How can you build efficient Urban communities, homes, and businesses?

You need to log in to create posts and topics.

Galactagogue Garden: vegetables, herbs, fruit that promote milk supply in breastfeeding mothers

My name is Hilary Jacobson, I'm the author of "Mother Food: A Breastfeeding Diet Guide with lactogenic foods and herbs," which, since 2004, has quietly revolutionized our appreciation that what we eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding matters for the health of the mother and child - as well as making a measurable difference in milk quantity and the amount of immunity and brain building nutrients in her milk, as well as for reducing the toxins.

The importance of connectedness to green and growing cannot be underestimated for mental health. Folate from fresh greens is essential for the health of a developing fetus and young child. Yet fresh greens are frequently neglected in our diets - and they are expensive as well, cannot be afforded by many families.

Traditionally around the world, mothers receive special herbs and foods after childbirth, to bring in the milk more quickly and stabilize milk supply. This includes leafy greens. Growing, touching, nurturing and harvesting leafy greens and other vegetables helps us overcome the aversion many feel toward them.

When I had an inadequate supply, 30 odd years ago, my doctors and lactation experts could not help me. But learning about these traditional meals allowed me to fully breastfeed. The experience was so unexpected and mind-blowing that I dedicated myself to the study - I was living in Europe and had access to the best libraries.

Since the publication of my book 15 years ago, the concept of "lactogenic foods and herbs" has come alive. Lactation consultants confirm the difference it makes, nutritionists have integrated the info into their curriculums and practice, and mothers have experimented with remarkable results.

While many smaller, individual studies have been done on these so-called "galactagogues," always with a positive result, mainstream medicine will not any time soon dedicate the kind of comprehensive attention needed to get what is known as "evidence."  Therefore, mothers will not learn about this from their doctors, nurses, or from most lactation consultants.

In the meantime, breastfeeding problems increase. More children are being diagnosed with structural anomalies in their mouths that prevent a good latch and more mothers are producing too little (or too much) milk. Epigenetics factors in here, as these problems are observably worse as the years pass. Mainstream medicine has no solution.

Our standard American diet causes systemic inflammation - which produces behavior and learning problems, and violence, but also all kinds of physical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and mental illness. This inflammation is also causal to milk supply issues. When mothers resolve their issues by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, they have learned something important through first-hand experience, and prevented inevitable illness down the road.

Early motherhood is a time in a woman's life when she wants to do the best for her family and herself as a mother. By teaching the Mother Food rules, women turn our own health around, we produce more milk and feel more confident about ourselves as mothers, and we lay the foundation for the better health of our family.

Mothers in black communities have known breastfeeding struggles that include lack of societal support and modeling, but also just time. Having to return to work soon after childbirth may be color-blind - no other western country makes mothers return to work so soon - yet within some aware communities, mothers form support groups, bring each other meals in the weeks after childbirth and help each other with shopping and cleaning. The concept of the urban garden fits in well here, as it allows women to connect over growing the foods that stop the epigenetic degeneration and that support breastfeeding. It sounds too idealistic? But that's what this project is about, dreaming into being.

Recently, I began working on a book about the "galactagogue garden" and I was surprised by the bright-eyed enthusiasm from local mothers and lactation consultants. One of them said, "Breastfeeding is struggle most of the time. Finally something positive." I would love to see this concept be valued and incorporated into your urban gardening projects - a special section with foods and herbs to support pregnancy and breastfeeding... YES.

Check out my book MOTHER FOOD on amazon. BTW, it is now being translated into Korean - so happy about that, and my other book, HEALING BREASTFEEDING GRIEF is under review for translation into Russian. 🙂 Thank you for your time. I have followed Scott Adams since summer 16 and am thrilled to offer my insights for your project.