Ayurveda And Breast Feeding

        World Breast Feeding Week : 1 – 7 August , 2014breastfeeding2

Along with the joys of motherhood comes the responsibility of nurturing  the newborn. For good health  of  newborn, proper nourishment is utmost important . This nourishment  is provided by  Stanya  or  Breast milk , which is a complete food during initial period.

Stanya Sampat (Characteristics of Breast Milk)

According to Ayurveda, Stanya (Breast Milk) should be normal in smell, taste, touch and whitish yellow or white just like the colour of conch shell. This milk provides nourishment and good health to the child.


Composition of Breast Milk

* Lactose helps in absorption of calcium and enhances the growth of Lactobacilli in the intestines.

* Amino acids aids in neurotransmission and neuromodulation.

* Polyunsaturated fatty acids help in myelination of the nervous system.

* A number of protective factors eg. immunoglobulins protect from infections.

* Epidermal growth factor enhances maturation of intestinal cells and reduce the risk of allergy in later life.

breastfeeding3   Factors Stimulating Breast Milk

Ayurveda describes that milk is ejected by the thought, sight, touch, and affection for the child and also with the physical contact (suckling). This is called as Oxytocin reflex (Milk ejection reflex) in modern science. Oxytocin  hormone is produced in response to the stimulation to the nerve endings in the nipple by suckling as well as thought, sight or sound of the baby.  

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Contraindications for Breast Feeding 

The woman who is hungry, grief stricken, has vitiation of vital elements in body, is pregnant, emaciated, obese, suffering from fever, consumed incompatible diet should not breast feed the child.

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Managing Decreased Breast Milk Through Ayurveda


                                 World Breastfeeding Week – August 1 – 7

breastfeeding week

Breast milk is the best nutrition a mother can give to her child . Feeding the child is the most satisfying and fulfilling experience for a mother . The child should be breastfed exclusively for first six months after birth . But when amount of breast milk decreases or is inadequate , it becomes very distressing.

Ayurveda describes decreased breast milk as ‘ Stanya Kshaya’  i.e Stanya means breast milk and Kshaya means decrease.

Absence or faulty secretion of breast milk following childbirth is called ‘Agalactia’ or ‘Agalactorrhoea’ .

The decreased secretion may occur from beginning and continue through entire period of lactation or it may be normal initially and decrease gradually .


Causes ( According to Ayurveda ):

Anger , grief , fear , absence of affection for the child .
Fasting , intake of dry or non – oleaginous edibles and fluids.
Excessive exercise , emaciation , inadequate sleep and rest.
Excessive use of purifying measures.
Pregnancy during lactation.

Other causes:

Sore nipples.
Smoking and alcohol consumption.
Taking oral contraceptives.
Providing other feeds in between breast feeding.



Decreased breast milk can be treated by :

Herbs & Formulations
Daily regimen

Herbs & Formulations


Fenugreek , Garlic , Fennel , Cumin , Turmeric , Dry Ginger, Puereria tuberosa ( Vidarikand ) , Asparagus racemosa ( Shatavari ) , Nigella sativa (Kalaunji), Withania somnifera ( Ashwagandha)

These can be taken in powdered form or as a paste with milk , singly or in combination and also as milk medicated with any of the herbs mentioned .

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