Moringa and Breastfeeding: a plant-based boost for nursing mothers
You’ve done the hard work of bringing a baby into the world. Now comes the even harder work of nourishing your baby to grow and thrive.
There’s no doubt that human breast milk is the ideal food for infants. Not only does nursing provide your baby with the unique combination of nutrients he needs to grow and thrive, it also strengthens his immunity to infection and disease. For these and other reasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least the first year of your baby’s life whenever possible.
In most cases, a nursing mother who eats a nutritious diet can produce milk in sufficient quantity, and of sufficient quality, to nourish a growing infant. But this is not always the case. The good news is, you don’t always have to resort to formula to supplement your hungry baby’s diet. For hundreds of years, nursing mothers have been using moringa to safely and naturally boost their breast milk flow.
What is moringa?Moringa oleifera, also known as Malunggay, is a tree native to the Northern part of India that now grows widely in tropical and subtropical climates. It was first referenced around 4,000 years ago as a medicinal remedy for over 300 diseases, including skin infections, eye infections, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, anemia and rheumatism.
For years, lactating women have been taking malunggay for breastfeeding, touting the leaves of the moringa tree as a “galactagogue” — food that improves the production of breast milk. Recently the World Health Organization endorsed moringa for breastfeeding by promoting the massive cultivation of the super-vegetable in countries where food is scarce and poverty is rampant.
What’s special about moringa for breastfeeding?Moringa is Mother Nature’s nutritional powerhouse.
Gram for gram, fresh malunggay leaf contains:
● twice the protein found in yogurt
● four times the calcium found in milk
● three times the potassium found in bananas
● four times the vitamin A content of carrots
● seven times the Vitamin C content of oranges
As well essential amino acids and phytonutrients that aid the immune system. It also contains iron, essential for preventing anemia in hemoglobin-deficient women and those who have suffered blood loss during childbirth. High concentrations of nutrients are especially important for nursing mothers who may have become deplete in certain vitamins during pregnancy.
One study reported in the Philippines Journal of Pediatrics tested the link between moringa and breastfeeding. Researchers asked new mothers to pump milk every four hours and record how much milk they produced over a three day period. One group of mothers took a twice-daily supplement containing 250 mg of moringa; the control group did not. The results were unequivocal—moringa produced 167% more milk than the placebo.
A study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics found startlingly similar results. Here, mothers were asked to pump and measure their breast milk on the third, seventh and fourteenth day postpartum. All the nursing mothers produced roughly the same amount of milk on the third day. But by the seventh and fourteenth days, the women taking a moringa for breastfeeding supplement produced significantly more milk than the control group.
For time-pressed new mothers struggling to nourish their hungry babies, a moringa for breastfeeding supplement may be just what they need. There are no adverse side effects, just a 100% plant-based, 100% natural way of increasing milk flow to support yours and your baby’s needs.
Trees for Life International, Moringa Tree A double blind, randomised controlled trial on the use of malunggay (Moringa oleifera) for augmentation of the volume of breastmilk among non-nursing mothers of preterm infants Ma. Corazon P. Estrella, M.D., Jacinto Bias V. Mantaring III, M.D., Grace Z. David, M.D., Michelle A. Taup, M.D. Philippines Journal of Pediatrics, 2000 Vol 49 (1) 3-6
A comparative study on the efficacy of the different galactogogues among mothers with lactational insufficiency. Co MM, Hernandez EA, Co BG. Presented at the AAP Section on Breastfeeding. 2002; NCE. Abstract.