Know Ayurvedic Concept of Breast Feeding

imagesBreast milk is normal in color, smell, taste and touch. Breast milk dissolves completely in water if milked in a water pot because of its watery nature. Such milk is nourishing and health giving.  Excellence of breast milk lies in these features.  For the breast milk to be excellent, breast of the mothers should not be neither too long, nor to corpulent. Breast should not be high and size of nipples should be appropriate and sucking should be easy.

How to know breast milk is vitiated?

Breast milk having black or reddish color, astringent subsidiary taste, without smell, non sliminess, rough and thin in its appearance, frothy, light and non saturating, emaciating and causing vatika disorders is vitiated due to morbidity of vata dosha. The  milk which is blue, yellow, or coppery tinge, bitter and sour or pungent in subsidiary taste, fleshy or bloody smell. Hot and causing pattik disorders signify vitiation of breast milk by pitta. Breast milk which is exceedingly white and sweet and has saltish subsidiary taste, smells as that of ghee, oil, muscle fat and marrow confirms its vitiation by kapha dosha.

What to do when breast milk is vitiated

Food of barley, what, shali and shastik type of rice, moong  dal, black gram, garlic and karanja should be given. Decoction of patha, guduchi, nagarmotha, kirattikat, and sariva is useful. Use of other bitter, astringent, pungent, and sweet drugs helps in checking vitiation of breast milk. Herbs possessing latex, milk, food prominent in sweet, sour and saline items promote quantity of milk.Methods of purifications like induced vomiting, purgation, non unctuous and unctuous enema are useful in vitiation of breast milk.

How to start breast feeding?

When the mother’s milk is sweet, copious and pure , it signifies that she is ready to feed the baby on her milk. Before feeding the baby she should take a bath. White dress should be worn by the mother for breast feeding her baby. Face of the baby should be kept towards east.  Right breast should be made to suck first. Any one of the herbs like brahmi, shatavari, aindri, vataypushpa should be worn on any part f the body. This is the appropriate away of breast feeding.

What to do when Mother is not available to the infant

Ayurvedic texts have described the alternative to the mother for making the baby feed.  Dhatri or  a nurse with above features is substituted for the same. Care is taken to opt for such a dhatri or nurse who is of affectionate nature and is of youth ful age, free from deformity, addictions, ugliness, and loathsomeness.

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