Healthy Breast Milk By: Jessica Skandunas

Softly…. quietly….. gently we begin, “It’s time to nurse, my baby,” I sing. Your mouth opens wide, I soon hear you swallow, You’re drifting to dreamland, I’m tempted to follow. Blissfully we sit, wrapped up in each other, Connected, in sync; baby and mother….

   Breast feeding is intended to be a joyful loving connection, a graceful welcoming and comfort of a soul into a new body. The mothers breast being located in the Anahata chakra (heart center) of the body signifies that the breast are an instrument of love, and nurturing, meant to give love outwardly through breast milk and to connect in an intimate way. It is a silent language of love. In an optimal setting breast milk is amrita, nectar, for the growing child. In Ayurveda it is known as the essence (upadhatu) of the rasa dhatu.

   “In fetal life, the baby receives nourishment from the mother through the placenta. After birth, the baby continues to receive all its nutrients from the mother through breast milk.” [1] The health of the mother is of huge importance in Ayurveda through all phases of bearing a child. In an optimal scenario the mother will have gone through a purification therapy (pancha karma) prior to becoming pregnant and then during pregnancy maintained herself in a healthful & harmonious way according to her dosha. Once labor has commenced the breast begin their job. The hormone prolactin is responsible for the secretion of the milk. It first flows in the form of colostrum.  “This special milk is yellow to orange in color and thick and sticky. It is low in fat, and high in carbohydrates, protein, and antibodies to keep your baby healthy. Colostrum is extremely easy to digest…it is low in volume (measurable in teaspoons rather than in ounces), but high in concentrated nutrition for the newborn. Colostrum has a laxative effect on the baby, helping him pass his early stools, which aids in the excretion of excess bilirubin and helps prevent jaundice.” [2] This type of pre milk substance flows for about 2-4 days before the letdown of the actual milk. 

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