Common problems during lactation & Breastfeeding and its right management

2018-10-30 healthandnature
Breast Feeding

Natural remedies to increase milk production in breastfeeding mothers | remedies for blocked milk ducts| home remedies for cracked & bleeding nipples in feeding mothers

In Ayurveda, breast milk is considered as nectar. Breast milk is a complete nutrition for infants. It is a very important nutritional source for babies as it strengthens the immune system and increases memory and IQ level of the child. Besides nutrition, it also provides digestive enzymes, minerals, vitamins and other necessary ingredients required for the growth of an infant. Mother’s milk is naturally sterile and it protects the baby from many infections and diseases.

Ayurveda says excess intake of junk/processed foods, hot, pungent and spicy foods decrease milk secretion. The other reasons for decreased quantity and quality of breast milk can be excessive dieting and physical exercise resulting fatigue, excessive sexual intercourse, becoming pregnant soon again after a short time, any kind of illness, anger, grief, consuming birth pills, hormonal disorders etc.

Few other reasons can be infrequent breast feeding due to cracked nipples, nipple infections, skin disorders which affect the nipples, sore nipples, any lumps on the breast, yeast infections on the breast or nipples, blocked milk duct etc.

Here are few home remedies and tips to increase production of milk in breast feeding mothers;

  1. Mix together 5thola* of crushed Amritaballi stems, 5thola* cow milk and 2 teaspoon rock candy. Boil this and reduce to half the quantity. Consume twice a day. Along with this, take few Amritaballi leaves and pound it roughly and apply warming it slightly on the breast leaving the edges and tie it.
  1. Apply little ghee on betel leaves and warm it lightly. Keep about 3-4 leaves on the breast and repeat this for 3-4 layers and leave it for few minutes. This will help to increase the production of milk in breast feeding moms.
  1. Take few fenugreek seeds and crush them to powder. Mix 2tsp of this powder in 1 cup of hot cow milk or goat milk. Drink 3 glasses of this milk every day-morning, afternoon and at night. This helps to stimulate the milk producing glands.
  1. Get few fresh drumstick leaves and prepare juice by grinding them adding little water. Drink ½ glass of this drumstick leaves juice once every day. Drumstick juice helps to open up the veins around the breast which helps to stimulate the breast milk production.
  1. Soak around 8-10 almonds in clear water overnight. Next morning, peel them off and grind it. Add this to a cup of hot cow milk along with a pinch of dry ginger powder, elaichi powder, saffron (kesar) and 1tsp honey. Mix well and consume this daily morning and evening. This will increase the breast milk production in feeding mother.
  1. Add 1 or 2 tsp of Shatavari kalpa to a cup of cow’s milk and take it daily twice (morning and evening). Intake of Shatavari (asparagus) helps to stimulate breast milk production. Shatavari kalpa is an Ayurveda medicine which can improve the overall health of new mother.

Treating Milk blisters/blebs:

Milk blisters are painful and a difficult stage during breastfeeding which blocks the milk ducts from exiting the breasts easily. They are tiny white spot, fluid filled area around the skin (nipple area) which is very discomforting while breastfeeding. You can find below few simple home cures to clear milk blisters and blebs which gives a huge relief;

  • Before feeding the child, use a warm compress and soften the skin around the nipple. When the baby sucks milk, the skin opens and releases the bleb. Repeat this each time you feed the baby.
  • Take a cotton ball and add few drop of olive oil on it. place this on the nipples inside the bra to get relief from the pain & discomfort caused by the blisters or blebs.
  • Gently rub the surface of the nipples to slowly release milk blisters. Do not give hard pressure and do this. Do it gently.
  • Remove the outer bark of the drumstick tree root and rub it with Nirgundi (Five leaved chaste plant) juice and make paste. Apply this on the breast. This helps to relieve breast pain.

Home remedies for cracked and bleeding nipples:

The main cause of cracked or bleeding nipples is wrong breastfeeding position and poor latching. Incorrect use of breast pump, inverted nipple, inadequate drying nipples after feeding, dry skin conditions, overuse of one breast for feeding, prolonged use of soggy breast pads, trauma due to excessive physical exercise, Paget’s disease of nipple, eczema etc. may also lead to cracked nipples.

