Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ayurveda and Breastfeeding

Ayurveda and Breastfeeding : The importance of breastfeeding

Breast milk is one source of complete nutrition for infants. Breast milk production is automatically stimulated in mothers due to secretion of specific hormones after pregnancy. Besides nutrition, a nursing mother also provides vitamin, minerals, digestive enzymes and other necessary ingredients that are required for the growing baby. Breast milk is known to contain valuable antibodies that can help the baby resist infections.
Listed are a few facts on why Ayurveda encourages breastfeeding:

Breast milk is known to contain valuable antibodies and is sterile, thus ensuring the baby us nit susceptible to infections.

The milk is available at the right temperature, suitable for the child. The various digestive enzymes present in the mother’s milk help the baby digest the feed easily.

The quantity of milk lactose present in the milk prevents the growth of E. coli, and poliovirus, ensuring complete heath protection for the baby.

Breastfeeding in Ayurveda
Ancient Ayurvedic tests state that the individual body constitution (Ayurvedic body type) of a mother can affect the quality of the milk. Normal breast milk can be easily and evenly mixed with water. It has a sweet taste and a slightly yellowish tinge.

Excess of Vata and diet to follow
When there is an excess of Vata dosha in the milk, the taste of the milk is bitter or becomes astringent. It will not mix evenly with water but stratifies when it comes in contact with water. When a baby consumes milk that has an excess of vata, it can have constipation, cramps or abdominal pain, anxiety, and can suffer from sleep disorders.

Mothers who have an excess of Vata dosha need to follow a proper Ayurvedic diet and have a routine that will help eliminate it. Foods that can increase the Vata dosha should be excluded from the meals. Avoid eating cold, stale, dry foods or foods that are overcooked, bitter and those with a pungent taste. Eat at least 3-4 meals in day (7:30 am, noon, 3:30 pm and at 6:30pm). Drink enough liquid; avoid snacking between meals, exclude beans, peas, raw vegetables like cabbage in the meals.

Excess of Pitta and diet to follow
When there is an excess of Pitta dosha in the milk, it becomes pungent, sour or salty. If you let the milk settle for a while, you will notice yellow streaks appear in it. When a baby consumes milk that has an excess of pitta, it can develop diarrhoea, stomach cramps, skin infections and delayed milestones.

Mothers who have an excess of Pitta dosha need to follow a proper Ayurvedic diet and have a routine that will help eliminate it. Foods that need to be avoided are all citrus foods, dairy products, pickles and pickled salads, foods that are marinated and very salty.

Excess of Kapha and diet to follow
When there is an excess of Kapha dosha in the milk, it becomes very sweet and is greasy and sticky to the touch and sinks in water. When a baby consumes milk that has an excess of kapha, it can gain weight very quickly which is not good for its health. They can also have constipation, a runny nose and a constant discharge from the eyes and ears.

Mothers who have an excess of Kapha dosha need to follow a proper Ayurvedic diet and have a routine that will help eliminate it. There should be a reduction in the intake of sweets and excessive salty foods. Foods with high fat content and starch should be avoided. Light exercise routine is recommended.

Source : Om Ved
Image Courtesy: Wallpaperswala

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)

 

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