As the saying goes, breastmilk is best for babies. No other milk can compare to the wonders of mommy’s milk. That is most new moms make it a point to do their best to breastfeed their babies. Taking food and supplements like moringa for breastfeeding even just to boost their breastmilk supply.
When I was pregnant, one of the things that I was really worried about is being able to breastfeed my baby. Even before I got pregnant I already knew the benefits of having a breastfed baby. That is why I was really concerned about establishing my breastmilk supply.
When I reached my last trimester, I made it a point to attend lactation classes and consult a lactation expert to help me prepare for my baby’s coming, at the same time, to educate me when it comes to building milk supply.
Apart from that, I also joined mommy groups to gain support, at the same time to ask suggestions regarding the said matter. I also did my own research. I Googled here and there. Imagine that, you probably know by now how worried I was.
In one of my research, backed with a mommy who posted about it in a mommy group that I was part of, I found news articles and blogs about moringa for breastfeeding. I have known moringa from my mom. In fact, I used to eat it growing up. But the thing is, I wasn’t fully aware of its benefits. Needless to say, it was a great supplement that helps in boosting breastmilk supply.
Immediately, I researched about it, and the rest is history, as they say. A month leading to my birth, up to this day, moringa has been a staple food. I take moringa for breastfeeding supplements even. And yes, I believe it did help me establish my milk supply, and it continues to do so to this day.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
I totally understand the feeling of moms (first-time moms or not) when it comes to breastfeeding. I know how a mom can get anxious thinking if she can feed her baby with breastmilk or not. I have been there. Thus, I felt that it is time to give back and share my experience with you – particularly on the benefits of moringa for breastfeeding.
But before we tackle all about moringa, let me share with you first why breastfeeding is important. I just thought it is important that you understand first the very essence of why you must breastfeed your baby.
- Breastfeeding helps protect your baby from developing certain forms of allergies.
According to studies, most formula-fed babies particularly those taking cow’s milk or soy become more prone to develop allergic reactions compared to breastfed babies.
Researchers and scientists believe that immune factors like secretory lgA (which is only available in breast milk) is the one responsible for preventing allergic reactions to food. This compound or property provides a layer of protection to the intestinal tract. Without such protection, there is a tendency for inflammation to develop, which can result in the wall of the intestine to become “leaky”. When this happens, undigested proteins will cross the gut where they can develop an allergic reaction and/or other health issues.
Unfortunately, formula-fed babies do not get this same protection as the said element is only available in breast milk. Thus, they become more vulnerable to allergies, inflammation and other health problems.
- Breastfeeding helps boost your kid’s intelligence.
There are many researchers that found a certain connection between breastfeeding and cognitive development of a child. In fact, in a study conducted wherein 17,000 infants were followed from birth up to 6.5 years, researchers came up with a conclusion based on their IQ scores and other intelligence tests that the prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding significantly improves the cognitive development of children.
In addition, preterm infants with extremely low birth weights who were able to take breastmilk shortly after they were given birth showed improved mental development scores at 18 months as compared to those who were also of preterm but did not receive breast milk.
Furthermore, experts say that the emotional bonding between mom and child that takes place while breastfeeding may also contribute to the brainpower benefits of the child. However, they suspect also that the fatty acids present in breast milk may play the biggest role of all.
- Breastfeeding may help protect your child from obesity.
Yes, you read it right. Breastfeeding helps reduce your child’s risk of becoming overweight or obese. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommends breastfeeding for that purpose.
Furthermore, it was found out that breastfeeding also helps reduce the risk of becoming obese even when the child hits teenage years or adulthood.
- Breastfeeding is also found out to help reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.
In a large German study, which was published in 2009, it was found out that breastfeeding your baby (whether exclusive or partially) is related to a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
In addition, the United States centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC also recommends breastfeeding for as long as possible for the very same purpose – to reduce the risk of SIDS.