Home remedies for cracked and bleeding nipples are very effective in curing the problem. Cracked nipples does not cause any negative effect on the quality of the mother’s milk, but the mother feel discomfort and pain while breast feeding the child. Few natural remedies and tips to follow:

  1. Apply coconut oil, mustard oil or almond oil on the breast nipples before feeding the child. Leave it for 5-10 minutes and wipe it off neatly with a clean cotton cloth. Later feed the baby.
  1. Squeeze little milk from the breast and rub it on the nipples. Leave it for some time till it dries up completely. This milk itself will cure cracked or bleeding nipples.
  1. Placing baby in the correct position is one of the best home remedy for cracked and bleeding nipples. Hold the baby in a position where it can suck more milk comfortably. Separate the child slowly from the nipples after the suction is relaxed. Feeding mother also should be positioned comfortably.
  1. While feeding the baby, keep changing the sides often to avoid pain due to pressure.
  1. Wash bras with clean water and dry it under sun. Avoid wearing tight bras for longer hours.

Following these care and precautions are much effective for curing and preventing cracked and bleeding nipples.

Recommended diet and lifestyle for breast feeding mothers:

Breastfeeding mother’s diet is very important as it influence the quantity and quality of the breast milk. Child’s health is directly influenced by the food mother eats. Breast milk always stays at the same temperature which is suitable for the child, but may get affected by three doshas Vata-Pitta-Kapha, hence it is very important for breastfeeding mothers to watch on her diet. Here are few simple tips and recommended diet which helps in breastfeeding.

  • Ayurveda suggests having fresh homemade foods which are warm, light and easily digestible.
  • Breastfeeding mother needs to be well hydrated. Drink coconut water which is rich in nutrients apart from having lots of hot/warm water regularly.
  • Breast feeding mother should take adequate amount of pure cow ghee (clarified butter) in order to improve digestion, smooth bowel movement and also for nourishing stressed tissues etc. Ghee nourishes the body and helps to increase breast milk. Ghee can be consumed directly or can be added in your meals too.
  • Ayurveda suggests a simple vegetarian diet with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and dals (lentils). You can try aloo methi sabzi, methi paratha, methi pulav Breast feeding diet should also be rich in fluid, sweet, sour and salty taste.
  • Spices like turmeric, black pepper, cumin/jeera, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, and carom seeds can be used in moderate amount. You can try preparing pepper rasam, sesame rice Boil water adding jeera seeds and drink it when warm. Jeera increases breast milk and prevents acidity.
  • Include jaggery, asafoetida, jati phala, onions, and garlic in the diet as they are good stimulant.
  • Include cow milk and curd in the diet. Have raita and butter milk often.
  • Broken wheat is also a very good option to increase the quantity of breast milk.
  • Oats are cereals which are a good source of protein, calcium, fiber and iron. They help to boost immunity and breast milk supply too. Hence include oats in your diet by preparing healthy oats upma, oats porridge, etc.

Homemade foods are the most staple, healthy, nutritious at the same time inexpensive too which you can make it yourself with all the fresh ingredients you have at home. Eating fresh foods cooked at home is satisfying and also keeps you nourished.

Along with paying attention towards breast feeding diet, one must also avoid having negative feelings and too much stress – physical or mental and must relax body and mind through Yoga and meditation. Avoid overworking, physical exertion, vigorous exercises and hectic lifestyle. Adequate rest is also equally necessary along with proper diet for enough milk production.

Weaning | Natural ways to stop breast feeding:

Lactation for a child will be enough up to 1½ -2 yrs. of age. Once your child is grown enough and you decide to stop feeding the child, decrease the number of feeds gradually and never stop it at once, as you may be in trouble. Stopping at once, not only makes it difficult in comforting your child, but also has certain complications on your body as well.

For many children, the longer they are breastfed, the more difficult it is for them to give it up, especially after they are older than a year.  Do not stop feeding all at once, but instead gradually reduce the feeds. Initially, they will cry a lot, but slowly with your love and attention they will be alright soon. Start reducing the feeds in the morning times. Make sure the child is full before going to bed so the baby does not wake up often and cry for the milk.

It is best to stop breastfeeding completely when the child is grown enough and needs other nutrition too. Also many a times there can be other reasons to stop feeding like medical conditions, unavailability of mother, breast pain etc.

