Lactating Mothers

A new born baby has only three demands. They warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breast and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breast feeding satisfies all the three.

Breast milk is the natural and complete food for infants. It is safe, inexpensive and provides all nutrients most babies need for the first 6 months of life. Researches have shown that breastfed babies are less like to suffer eczema, food allergy and respiratory illness than formula-fed babies. In the philippines, 85 % of mothers initiated breast feeding soon after delivery but only 22% of these mothers are still exclusively feeding by one month old. Most mothers after initiating expression of breast milk on the first few days postpartum complain of insufficient volume of breast milk. This has prompted mothers to shift their children to bottle feeding and stop breast feeding.

Galactagogues are herbs that promote and establish the flow of mother’s milk. Malunggay is one of the most studied herbs here in Philippines. As a galactogogue, several studies confirm its efficacy. However, it is usually promoted to be given 3 days postpartum or after delivery to induce lactation. The lactation enhancing effects of malunggay leaves as evidenced by a greater increase in maternal serum prolactin levels. Prolactin is the most important hormone in the initiation of laction. Malunggay capsules are effective galactagogues if given prior to delivery with onset of adequate amount.

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