For further reference, I am also posting below facts published at the New York City Department of Health regarding the benefits of breastfeeding(posting it in verbatim):
-Breast milk helps keep your baby healthy.
- It supplies all the necessary nutrients in the proper proportions.
- It protects against allergies, sickness, and obesity.
- It protects against diseases, like diabetes and cancer.
- It protects against infections, like ear infections.
- It is easily digested – no constipation, diarrhea or upset stomach.
- Babies have healthier weights as they grow.
- Breastfed babies score higher on IQ tests.
– Breast milk changes constantly to meet babies’ needs.
The milk changes in volume and composition according to the time of day, nursing frequency, and age of baby to promote healthy growth. Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby.
Breast milk is always ready and good for the environment.
- It is available wherever and whenever your baby needs it.
- It is always at the right temperature, clean and free.
- No bottles to clean.
- Breastfeeding has no waste, so it is good for the environment.
But apart from the baby, you also (yes, you, mommy) get to benefit from breastfeeding. Here are some of the advantages you get from breastfeeding your child also according to the NYC DOH:
– Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer like breast cancer.
– Mothers who breastfeed may find it easier to go back to their pre-pregnancy weight.
– Mothers who breastfeed gain a stronger bond with their children.
In addition to that, studies also show that mothers who breastfeed find it easier to recover from giving birth, as well as helps reduce the risk of stress level, and the risk of postpartum depression.
If you come to think of it, breastfeeding is not just an act of feeding your baby, there’s a lot more to it. And the great thing is, it is not just beneficial to the baby but among mommies too! I have to attest to it especially when it comes to a reduced risk of postpartum depression. I have to say, I did not go through it. Gratefully. In addition, having been cut, my recovery period was shorter compared to other caesarian moms I know of who did not breastfeed.
All About Moringa
Now that you already know the benefits of breastfeeding not just to the kids but to mommies as well, you probably are more eager and excited to learn more about the ways you can build up or sustain your breastmilk supply.
As mentioned, while there are so many ways to help boost your breast milk supply, I am particularly focused on sharing with you the benefits of taking moringa for breastfeeding purposes. Please note though that I am not an expert and I am only writing based on experience, and the different references I read about this.
But first, what is moringa?
Moringa Oleifera or simply called as moringa is a plant tree that is native to India and Southeast Asia. Although considered as a superfood in Ayurveda for centuries now, moringa has only has risen to fame just recently.
Compared to other plant trees, all parts of the tree – leaves, flowers, seeds, drumsticks, and even its roots – offer nutritional value, as well as natural remedies. But of all the parts, moringa leaves are proven to be the most beneficial of all.
Moringa oleifera offers a lot of health benefits, and one of them is that it helps boost breastmilk supply among nursing mothers. Yes, moringa is said to be especially beneficial for new moms, and that in fact, it has been part of most moms’ diet in many cultures for several years already.
As I mentioned, many new moms use moringa for breastfeeding purposes, which is not surprising as this tree is packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that is not only beneficial for the moms but their nursing babies too.
Fresh moring leaves alone are known to be very rich in nutrients. However, when the leaves are shade dried properly, the per gram nutritional content intensifies further by 300% up to 500% (except Vitamin C), thus, becoming super dense in nutritional content. No wonder why dried moringa leaf powder makes a fantastic natural source of nutrients that the body needs.
With its nutritional content and its health benefits, moringa has earned several nicknames like “miracle tree,” “tree of life,” “drumstick tree,” “horseradish tree,” and “benzoil tree”.
Moringa Nutritional Content
Moringa tree is packed with vitamins and minerals, which include the following:
- Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin), B-6
However, moringa leaves, in particular, contain the following on a per gram basis:
- 25x the iron found in spinach
- 15x the potassium of bananas
- 17x the calcium of milk
- 10x the vitamin C of carrots
- 9x the protein of yogurt
- 7x the vitamin C of oranges
With all these vitamins and minerals, it is no wonder why a lot of moms particularly in Southeast Asia use moringa for breastfeeding. More so, making it a staple in their diet.