Here are few natural and safe old techniques which can be used to stop breastfeeding completely:

  • You can apply little aloe-vera juice on the breast before feeding. This gives a bitter taste to the child and helps you stop breast feeding gradually.
  • Get few neem leaves and rub them between your hands. Place the juice on the breast before feeding. The bitterness will make the child to stop asking for breast milk.
  • Applying neem oil or bitter gourd juice on the breasts will also work. The bitterness of neem or bitter gourd will make the child stop asking for milk.

You can use any of the above technique on your child and see which works for you.


  • Grain: it is one of the oldest measurement unit which is equal to 0.065grams.
  • 1 thola=11.616 grams approximately 12grams; it is an ancient system of weight scale.
  • 1 Masha=97 grams; traditional Indian unit of measuring.
  • Shatavari or Asparagus: is an herb with numerous health benefits. Shatavari means, one possessing 100 husbands. The herb is called the queen of herbs in Ayurveda. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, C, K & E. It is also a low calorie vegetable with no fat and no cholesterol. The herb regulates blood sugar and lowers the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
  • Nirgundi: known as five leaved chest tree, lakki gida, nallavalli, indrani etc. is a popular Ayurveda herb used in the treatment of headaches, wounds, swellings, skin infections and sexual & reproductive problems. Every part of the plant is used in the treatment in the form of powder, oil, decoction and paste.
  • Almonds: known as Badam, Badami, vaadumai etc. is one of the oldest and widely used nuts. Eating nuts is good for health and it contains unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients. Almonds can be consumed raw or can be soaked in water overnight and can be consumed. But do not eat it in an empty stomach. You can mix it with raisins or dates before eating it on empty stomach. Almonds are used in the treatment of nerve disorders, memory power, sexual vigor and eye vision. It pacifies and reduces vata dosha.
  • Jatiphala: known as nutmeg, jaiphal, jaikai etc. is an aromatic herb with rich medicinal properties. The herb is useful in lowering blood cholesterol, increases menstrual flow, stimulates sexual desire, prevents cancer, and relieves pain and good for heart health. Nutmeg can also induce abortion and hence not safe to use the herb during pregnancy. High dosage of the herb is very toxic and can trigger asthma and may cause allergy.
  • Asafoetida: referred as hing, hingu, perungayam, badharani etc. is an aromatic Ayurveda herb that improves digestive disorders. The herb is an ancient Indian culinary spice with many health benefits. Hing is useful in bloating, good for heart, useful in high blood pressure, improves vision power etc.
  • Garlic: garlic is an ancient Ayurveda spice with good medicinal value and is used in treating ulcers, headache, wounds, pimples, snake bite, cancer, heart diseases etc. Garlic has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties which help to prevent infections like cold, cough and related problems.
  • Jaggery: is an unrefined sweetener prepared from cane sugar. it is widely used in Indian cuisine and also in Ayurvedic medicines. Jaggery comes with a wide range of health benefits and is a very good and healthy substitute for refined white sugar. Jaggery is good for all three doshas- Vata, pitta and kapha.
  • Turmeric: one of the widely used Ayurveda herb/spice used all over the world. It treats skin, heart, liver, lungs etc. and used for bleeding disorders, skin diseases, epilepsy, to expel kapha and to purify body. Turmeric regulates female reproductive system, purifies uterus and breast milk and also builds & purifies semen in men too read more..
  • Aloe Vera: known as kumari or ghrita kumara in Ayurveda is widely used herb used in the treatment of skin disorders, constipation, bleeding disorders, wound healing etc. Aloe vera contains transparent gel which in 96% water and the rest 4% contains vitamin A, B, C, E, calcium, and amino acids. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties which soothes many skin ailments and increases blood flow to the wounded area and helps in healing.
  • Cumin/jeera: known as jeeraka in Sanskrit has many medicinal properties in it. Jeeraka is derived from the Sanskrit word jeerna which means digestion. Jeera is useful in indigestion, cold, cough, asthma and joint related issues. It can be helpful in weight loss, prevention of cancer, reduces cholesterol, reduces menstrual cramps and helps to detoxify our body. Jeera/cumin seeds contain vitamin E, B6, riboflavin, niacin, protein, minerals and carbohydrates.
