by Faye Sakellaridis
For many mothers, breastfeeding is an integral and sacred part of their budding relationship with their newborn child. However, it’s not exactly the easiest process, something that new mothers may not be prepared for. Since it’s Breastfeeding Awareness Week, Tasneem Bhatia, M.D. published a blog on Huffington Post with herbal suggestions for making breastfeeding easier and healthier for the baby.
Many new mothers may find that they aren’t producing enough milk, an issue which can be mitigated with herbs like fenugreek and shatvari:
Building a milk supply can be one of the biggest challenges for moms, especially as they head back to work. Fenugreek is an herb that functions as a galactologue, increasing breast milk supply. The seed of the plant is the most effective, containing the compound diosgenin. Higher doses, approximately, 3 grams per day, are found to be most effective, Fenugreek can be taken as a tea or powder as well, but is known to lower blood sugar. Diabetic mothers should use with caution. (1, 2)
Known as wild asparagus, shatvari has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to increase milk supply in nursing mothers. Different from the common asparagus that we eat, shatvari contains the compounds saponin and flavonoids. The average dose is 1.5 grams two to three times per day. (3)
Other herbs help with weaning and providing the milk with optimal nutritional content. Learn more here.