Breastfeeding is one of the most overlooked, and yet most important functions of a woman’s body. And yet, we are often so malnourished due to the way that we eat, neither mom or baby are getting proper nutrition. And often toxins are being passed through the breast milk to your child. Malnutrition and obesity are our two greatest global challenges. We are seeing more gastric bypasses, and yet this is another change that is pushing this malnutrition in pregnancy.
I saw this post recently and it just really hit me that this problem isn’t new. This problem has been known about and going on for over sixty years. And the rise in health problems with our children has been going on just as long.
“Yes, there is a battle going on,” Dr. Royal Lee writes in this 1950 article from the magazine The Interpreter. But the war Dr. Lee was referring to did not involve guns or missiles. It was a contest hidden from public view, waged between the nation’s food manufacturers and its first nutritionists—a war regarding the truth about processed foods.
If our breastmilk came with a nutrition label, it might read something like this: 4 percent fat, vitamins A, C, E and K, lactose, essential minerals, growth hormones, proteins, enzymes and antibodies. But read down the label, and the fine print of the chemicals we’re sharing with our children according to the NY Times, at least for some women, sounds considerably less appetizing: DDT (the banned but stubbornly persistent pesticide famous for nearly wiping out the bald eagle), PCB’s, dioxin, trichloroethylene, perchlorate, mercury, lead, benzene, arsenic. When we nurse our babies, we feed them not only the fats, sugars and proteins that fire their immune systems, metabolisms and cerebral synapses. We also feed them, albeit in minuscule amounts, paint thinners, dry-cleaning fluids, wood preservatives, toilet deodorizers, cosmetic additives, gasoline byproducts, rocket fuel, termite poisons, fungicides and flame retardants.
The breastfeeding research I’ve seen says that nutrition is key and is something any nursing mom should really be focused in on. Daily stress and post-pregnancy stress may also cause a deficiency of amino acids, and greater consumption of protein is required for these conditions for optimal health. Although we often have problems digesting heavy proteins, due to leaky gut issues, or you are vegan and you don’t eat those heavy proteins. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant and nursing women should have a diet that consists of a variety nutrients including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats. Moringa oleifera leaves contain many vitamins, minerals, protein, and all essential amino acids (the building blocks for muscle).