Articles on breast milk

10 Foods to Boost Breast milk..

Ms. Raminder Kaur Deshmukh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
You just spent the last nine months worrying about what you were eating and drinking because of your baby's development and now it's nursing time so be watchful again. It is important that you maintain regular meals when breastfeeding to gain essential nutrients and also to increase breast milk levels.FOODS TO BOOST BREAST MILK ARE:WATER: Though water isn't technically the food but it's an essential aspect of ensuring you will have an adequate supply. you need to keep yourself  hydrated- 8 glasses of water intake each day is a must. In the early stages of your breast feeding it's a necessity to have a bottle of water next to where you are going to nurse.OATS: It is fantastic for building and maintaining milk supply. enjoy a hearty bowl of oats in the mug/ sprinkle them on your dishes but make sure you are eating daily.GARLIC: Adding garlic to your food not only adds flavors and make it delicious but also boosts milk supply.FENNEL: Fennel is a herb which is an excellent source in increasing the best milk. It is full of phytoestrogens. bonus for those who have upset belly or unhealthy digestion.NUTS: Sometimes being a new mom can make you feel little nuts. Take a breath, grab a hand full of nuts and enjoy a snack that will help you supply. cashews, almonds are the most popular for giving your milk a boost. They are also high in good fats and antioxidants. Many commercially available nuts are heavily oiled and salted. opt for low salt or salt-free versions if possible. SESAME SEEDS: They are not only delicious but high in calcium also but you need to get more than just a dash of seeds to help you boost your milk.GINGER: It is another widely used milk boosting food. Try it in various recipes specially mock-tails like HERBS: Herbs like fenugreek, ajwain, cinnamon and jeera are often used to increase breast milk supply. As long as you consume in small quantities they are generally considered safe for your baby.MILK:  Milk has calcium, proteins, and essential fatty acids which promote lactation and also keeps the bones of the mother healthy.GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES: Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, cabbage, beans. bottle gourd etc is rich in minerals, calcium, folic acid and iron which will support  breastfeeding and encourage milk production. You can make your dish more nutritious by adding these vegetables to your dals,  kneading them in dough,  adding them to soups, etc.  Adding these foods to your diet provides you with important nutrients and may gently increase your milk supply.Always watch your baby for reactions whenever you eat something. Check with your pediatrician if you have any concerns.

Weaning-Breast Feed to Proper Feed

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
The process of replacing mother's breast milk with Baby diet Is called Weaning.It has to be done gradually.It is one of the most crucial period in the child's growth because if not properly done the child could get malnourished from the faulty practices.It has two stages,First the mother's breast milk is replace with other milk and the second where the other milk is replaced by thick feed or easy to digest food.The breast feeding should be prompted up-to six months after that weaning is induced.Cow milk, goat milk or infant milk formula available in the market should be started.The milk should be pasteurized.Dilute the milk, for the first month equal quantity of water should be added to dilute the milk.As the months pass,the amount of water should be decreased.Cow milk could be given with dilution.Milk powder should not be added.After eight months other milk should be replaced with thick easy to digest food.Food should be given in small quantity and increased gradually.Fruits and vegetables should be soft and diluted.Child's eating capacity is limited so the feed must be given six to eight times a day in small amount.Everyday seasonal fruits should be given.If the child is sick ,small multiple feed should be given,the feed should be nutritious.The food should be clean and fresh,special care should be taken while preparing the meal for the weaning child.After one year the child should consume dal,rice, mashed vegetables and other light food items.Too much Candies and Chocolates should not be given to the child.Child should be encouraged to eat with his own spoon or use his own small utensils.Khichdi made from rice ,pulses and vegetables should be given .Oil should be used in minimum quantity.Breads,puddings and cakes could be given.

