Have you been noticing a sudden decrease in milk supply? Here’s why moringa may be the perfect natural solution for you.
Moringa oleifera, a nutrient-dense leafy green, has been regarded as a superfood in Ayurveda for centuries. Moringa leaves are especially beneficial for new mothers, and have been a part of their diet in many cultures since hundreds of years. If you have been noticing a sudden decrease in milk supply, there are many natural options that you can try to enhance your milk production, moringa being one of them.
What is moringa?
The moringa plant is native to South Asia and has been extensively used for its medicinal properties and massive health benefits. It is a whole food naturally abundant in vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. Virtually every part of the moringa plant, its pods, seeds and leaves are edible and packed with nutrition. A small serving of this nutrient-rich superfood contains seven times more vitamin C than an orange, seventeen times more calcium than milk, nine times more protein than yogurt and twenty-five times more iron than spinach. All of these nutrients but particularly protein, iron, vitamin K and calcium are needed in good supply for new mums, and especially for those who are breastfeeding.
What are the common causes of a sudden decrease in milk supply?
Some common causes for a sudden decrease in milk supply include:
- Health issues - Postpartum fatigue and a lack of energy can interfere with breastfeeding, and it's one of the common causes of a low supply of breast milk. An infection or other health conditions such as low thyroid function and anemia can also cause your body to make less breast milk.
- Stress - Physical, emotional, and psychological stress can reduce your supply of breast milk. Other causes of stress such as anxiety, pain, financial difficulty, and relationship troubles can also add to a lower amount of breast milk.
- Caffeine intake - Caffeinated soda, coffee, tea, and chocolate should only be consumed in moderation. However, large amounts of caffeine can dehydrate your body and lower your production of breast milk. Too much caffeine also can affect your breastfeeding baby.
- Smoking cigarettes - Smoking can interfere with the release of oxytocin in your body. Oxytocin is the hormone that stimulates the let-down reflex which releases the breast milk from your breasts. If your breast milk is not released, it will not drain out of your breasts and stimulate your body to produce more.
- Drinking alcohol - Not only can alcohol decrease your breast milk supply, but excess alcohol can also affect your ability to tend to your child's needs. Alcohol also passes into your milk which can put your baby at risk for a developmental delay.
How can moringa tackle a sudden decrease in milk supply?
Moringa has been used traditionally for many years. In the Philippines, moringa’s bright green leaves have been used to prepare chicken soup to increase the milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. For mothers looking to tackle a sudden decrease in milk supply, this nutrient-dense superfood provides a safe, organic and natural way to increase breast milk. Here are some studies to prove the same:
- A study published in The Philippine Journal of Pediatrics, mothers who delivered prematurely were either given moringa or a placebo starting 3 days postpartum. The mothers who took moringa had significantly more milk at 4 and 5 days postpartum. This led the researchers to conclude: “Moringa oleifera leaves increase milk production on postpartum days 4 to 5 among mothers who delivered preterm infants.”
- Another study in 2002, presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding also found moringa consumption to positively increase milk production. This study was conducted among moms of premature babies 37 weeks old or less. They were either given a placebo, moringa, or the medications domperidone or metoclopramide, with instructions to pump. After 7 and 14 days postpartum, the moms who had taken moringa noticed an increase in milk supply.
From the above studies, it is clear that moringa has been scientifically proven to tackle a sudden decrease in milk supply. Moreover, moringa leaves are a natural galactagogue - a substance that promotes or increases the flow of a mother's milk. Due to its effectiveness and nutritional goodness, even lactation consultants recommend moringa to induce lactation. For best absorption of the various nutrients present in moringa, consume moringa herbal teas that are caffeine-free and loaded with powerful vitamins, minerals and amino acids that not only help with a sudden decrease in milk supply but also promote optimal health and growth of the baby and mother alike.