Breast feeding week is celebrated internationally from 1st August to 7th August. This is a global event for action "to promote, protect and support breastfeeding by anyone, anywhere and at anytime".
It is a widely known fact that breastfeeding is the best nutrients that the infants could get. Apart from the natural nourishment it provides, it creates a beautiful bonding between the child and mom.
Ayurveda and breast feeding :
Ancient texts emphasizes the importance of breastfeeding since it is one of the safest, perfect and optimal food for the infant. Ayurveda speaks about
- Formation of breast milk (stanya)
- Causes of milk ejection (Stanya pravriti)
- Breast feeding (Stanapan-vidhi)
- Causes of cessation of milk-production.(stanyanasha hetu)
- Drugs to boost milk-production (anyaviridhi dravyas)
- Weaning - stanya apanayakala
Milk is formed from the rasa and also 'rakta' - blood of the women. With the interaction of hormones and reflexes, milk is produced with the stimulation of glandular tissue during pregnancy. The baby's sucking stimulas gives signals to hypothalamus which causes to release prolactin and oxytocin from the pituitary gland. This leads to mammary glands ejection of milk when these hormones are carried to the breast.
The normal breast milk is clean, free from impurities, sweet in taste. when mixed in water -
- If the milk disappears evenly in the water, it is of good quality
- If the milk is heavy due to Kapha - then it sinks in water.
- If the milk has predominant Vata dosha, the milk drop floats in water.
- If it has excess pitta, then it is yellow in colour.
A perfect breast milk gives the child complete nourishment, good health, strength and development of the organs.
Ayurvedic texts also insist on the hygiene of the mother and her dedication while breast feeding. Also it insists on the effect on quantity and quality of breast milk due to negative emotions like anger, grief, sickness,lack of love towards the baby etc.
Breastfeeding is beneficial to both mother and the baby. Ayurclinic specializes in post natal care that basically concentrates on -
- Calming Vata dosha in body
- Quality of breast milk
- restoring agni
- giving rest by avoiding exertion - physically and mentally
- Meditative techniques
- Ayurvedic lactating diet
- Massages to balance doshas.
Once the doshas balance with all the above techniques, mother feeds a quality breastmilk to her child preparing the child for future.