Does malunggay really improve breastmilk supply?
Malunggay not only helps in improving a mother’s health, it also seems to boost breastmilk supply. Find out how much you need to consume to increase your milk.
Malunggay is the automatic galactagogue of choice by most mothers in Asia. In fact, in the Philippines, it has been a tradition for newly delivered mothers to be fed a steaming bowl of tinola (a clear chicken soup with garlicky broth) or ginisang monggo (a dish made with mung beans and some fish or pork), cooked with malunggay to invoke a surge in breast milk supply.
The following are the specific health and medicinal uses of malunggay for a new mum:
- Malunggay can strengthen immune system – perfect for someone recuperating from pregnancy, delivery and all the exhausting days of adjusting to a new baby;
- Malunggay can heal inflamed joints and tendons – helpful for those who feel a little arthritic during pregnancy;
- Malunggay can relieve constipation – beneficial to those recovering from pregnancy-induced bowel issues;
- Malunggay can help normalise sugar levels – particularly helpful to diabetic mums or those who had gestational diabetes;
- Malunggay can help normalise blood pressure – useful to those who had pregnancy-induced hypertension;
- Malunggay can facilitate healing from a slew of illnesses, like asthma, ulcers and migraines, which some mothers suffer from;
- Malunggay can boost milk supply – which benefits breastfeeding mums.
Find out the efficacy of taking malunggay to increase breastmilk supply on the next page.
According to the Philippine Council for Health and Research Development, “compared to equivalent amounts (in weight) of other foods, malunggay has seven times more Vitamin C than oranges, four times more calcium and two times more protein than milk, four times more vitamin A than carrots and three times more potassium than bananas.” This explains how malunggay boosts a new mother’s immune system and ensures that her own resources are not being depleted by breastfeeding. A healthy mother is also more likely to sustain milk production over a period of time.
In terms of efficacy, the culture prevails but the testimony varies. It may be that, as in the case of Fenugreek, mothers would have to consume more malunggay than they are used to in order for it to start working as a galactagogue.
It will be good to note, however, that in a study of actual pregnant/nursing women conducted in Ospital ng Makati, it was found that those who took malunggay supplements before and continued after giving birth showed earlier onset of milk and a greater volume of it. Apparently, though only proper and frequent feeding can really stimulate milk production and maintain supply, malunggay as a galactagogue facilitates the process for a new mother.
What are the risks of taking malunggay?
According to WebMD, Malunggay (also known as Moringa) is safe when taken in the recommended prescribed amount. However, extra sensitive people may manifest allergic reactions to supplements. Medical Health Guide has also found that the use of malunggay roots may have abortificient effects.
Another thing to note is that supplements are not created equal across brands so one really has to do their own research and consult a doctor for recommended products.
How much should one take?
Breastfeeding-supportive obstetricians usually recommend pregnant patients to begin taking 2-3 malunggay capsules of their brand of choice two to three weeks before their due date.
Do you believe that malunggay works as a milk booster for breastfeeding mums? Have you tried it yourself? Share your experiences with us by commenting below!
This article was first published on theAsianparent Philippines.