improves milk production. Which is the reason why there was a popular belief that beer (which is made from barley) boosts milk production. However, it is advised that the mother should consume other recipes of barley than the alcohol versions (as alcohol can reduce breast milk production), this study from NCBI quotes.
- Fennel (Saunf) – These fragrant seeds are used as mouth-fresheners after having food in Indian culture. They aid in digestion too. Fennel seeds are good for weight reduction as well. They are taken by the new moms to boost breast milk too. So this one is a power-packed herb and a new mom’s best friend. You can boil 2 teaspoon fennel seeds in ½ liter water and drink it lukewarm throughout the day.
Some other breastmilk-friendly foods are nuts, jaggery, roasted chickpeas (bhuna chana), spinach, etc. Just keep one thing in mind, Breastfeeding your baby becomes better with practice, don’t give up if your little one is having some problems while latching or sucking. He/she will learn it eventually.
Also, breast milk production is more like supply and demand, it gets boosted up when the baby starts drinking more milk and reduces when you wean him/her off after 6 months.
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P.S – Do consider professional opinion before following any home remedies.