Advantages of Breast Feeding Your Little Boon

Dr. Jayapriya Tamilarasan, Homeopath
Holding your baby in your arms and Breast feeding that little flower gives a lot of joy in you as a mother. It creates a very powerful bond between the mom and the child, also is the strongest relationship in the world. It is really happening when you breast feed your baby, you are feeding him/her with a lot of nutrients and immunizing antibodies, which is of great consequence in their growth. Breast milk is very thin, easily digestible, tastier than any other fortified milk and baby milk products. The chance of infection in bottle fed baby is very much higher than the breast fed baby.Faqs about Breast feeding1. Breast feeding will make the mother look older due to enlarged and sagging breasts?It is not true, only she has to wear a proper fitting bra while nursing which will help from sagging of breasts. The enlarged breasts will go back to the normal size after stoppage of breast feeding.2. Breast feeding is difficult in public places ?Yes, it is difficult to feed your baby in places other than your home. But there are rooms provided separately in hospitals to encourage breast feeding, where you mostly take them for vaccination. "Mothers milk is the best source of nutrition for your baby. It is the fastest and safest available food for your precious baby" . This thought in you will remove the shyness in you and will be prepared to feed your baby in any place. Soon you will expertise in feeding your baby in a very neat way.3. Do all mothers have good secretion of breast milk ?Yes, all mothers have good secretion of breast milk. The difference is some will have small amount of secretion at the beginning which will increase while you continue to feed your baby. As the baby sucks the nipple, secretion of the hormones prolactin and oxytocin increase, which leads to the production of milk and flow of the milk through the ducts inside the breasts respectively. Drink more amount of fluids and eat well to increase the milk secretion.4. What to do when there is reduction of milk secretion ?Usually there will be fluctuation in production of milk secretion which is normal. This can be detected with the baby crying continuously even after feeding or if the baby bites the nipple or the baby's abdomen shows its not full after feeding.This can be corrected by taking certain home available cooking items like garlic, asafoetida, spinach , sugar beans, betel leaves, karpuravalli leaves. Intake of these will act as a galactagogue ( increase milk secretion). DO NOT STOP FEEDING EVEN IF MILK REDUCES.5. Will Homeopathic remedies help to increase or decrease the secretion of milk ?Yes, there are wonderfully acting homeopathic remedies available to increase milk secretion like Allium sativum, Coleus aromaticus, Asafoetida, Lactuca virosa, Alfaalfa, Urtica urens. Also to decrease or stop the secretion while weaning like Pulsatilla, Lac caninum.6. What is the proper way of feeding?Hold your baby in your arm on the side you are going to feed, Body and face turned towards you with head high and legs low. Have a pillow under your arm for support. Rest your back in a proper position. Help the baby to create a good latch with the nipple. Try to control the flow of milk by holding the area above the nipple between your index finger and the middle finger. Drink a glass of water before and after every feed.7. What not to do while feeding?Do not eat while feeding. Do not lie down and feed the baby. Do not be angry or tensed while feeding. Try to even avoid talking unnecessarily while feeding.8. What can I do while feeding?You should be very relaxed. Sing a mild beautiful song to your baby. Think about his/her growth and future. Have happy and pleasant thoughts in your mind. Hold the hand of your baby while feeding.9. What to do after breast feeding ?Hold the baby in upright position with the support of your shoulder. Gently tap at the baby's back, you will hear a burp. While making the baby to lie down after feeding, make them lie on their side, either left or right. This is to avoid aspiration of milk into baby's lungs which is dangerous.10. What are the advantages of Breast feeding?While breast feeding a hormone called oxytocin is released, Which causes uterine contractions and brings back the uterus to its pre - pregnancy size.Oxytocin is the important reason for the bonding between the mother and the baby.Areola ( i.e. the dark area around the nipple ) secretes an oil, which helps to keep the nipple and the areola clean and moist. The secretion has antimicrobial properties also, which reduce the risk of infection. Breast fed baby is free from infections causing diarrhoea, vomiting and other infections. Bottle fed babies are at higher risk of these infections. Even after infections breast fed babies will recover very fast. Infact, they fall sick fairly lesser.The first milk secretion from the breast is called colostrum. It contains all the antibodies for the immunity of the baby.Breast fed babies gains weight faster.Breast milk is easily digested by the babies intestines and passes regular and normal stools.Breast milk is more economical than other baby milk products.Breast fed baby is a healthy baby.   EVERY MOTHER IS A WONDER. BREAST FEED YOUR BABY, FEEL THE MOM IN YOU.

