As breastfeeding awareness month comes to an end we discussed with Dani, Founder of Soma Shakti and Ayurvedic Doula on supporting mumma through their breastfeeding journey. Ayurveda is the science of life, aligining all aspects of your health to that of nature’s rhythem and support. Ayurveda recongnizes the importance of “mothering the mother”, which Dani service definitely does…
Breastfeeding is an exceptional time for both mama and baby. It is an intimate experience where a unique bond occurs. This Divine nectar provides all the nutrients that baby needs and will nourish your baby's whole being.
Breast are a symbol of nurturance, and nursing is a service of unconditional love.
For a new mama, breastfeeding can be a struggle and also very painful at the beginning. Mom must be supported throughout her sacred window so she can have the best possible breastfeeding experience.
In Ayurveda, we recommend specific foods and herbs for mom to have a pleasant and joyful experience. Even if she goes through some challenges, Ayurveda offers nourishing tools that will support her through her journey of nursing.
Ayurveda explains that Rasa, the first bodily tissue to be formed after the food that we eat, has an intimate connection with Stanya (breast milk).
Rasa dhatu is made up of the water element, and its qualities are that of moist, sweet, stable, soft, smooth, flowing, cloudy, and gross. When we eat foods that have similar attributes to rasa, we will encourage nourishment of this bodily tissue and, therefore, good quality and quantity of breastmilk.
After childbirth, we recommend that mom eat only liquid, soft, smooth, foods that will hydrate and plump rasa dhatu(for the first 3 days and slowly making the food more into solids). These will allow the proper nourishment of the tissue and healthy production of milk.
Suppose mom eats salads, cold food, toast, coffee, or black tea. These are all items that will cause dryness and depletion of rasa dhatu and, later, difficulties with the quantity or quality of breastmilk.
Some of my favorite herbs and spices that support nursing are fennel, fenugreek, musta, shatavari, chamomile, vidari kanda, milk thistle, and caraway. A lot of them are also digestives that will help enhance the strength of agni or the digestive fire. Other herbs like shatavari can be a little bit heavy, and it is better to have them in combination with digestive spices like fennel and fenugreek.
Adding the spices and food that mama eats will support her nursing experience. Also, applying warm compresses if she feels stagnation and echinacea works wonders if mom is experiencing inflammation or mastitis.
Some foods like barley, oats, millet, wheat, buckwheat, stewed fruits, creamy vegetable soups, and purees are great meals for a breastfeeding mama. Ghee is fantastic for nursing and also to apply it on the nipples if there are broken or sore.
This sacred milk of love is nature's way of nourishment and it can come in many different forms.
May all children be blessed with the Divine Mother's Nectar, and may all mamas be supported to offer it with abundance and much love.
For more information on Ayurveda and Danii wonderful offerrings check out Soma Shakti