Moringa for Breastfeeding
Moringa leaves have been used for breastfeeding purposes, particularly to help increase milk supply for quite a long time now. Moringa for breastfeeding is particularly famous among Southeast Asian countries like India and the Philippines.
Moringa leaves are believed to be a galactagogue, a term used which refers to any substance that helps increase breast milk supply.
While further studies have yet to be made, there are already existing studies that indicates a nursing mom can increase her breast milk production by taking moringa leaves (in whatever form – could be a supplement, powder, or raw leaves mixed in cooked meals).
Taking Moringa for Breastfeeding Purposes
Since moringa leaves are proven to have a high content of vitamins and minerals, which are essential to help boost your breast milk supply, it is only right that you include moringa in your daily diet. You can consume fresh moringa leaves in the form of smoothies, salads or soups or other cooked meals and baked goodies. You can also opt to take moringa capsules, moringa powder, or moringa tea for your breastfeeding needs.
For your information, the recommended moringa breastfeeding dosage is approximately 250mgs to be taken twice daily. Make sure to refrain from overdosage as it may lead to adverse effects.
Benefits of Moringa for Breastfeeding Moms
As I have mentioned earlier, moringa leaves, in particular, are rich in nutrients essential to the body, and that it is particularly believed to be beneficial among nursing moms.
But apart from the efficacy of moringa for breastfeeding, nursing moms will also get the following benefits from taking moringa:
- Taking moringa helps nourish you with your iron needs.
Moringa is proven to be loaded with iron. Iron, as you may know, is very important for any nursing mom. With the right amount of iron in the body, a new mom gets to fight fatigue and exhaustion, allowing her to enjoy motherhood in its early phases. Needless to say, iron is needed to replenish lost blood during labor.
- Taking moringa helps prevent blood clots.
Moringa is also rich in Vitamin K, which is responsible for fighting blood clots. Having enough of this vitamin is particularly helpful for women who may bleed heavily after giving birth.
- Taking moringa helps you meet your calcium needs.
Breastfeeding moms need an extra dosage of calcium. This is because their bodies are making milk for their babies. Calcium is also essential for the optimal growth and development of the baby. With its high calcium content, moringa becomes ideal for nursing moms.
- Taking moringa helps maintain a good uterine health.
Moringa is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which is very helpful in keeping a good uterine health. These properties are especially helpful in removing the uterine sluggishness after a woman’s delivery.
Moringa Side Effects
As they say, what you take, the baby takes as well. As a nursing mom, you always have to be extra cautious when it comes to what food you take as it may affect your baby as well. As with taking moringa, you must include it in your diet but in moderation, and as much as possible, with the guidance of an expert.
Generally speaking though, there are no reported side effects. However, there are certain restrictions especially among moms with blood pressure and glucose problems. Thus, it is best to consult your doctor first before you start taking moringa supplements or including it in your daily diet.
In addition, if you are suspected to be pregnant, it is best to stay away from taking moringa. There are reports that say that moringa particularly its bark, roots, and flower contain certain chemicals that may cause the uterus to contract, which may lead to either premature birth or miscarriage.
Important Tips When Taking Moringa for Breastfeeding
If you are now planning to take moringa for breastfeeding purposes, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
– Always make sure to choose fresh and crisp-looking moringa leaves.
– Avoid using wilted, pale or yellow in color, as well as stale-looking moringa leaves.
– Consume moringa in moderation as too much of it may lead to digestion problems.
– Do not overcook the leaves as it may kill essential nutrients.
– Always clean the leaves before using them.
– When cooking, you can add turmeric or a few cloves of garlic to help enhance its flavor.
To wrap it all up, moringa is indeed a miracle tree for its various health benefits including boosting breast milk supply among nursing moms. Many moms and babies too benefit from the vitamins and minerals it gives.
To all the nursing moms out there, consider taking moringa to help enhance or sustain your breastmilk supply. After all, we, moms, want nothing but the best for our babies, right?