Do You Need a Breast Pump?

Dr. Priya Shashank, Wellness
Often when I meet new mothers who are facing problems with breastfeeding, I observe that they have already purchased a breast pump, but find it either ineffective or painful to use. Should all new mothers be buying breast pumps? The answer is NO. You do not need a breast pump if your baby is latching well and is able to feed directly from your breast. Also, if you plan to be there for your baby's nursing needs throughout first six months and later as well, you do not need to pump your breast milk. In case you suffer from frequent engorgements, hand expressing milk is as good as pumping, sometimes even better.That said, here are a few situations where a mother may need to use a breast pump:1. To avoid supplementing feedings with infant formula. By expressing her own breastmilk, a mother can continue to feed her child only breastmilk even when they must be apart during baby’s meal times.2. Need to return to work. For many new mothers, returning to work shortly after giving birth is a reality, but by pumping and storing milk while at work a mother can continue to provide her baby with breastmilk as long as she would like.3. To allow dad or other family members to feed baby. When mom expresses breastmilk for later feedings, dad and older siblings can give feedings to help mom and bond with the new baby.4. Give mom a chance to relax. Breastfeeding on demand can easily wear any mother out occasionally. Having a cup of expressed milk available allows mom to take some much needed time for herself while someone else takes care of baby.5. Premature or sick infant is unable to nurse properly. In order to provide breastmilk for a premature baby that is too weak to breastfeed a mother can use a hospital grade pump to express milk for feedings. A pump will also provide breast stimulation to increase and maintain a sufficient supply of milk.6. Induce lactation for an adopted baby. A breast pump can be used to stimulate a mother’s breast to induce milk production to breastfeed an adopted baby. Breastfeeding a great way for a mother and her adopted child to bond.7. Create an emergency supply. A mom can pump and store an emergency supply of breastmilk in her freezer to use for feedings in case she becomes sick or needs to take medication.8. Draw out flat or inverted nipples. Mothers with flat or inverted nipples can have trouble when trying to get baby to latch on properly. By pumping a few minutes before breastfeeding, a mother can draw out her nipple so that baby can nurse more easily.9. Provide milk for children of a multiple birth. Breastfeeding one child can be very demanding on a mother and feeding twins or other multiples only increases the demand and challenge for a mother. By pumping milk, a mother of multiples can provide her children with breastmilk without having to nurse around the clock.10. Maintain your milk supply. By using a breast pump to stimulate milk production a mother can keep her supply up so that she can breastfeed her baby when they are together.11. Baby has difficulty latching-on. If a mother’s breasts are very full, pumping some milk out can make it easier for her baby to latch-on and nurse properly. For other infants who are unable to latch-on because of a birth defect like a clip lip or palate, expressing milk is the only way for them to receive breastmilk for feedings.12. Donate extra milk to a milk bank. While some mothers may have difficulties producing a sufficient amount of milk for their babies, other mothers seem to produce an abundance of milk and choose to donate this surplus to infants that may not have access to breastmilk.13. Supplement first foods with breastmilk while weaning baby from the breast. Although a mother may want to wean her baby from the breast, she can continue to supplement her infant’s diet with breastmilk if she expresses and stores her milk.14. Relieve pain from engorgement. When a mother’s breasts are overly full and engorged with breastmilk, she can use a breast pump to express enough milk to provide relief from pain.**adapted from

