Herbal Remedies For Insufficient Breast Milk
The complete food for babies is breast milk and exclusive breastfeeding is recommended till the first 6 months of an infant's life. In many instances, sufficient breast milk is not secreted by the mother for which herbs have been used since ancient times to facilitate good flow of milk. Many of these folk remedies are now being supported by scientific data and is making more mothers turn to such herbs. Since these herbs are natural, they do not cause any harm to the infant and are healthy for the mother too. They are part of other lactogenic foods that every woman can use after childbirth. Spices and herbs that can be found in your kitchen rack and are important breastfeeding foods to eat are given in the blog below.
Natural Remedies To Support Breastfeeding
Garlic- According to a study, when garlic is used by a mother it results in the infant suckling on to the breast for longer periods of time. The more an infant suckles, the higher is the quantity of breast milk released. Fresh garlic or supplements can be taken an hour or so before breastfeeding is initiated
Fenugreek – This has been used by mothers in India to support and maintain healthy breastfeeding. Now research has shown that using this spice everyday can increase the volume of milk produced and is highly recommended when the quantity of milk secreted is very low. The seeds are soaked or powdered before use. If you do not like the bitter taste of fenugreek, capsules can also be opted for.
Ginger- This spice can improve the let down reflex and the volume of breast milk. Natural forms of ginger like fresh, dry or the powder should be used whenever possible. Beverages which have an artificial ginger flavor should be avoided as they do not have the same benefits.
Fennel – This sweet tasting spice has been used traditionally to aid in successful breastfeeding as it has essential oils that increase levels of hormones, needed to produce enough milk. The seeds are crushed and steeped in boiling water for ten minutes and the tea that is obtained can be used two to three times a day.
Blessed Thistle- It is very popular in European countries where it is routinely used for adequate milk formation. It is available as capsules over the counter and can be used three to four times a day without any side effects. It can cause allergies in some individuals and should be used with care.
Use a combination of two or more herbs for best results. Contact a lactation consultant if you have any queries and support your health with a well balanced diet. The benefits of breast milk are many and as a mother, all efforts should be taken to continue feeding for at least one year.
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