  • Fennel or Saunf: is a cooling Ayurveda herb which is excellent for digestion. Fennel seeds are hot in nature and enhance Agni-digestive fire. Consuming few fennel seeds after meal is a common practice in India as it helps in digestion and also freshen the breath. Fennel is also helpful in relieving pain from reproductive system in women, useful in bleeding disorders, good for heart and also for cold, cough, vomiting etc.
  • Black pepper: an important Ayurveda herb which is very widely used both as spice and a medicine. It is hot, pungent with cleansing and antioxidant properties. Black pepper helps in digestion, improves appetite, helps to absorb nutrients by the body, maintains respiratory system, increases metabolism which in turn helps to lose weight.
  • Sesame seeds: also called as till, tila, ellu, gumbulu etc. is the most important and widely used herb in Ayurveda for medicine. Sesame seeds are fragrant and nutty in flavor which gives a crunch in dishes. Sesame seeds are of two varieties, black and white. White till is hulled black till. Black till has more calcium content than white. Till/Sesame seeds are high in fiber, iron, amino acids, contains magnesium and other nutrients. It is good for people suffering from anemia and weakness. They support good digestive health, prevent asthma, reduce pain & swelling associated with arthritis etc.
  • Carom seeds: referred as ajwain, omam etc. is a popular Indian spice used both in medicine and as a spice. Carom seeds give a quick and effective remedy for acidity, indigestion, bloating, flatulence etc. After a heavy meal, chewing carom seeds, makes the digestion easier and relieves stomach heaviness.
  • Neem: one of the bitter herbs in Ayurveda which are used extensively in medicines. Neem is also known as margosa, the herb cools body because it has sheeta guna/quality. Neem is effective in relieving cough, fever, tiredness, improves digesting, heals wounds quickly, relieves from vomiting and nausea, useful in skin diseases and also helpful for diabetics.
  • Bitter gourd: called as karela, pavakkai, hagalkai, kakarakaya etc. in Indian languages is a popular vegetable which is bitter in taste. As per Ayurveda, the fruit enhances digestive juices, improves appetite, purifies blood, helps in weight loss and also controls blood glucose levels. The vegetable also regularize menstrual cycle, improves fertility in female and also purify breast milk.
  • Amritaballi: is a climber plant referred in Ayurveda as guduchi or giloy. Other common names are guruchi, gulancha, chittamruthu, shindilakodi, tippa teega etc. It is considered as a divine herb as it possess many medicinal properties like antioxidants, antitumor, anti-microbial, diuretic, antipyretic etc. The herb boosts immunity and fights against many diseases. Amritaballi purifies blood, treats digestive ailments, delays aging, supports nervous functions, good for anemic patients & diabetics, enhances grasping power, memory & recalling abilities and the herb also increases longevity.
  • Beetel leaves: also known as nagavallari, sapthashira, pan, tambula, nagavalli, veeleyeda yele, vettila etc., the leaf possess immense health benefits. As per Ayurveda, beetel leaves are light and hence easy to digest. The leaves are helpful in curing wounds as they have antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties. Beetel leaves helps to reduce joint pain, reduces bloating, relieves constipation, helps in sore throat, reduces body fat and also helps in erectile dysfunction.
  • Fenugreek: known as methi is an important herb as it is used as both medicine and spice all over the world. Its stem, leaves, seeds and twigs are all used as it is rich in nutritional and medicinal properties. Methi is used for conditions like fever, diabetes, cough, bronchitis, burns, swellings, ulcers, digestive issues etc.
  • Drumstick leaves: also known as shobhanjana, moringa etc. is considered as a super food as they are highly nutritious. They are excellent source of protein, vitamin c, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, beta carotene, calcium, fiber and magnesium. The leaves are helpful to reduce blood sugar & cholesterol levels. The leaves are used to prepare decoction which can remove intestinal worms, stomach ache in children.

The information & Remedies provided on the website is for informational purpose only and has to be approved by your doctor before proceeding for self-medication. Any remedies and its benefits and uses given are believed to be accurate, however, should not be relied on in any way in making a decision whether to treat any common ailments you or your family members may suffer without consulting a certified Ayurvedic practitioner or Doctor.

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