Tips and Benefits of Breast Feeding

Dr. C. Muthunagai, Ayurveda
This week (August 1 - August 7) is World Breastfeeding Week. Breast milk is the first and best investment a mother can ever do to her baby. Breastfed kids are best fed. Six months of exclusive breast feeding is essential for a healthy baby and healthy mother.  Benefits of breastfeeding and simple tips for increasing breast milk secretion for feeding mothers are as follows:-Ways to Improve LactationAyurveda says stress, anger, anxiety will reduces the secretion of breast milk, while happiness improves it. So care and love from family is very essential Frequent feeding itself will stimulate the secretion of breast milk Feeding mothers can include milk, garlic, cumin seeds, fenugreek, dried solanum torvum (dried turkey berry or “sundai vatral” in Tamil, ), sago (sabudhana) and cotton seed milk in their diet to increase lactationNon-vegetarians can include country chicken and baby shark in their diet Ayurvedic medicines like "Sowbagya Sunti", "Vidaryadi Grtham", "Satavari Legyam" are good galactogogues and can be taken under doctor’s adviseBenefits for BabyFirst secretion of breast milk called “Colostrum” is packed with anti-bodies and immunoglobulins, hence it is essential for protection of babiesBreast milk has DHA, epidermal growth factors, tawrine, cystine, etc,  which are essential for the mental development of the babiesBenefits for MotherOccurrence of breast cancer is largely reduced with breastfeeding During lactation period glucose level in a diabetic mother is well-controlled Breast milk can be expressed through breast pump and can be stored in a sterile container at room temperature for 3-4 hours or refrigerated for 24 hours, this is a boon for working womenBreast feeding helps to shed those extra kilos gained by the mother during pregnancy"Breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a country’s development." - UNICEF & WHOHappy Breast Feeding!!

Breast Reduction Surgery

Dr. Kapil Agarwal, Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon
Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is for a woman experiencing health problems and/or extreme self-consciousness associated with very large, heavy breasts. The main complains are backache, neck pain and skin rashes or itching along with difficulty in carrying large breasts. The goal is to give the woman a more attractive contour with smaller, better-shaped breasts in proportion with the rest of her body. She will then benefit from freedom of health problems associated with large breasts and an improved self-image.Medical problems associated with very large breasts include-back and neck pain caused by the excessive weight, skin irritation, skeletal deformities and breathing problems. Bra straps may leave shoulder indentations. Large, heavy breasts also contribute to poor posture, and can interfere with normal daily activities such as exercise. Excessive breast size may also lead to a decreased sense of attractiveness and self-confidence.THE PROCEDUREBreast reduction is done under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis or in the hospital. The surgery removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts, making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. It can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.Incisions are made around the pigmented nipple-areolar complex and extend vertically below the nipple and in the fold under the breast. The nipple-areolar complex is moved upward to the desired location. The incisions are covered with a light dressing.Afterward, the breasts are placed in a surgical bra that will hold them symmetrically during initial healing. Initial discomfort subsides daily and can be controlled with oral medications. Scars will fade in 6-18 months. Surgery will likely reduce, but not eliminate the ability to breast-feed.RECOVERY: WHAT TO EXPECTWhen performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, breast reduction is a safe procedure. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding, infection, or reaction to the anesthesia. Some patients develop small sores around their nipples after surgery; these can be treated with antibiotic creams. You can reduce your risks by closely following your physician’s advice both before and after surgery.Much of the swelling and bruising disappears in the first few weeks following the surgery. Breasts may appear slightly mismatched, or have unevenly positioned nipples. Their new shape will be apparent within 6 months to a year, and will depend on hormonal fluctuations, weight changes and pregnancy.Although your surgeon will make your scars as inconspicuous as possible, some permanent scarring is inevitable. Smokers are more likely to experience poor healing and wider scars. The scars will be red and lumpy in the months following the surgery, but the redness will fade and in time the scars will be less obvious.ABILITY TO BREASTFEEDBecause the surgery removes many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples, breast-feeding may no longer be an option.Some patients may experience a permanent loss of feeling in their nipples or breasts. Rarely, the nipple and areola may lose their blood supply and the tissue will die. (The nipple and areola can usually be rebuilt, however, using skin grafts from elsewhere on the body.)THE END RESULTBreast reduction produces the most dramatic results of all plastic surgeries. It ends the physical discomfort or large breasts and makes your body appear more evenly proportioned, and clothes fit better. Your new image will take some getting used to, as much as you desired the change. Give yourself—and your family and friends—time to adjust to the new you and, like most women, you will enjoy the

