“Breastfeeding is the best gift a mother can give to her newborn child”
Breast milk is no doubt the best form of nutrition for a baby. WHO recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives to achieve optimal growth, development and health. There are numerous benefits of breastfeeding for baby as well as the mother.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby and Mother
Exclusive breastfeeding for babies is recommended till the age of 6 months. Often times, it is suggested that we start solid food much before the 6 month mark, but that is not advisable.
After 6 months, you may start to wean baby onto solids gradually, while continuing to breastfeed till the age of 1 or 2 years or even longer as per your convenience and wish.
- Breastmilk protects babies against allergies, sickness, and obesity by providing antibodies from mothers body to baby’s body.
- Breastmilk is the most suitable food for a newborn and is almost completely digested. It does not cause problems like constipation or diarrhoea.
- Breastmilk protects baby against infections, like ear infections and boosts their immunity to fight against infections like cold and cough.
- Babies have healthier weights as they grow. I have shared my story about how my baby thrived after exclusive breastfeeding even though she was a low birthweight baby.
- Research has also shown that breastfed babies have higher IQs.
Not just babies, but mothers who breastfeed also have numerous benefits:
- Breastfeeding can help mother burn 300-500 calories each day, thus helping them to reach their pre-pregnancy weight. Of course, that along with healthy diet and active lifestyle.
- Breastfeeding is the best and most natural way to bond with your child.
- Some researches suggest that breastfeeding can lead to a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes and certain cancers such as breast cancer
Do check out our article on basics of breastfeeding.
Challenges during breastfeeding
Most of us know that breast-feed is the best feed for a baby and are committed to feeding our babies for as long as possible. However, not all breastfeeding journeys are smooth and in fact most mothers will tell that they faced one hiccup or the other during the initial days of their nursing journey.
I still remember the time when my daughter was born. I was totally committed to breastfeeding her till at least 1 year, but it was not easy for me at all. First, we had to struggle with latching issues and later I had issues with the breastmilk supply. Milk supply in a lactating mother can be jeopardised due to stress, sleep deprivation, lack of dietary nutrients or for other medical reasons.
Many well-meaning family members suggested that I should switch to formula feeding while the breastmilk supply improves. This is a common mistake made by most mothers who are struggling with supply issues. I was determined and started looking for natural ways to boost lactation.
- I figured out that if I wanted to continue breastfeeding, I must keep doing that as often as possible and feed on demand. Our body needs to get the signal that there is demand for more milk and only then will it start producing more milk. This can be done by either nursing more often or by pumping as is convenient.
- Also, confirm your breastfeeding technique with a lactation expert. This was the game changer for me. Latching your baby on properly is the most efficient way to increase your supply. Wrong latch is quite often the main reason of mother’s supply of breast milk not being as abundant as it can be. Without a proper latch, your baby cannot remove the milk which leads to drop in breastmilk supply.
- Natural supplements to increase breastmilk supply
While I was suggested many items that may help in boosting breastmilk supply, one of the most effective and time-tested remedy is the use of Shatavari.
- Thankfully, after the initial stumbling, I was able to breastfeed my daughter till the age of 13 months. My daughter who was born slightly underweight and doctor as well as we were concerned about her weight gain during the first couple of weeks, soon gained good weight with exclusive breastfeed. By 6 months, she was in a healthy 50 percentile.
There are many friends of mine who have also benefitted by the use of Shatavari.
What is Shatavari?
Shatavari is an ayurvedic medicine which has been advised for female health since ages. It is good for female hormones, increased fertility and maintaining healthy pregnancy. It is also known to have antioxidant properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
Shatavari is a herb that stimulates production of hormones which in turn improve breastmilk production. It is also an anti-depressant and reduces anxiety. It can also help in post-partum depression.
An easy way to take shatavari is through Zandu StriVeda Satavari Lactation Supplement. It is specially formulated with shatavari to increase breast milk in lactating mothers.
Shatavari is a popular galactagogue herb, which effectively helps nursing mothers, who struggle with insufficient milk production, and thereby aids in the overall development of the child. Striveda is also one of the most popular Ayurvedic supplements recommended by Ayurvedic experts for breastmilk production as it is natural, safe and has no side effects.
How to take Zandu StriVeda Satavari Lactation Supplement?
Add 1-2 tablespoonful (about 10g -20g) of Satavari Lactation Supplement granules to one glass (about 200ml) of hot or cold milk or water.
Stir quickly to mix well and drink immediately.
Add sugar/honey if preferred. Take this twice everyday.
Striveda is available on amazon.
Was your breastfeeding journey smooth or did you too face any hiccups like me? What did you do to boost lactation?
Have you used Shatavari or have any experience regarding it? Do share your knowledge about the same with all of us.