Along with the joys of motherhood comes the responsibility of nurturing the new born. For the first six months breast milk provides ideal nutrition to the infant, which is important for the growth and development of the neonate.
The most common reason for early cessation of breastfeeding is insufficient milk production. An inadequate production of breast milk may be due to single or combined effect of, hormonal imbalances, stress, malnutrition etc. For those mothers in whom milk production has declined and is not responding to non-pharmacological measures, the use of galactogogues is often considered.
The importance of breast feeding has been conceptualized in Ayurveda since antiquity and herbal galactogogues have been mentioned for augmentation of quality and quantity of breast milk. Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is one such versatile herb used since centuries and popular as a female rejuvenative tonic. Scientific studies have revalidated the use of Shatavari as a galactogogue. It improves the production of breast milk by stimulating the hormones. It also helps overcome fatigue, promotes physical and mental health, supports and rejuvenates the body post-delivery.
As recommended in Ayurveda, diet for lactating mothers should be light, liquid initially and stepped up slowly. It should include rice, barley, green gram, medicated milk, medicated soups using herbs like ginger, pepper, cumin seeds, cinnamon, garlic and medicated decoctions using the herbs like vetiver, guduchi( Indian tinospora), which enhances the quality and quantity of breast milk.