Since ancient times, doctors have known that food is our best medicine. They also knew that breastfeeding women could use foods and herbs to help them maintain a steady milk supply and also avoid some of the common problems such as mom’s indigestion or fatigue and a baby’s colic.
Doctors graduating today from medical school receive practically no training in nutritional prescription. The same is true for nurses — and for lactation consultants.
We share a cultural fantasy that pharmaceuticals will eventually allow us to overcome the very basic fact of having a body, a body that stems from and is embedded in earth-biology-reality, and that requires consistent care and nourishment to thrive.
We are in denial about the ways that lifestyle and food changes have affected our basic biology, even causing changes in bone structure as well as immunity.
Perhaps this abhorrence of obvious connectedness to earth-food is rooted in our historic Judeo-Christian belief that humankind is above the animal kingdom. This idea still permeates our medical culture in subtle and insidious ways, and so it is no wonder that our culture as a whole continues to see more obesity, diabetes, mental illness and death from what could be preventable causes.
Lactogenic Food as Breastfeeding Medicine
It continues to amaze me that more lactation consultants are not more curious about the influence of diet on milk supply, and on the mother’s and baby’s health. There is so much that can be done here to turn cultural trends around! These foods are documented around the world in multiple cultures and with remarkable consistency between cultures. These foods are written about in medical treatises from ancient times. And today, mothers report dramatic breakthroughs in their breastfeeding problems when they adjust their diets to include more of the lactogenic foods and herbs.
This blog article is inspired by a new program, Shop with your Doc, in which doctors accompany patients along the fruit and vegetable sections of the grocery store, pointing out food choices to bring down cholesterol and avoid heart disease and dementia.
We have known about these strong correlations for decades now, yet have remained complacent, touting the idea of non-compliance. “Why bother talking about it, people just don’t change,” is the oft-expressed opinion of healthcare providers.
This new role of the doctor as “shopping guide” proves that it is possible to get in people’s faces about the dramatic improvements they deserve to experience, simply by acknowledging they are in fact living in earth-biology-reality and getting on board with food. We can “hack” the brain with berries, pull out unwanted cholesterol with bean fiber, and lose weight by avoiding the foods that harm us. And we can support all the biological systems of breastfeeding with foods and herbs to produce a more stable, allergen and toxin free milk supply.