Is Milk Harmful for Your Health?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Recently, Harvard University scientists Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Walter Willett published a journal in which they found “no data to support the claim that the consumption of dairy leads to better bones, weight loss, or improved health.” Most of American’s milk production is organic as compared to Indian milk production. Indian cows are mostly fed grass.Milk, curd and dairy products are an essential part of the recommended “healthy Indian diet”. Milk is considered as a complete food as it contains all six of the essential nutrients. Milk protein is of excellent quality and it promotes growth and maintenance of body tissues. Calcium and phosphorus levels in milk are also very high.Milk cream is rich in vitamin A and if that is removed as in skimmed milk, its vitamin A content becomes low. Riboflavin, a B vitamin, is present in significant quantities in milk. Fats present in milk are readily digested, as it is presented in an emulsified form. The carbohydrates of milk are lactose and it is hydrolyzed into glucose and galactose. The glycemic index of whole milk is 41 and for skim milks its 32. The glycemic load of whole milk is 5 and for skim milk is 4.Whole milk contains 4.7% carbohydrates, 4% fats, 3.3% protein and 88% water. Fats in the form of oleic, palmitic and stearic acids are present in milk. Milk protein is casein and whey protein. Milk also contains potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium chlorides and phosphates. Even though Iron is present in minute quantities, it is highly beneficial.CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a type of fat associated with a wide variety of health benefits, including immune and inflammatory system support, improved bone mass, improved blood sugar regulation, reduced body fat, reduced risk of heart attack, and maintenance of lean body mass. According to recent studies, you'll find yourself getting at least 75 milligrams of CLA from 1cup [250 ml] serving of grass-fed cow's milk.Dairy products are a part of our balanced diet. Milk acts as a “triple-duty food” as it provides protein, calcium and vitamin D. No matter what dairy product you’re choosing, stick to low-fat no sugar.

