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Abstract

CONCEPT OF BREASTFEEDING IN AYURVEDA

Dr. Anjna Kumari and Dr. Minakshi Chaudhry*

ABSTRACT

Adequate nutrition is one of the fundamental needs of a New-born baby. Breast milk is the optimal food for almost all infants in the first year of life. The breast milk provides numerous health benefits to both mother and baby. Breastfeeding should begin soon after birth. As like other mammals human baby is also born with a readymade food supply of its own and therefore breast milk is an ideal natural and complete food for a Neonate. Breast milk contains many antibodies that improve immunity in infants and provide power to fight off viruses and bacteria. It contains all the nutrients suited to serve the nutritional and biological need of the baby for their normal growth and development. Importance of breastfeeding is described by both Ayurveda and modern science in detail. According to ancient texts duration of breastfeeding should last until the eruption of teeth, for at least six months. In Sushruta Samhita clearly indicated about solid foods at the age of six months, when teething starts. Early weaning and late weaning both are dangerous in infants. Acharyas has mentioned about formation of Stanya (breast milk), causes of Stanya pravritti (milk ejection), properties of Stanya, Stanya dushti lakshan (properties of vitiated milk), Dhatri (wet-nurse), Dhatri pariksha (examination), Stanapan-vidhi (breastfeeding), Stanasampat (merits of breast), Stanya-nasha hetu (causes of ncessation of milk formation), Stanyavriddhi dravyas (galactagogues), Stanyapanay (weaning), abnormalities of breast milk and its treatment in detail.

Keywords: Stanya, Breastfeeding, Stanya dusti, Dhatri, Stanasampat, Stanya nash, Stanyapanay.


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