Breastfeeding May Lower Risk of High BP: 5 Foods To Increase Production Of Breast Milk 

Hypertension is relatively common in pregnancy, the study noted

Breastfeeding May Lower Risk of High BP: 5 Foods To Increase Production Of Breast Milk

Breastfeeding could help protect mothers from developing high blood pressure (BP) for longer-term, suggests a new study. High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. It is known that hypertension is relatively common in pregnancy.  Lactation may be a means to mitigate pregnancy-related vascular risk factors including chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, and preeclampsia. 


The findings by researchers Eliana Bonifacino from Montefiore Hospital, in Pennsylvania, US, showed that breastfeeding for as short as one to four months can decrease the risk of high BP in nursing mothers, as well as protect them across an extended follow-up of years up to decades. 

For the study, the team reviewed 15 studies which had longer-term follow-up. 67 per cent of those evaluated for elevated blood pressure--and 100 per cent of the studies that assessed for an outcome of hypertension--showed a protective association with lactation, the researchers reported in the paper published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine. 

"Once again, it is confirmed that breastfeeding provides major health benefits not only to the infant but, also, no less so, to the nursing mother," said Arthur I. Eidelman, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine.

Previous studies have shown that lactation is protective against many risk factors for cardiovascular disease and Type-2 diabetes.

Many women often face problem with breast milk production. Foods and herbs that promote lactation in new mothers are called galactogogues. Dr Veena Aurangabadwala, Gynaecologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Chembur  lists out some of them for us.

1. Dill Leaves: Known more colloquially as Shepu (in Marathi) or Suva (in Hindi), dill leaf is a very good galactogogue. In addition to its peculiar taste, it also helps in digestion.

2. Fenugreek: Popularly known as Methi (in Hindi), both its seeds and leaves are extremely useful to improve breastmilk production.

3. Spinach: It is an excellent source of iron. Iron helps restore energy and fights anaemia and weakness. Spinach should be boiled well before consumption, especially during the monsoons, to avoid any waterborne infections.

4. Fennel: Fennel or fennel seeds also help in lactation, as they have oestrogenic properties. Apart from being fibre-rich, it's also loaded with otassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrients.

5. Nuts: They are an excellent source of serotonin, which helps in increasing lactation. They are packed with vitamins and healthy omega- 3 fatty acids. 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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