What Type of Milk Should You Be Drinking?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
 Milk is the only food item that works as a standalone meal in childhood and a nutritious, leisurely beverage in adulthood. Be it lattes, tea or a tall glass, life is just not the same without a splash of pristine goodness.These days selecting edibles is mind-boggling; every item seems to have at least 5 variants, including milk. You are expected to choose between full cream, single-toned, double-toned, skimmed milk, soy milk, flavored milk and what not!This article will arm you with enough information to counter any milk-related dilemma at the store.For starters, let’s take a look at nutritional content of milk:Fat: Fat is essential for many functions in the body including but not limited to storage and provision of energy, production of hormones, protection, warmth and provision of fat soluble vitamins.Carbohydrates: They provide the body with energy required for most functions. The form of carbohydrate present in milk is called lactose.Protein: They have an active role in building immunity by creating antibodies, and conducting bodily processes, which culminate in building and repair of all tissues. It helps strengthen muscles and bones.Vitamin A: Strengthens eye muscles and vision, helps in tooth and bone development and maintaining healthy skin. It keeps deficiency diseases like night blindness at bay.Vitamin B12: Helps in the normal functioning of brain and nervous system, formation of red blood cells. Also helps in maintaining a healthy heart, curing sleeping disorders, diabetes and mental disorders.Vitamin B6: Contributes in the formation of red blood cells, metabolism of carbohydrates, healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system, and liver detoxification.Riboflavin (B2): Helps in iron absorption thereby keeping anemia at bay. Also helps in recycling body’s own antioxidants, which eliminate free radicals from the body.Learn to know more about antioxidant rich foods.Niacin (B3): Maintains heart health, lowers bad cholesterol; also helps keep the nervous system, digestive system, skin, hair and eyes healthy.Thiamine (B1): Helps in maintaining digestive health.Vitamin K: It helps in clotting of blood.Pantothenic acid (B5): Strengthens bones and joints, helps in maintaining heart health. Also helps in smooth brain function by helping in the production of neurotransmitters.Folate: Prevents anaemia and helps in development of a healthy foetus.Vitamin D: Improves absorption of calcium by the body. It regulates minerals like calcium and phosphorous in the body and prevents autoimmune diseases. Also helps in maintaining normal blood pressure and heart health.Calcium: Helps in the formation and maintenance of strong bones and healthy teeth.Magnesium: It aids in bone and teeth health, conversion of food into energy and tissue formation.Phosphorus: Strengthens bones and keeps teeth healthy. It improves kidney health as well.Potassium: Aids in maintenance of proper blood pressure and ensures a healthy heart.Zinc: Helps in building immunity in the body, growth and repair of cells, wound healing, metabolism of carbohydrates.Selenium: It helps in normal functioning of the thyroid gland, also factors in the correct functioning of the immune system, due to its antioxidant effect.Choline: It is an important nutrient, which helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.Now that you are aware of all the nutrients and minerals that milk has to offer, it’d really help to be able to tell one type of milk from another.Full cream milk: Full cream milk, also called whole milk is usually given to children, teenagers and body builders. This milk is called so because it contains all the milk fat without adding or removing anything. It is collected from the dairy herd and it undergoes various processing techniques like pasteurization to kill potentially harmful bacteria before it reaches the general public. One glass would generally contain 3.5% milk fat, which provides about 150 calories. Full cream milk is also creamier and full of flavour. This further can be divided into two parts:Whole standardized milk: In this milk the fat is contained to a minimum of 3.5%.Whole homogenized milk: Fat globules are broken down and made to spread throughout the milk to prevent formation of the creamy layer at the top.Single toned milk: Adding skimmed milk powder and water to whole milk makes single toned milk. It has about 3% fat and minimizes body’s absorption of cholesterol from the milk. It contains almost the same nutrition as whole milk except the fat-soluble vitamins. One glass of toned milk provides around 120 calories.Double toned milk: This milk is obtained by adding skimmed milk powder to whole milk and has about 1.5% fat content. Double toned milk is ideal for those trying to maintain weight as it keeps the calorie intake under control and also helps in weight loss.Skimmed milk: Skimmed milk has 0.3% to 0.1% fat content. Though skimmed milk contains all the nutrients found in whole milk like the vitamins and minerals, it gives you just half the calories of full cream milk (around 80 calories per glass of milk). It contains slightly more calcium than whole milk and even lower levels of fat-soluble vitamins, particularly vitamin A, as this is lost when the fat is removed.Although when the fat is being removed all the fat-soluble vitamins also get removed but in most cases these vitamins are re-added to the milk to ensure they do not lose out on their nutrients.The low level of fat in skimmed milk reduces its calorie content, which reduces the energy it provides to the person having it. For exactly this reason it is not appropriate for children under the age of 5 years to have skimmed milk as they need the extra energy for growth and development. It is ideal for adults who wish to limit their fat or calorie intake.Skimmed milk has a slightly more watery appearance than other types of milk and has a less creamy taste due to the removal of fat.The calorie and nutrition breakdown of the different types of milk* is given below:*The reference milk taken here is Mother Dairy.*Water-soluble nutrients: Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Calcium, Phosphate, Iodine, Magnesium, Zinc*Fat-soluble nutrients: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin KHealth benefits of milk:Milk is rich in calcium and helps in maintaining bone density.Milk is important for nerve function, muscle contraction, and blood clotting.Milk contains sufficient amount of potassium needed for muscle activity and contractions. It helps in regulating the body’s fluid balance and blood pressure.Sodium present in milk helps in stimulating the adrenal glands and aids in preventing heat prostration or sunstroke.Milk contains vitamin A, important for regulating cell growth and integrity of the immune system and helps maintaining normal vision and skin.Milk helps in brain development and growth of body tissues. It helps to maintain healthy bones and ensure that you’re not losing bone density.It also helps prevent the risk of colorectal cancer.It helps in fighting depression.It helps in development and maintenance of healthy teeth.It helps in fighting obesity.It reduces the risk of getting diabetes.Read to know more about wonder foods for diabetes.Provides a boost of energy.Keeps the body well hydrated.Get to know benefits of drinking water.Now that you know the benefits of milk inside and out, do remember to make it a part of your steady diet.