Breastfeeding Mums, this one is specially for you! A creamy, nutrient-dense smoothie that you can prepare in just 5 minutes! Plus, find out how breastfeeding benefits both your baby and you as a Mum. (Hint: it relates to Pink October)
Now we all know that breastfeeding gives your baby a healthy start by providing the nutrients and energy your baby needs to develop and stay healthy, helps strengthen his or her immune system with the natural antibodies from breastmilk and can help prevent your child from being overweight or obese later in life.
Good news is that your baby isn’t the only one to benefit from your labourious hours of expressing breastmilk and breastfeeding, their Mums get to enjoy the health perks too! Research has solid evidence to support that women who breastfeed lower their risk of breast cancer, especially for durations longer than six months. The reason being that breastfeeding lowers the level of some cancer-related hormones in the mother’s body such as estrogen, which then helps in reducing the risk of breast cancer.
To reap the health benefits of breastfeeding, global health authorities like the World Health Organization and the American Institute for Cancer Research encourages that if able to, it is best for mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months. Plus, breastfeeding helps in the Mother-baby bonding process.
Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist, Esther Peh designed this smoothie for breastfeeding mothers. During this period, mothers need lots of carbohydrates to encourage more milk production. Esther shares her preparation tips and nutritional benefits of this smoothie. Soak the rolled oats an hour before to make it soft and easy to blend. Flax seeds are rich in essential fatty acids such as omega-3 to build the fat content in breastmilk. When soaked, you’ll notice that the water becomes sticky and gooey. Not to worry, this actually indicates its high fibre content. Greek yoghurt is packed with probiotics, the friendly bacteria and promotes healthy digestion. Bananas are yummy, easy to peel, full of potassium and rich in fiber. Both the oats and oat milk will keep you full for longer.
Both the quality and quantity of nutrients are equally important in a breastfeeding mother’s diet. With this smoothie, the liquids, healthy fats and carbohydrates in this nutrient-dense smoothie are aimed to help Mums produce more milk, in a deliciously creamy yet healthy way!
- 1 medium-sized banana, ripe
- 1 cup rolled oats, soaked an hour before
- ¼ cup flaxseeds, soaked
- 1 cup of Greek Yoghurt
- ½ cup oat milk
- 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
- Cut the banana into four pieces. Put these in the blender followed by the drained rolled oats and flax seeds.
- Scoop the Greek yoghurt into the blender and pour the oat milk in.
- For a tinge of sweetness, add in some honey. Blend and enjoy!
PurelyB's Naturopath and Mum, Johanna Arshad shares some tips on how to build good quality breastmilk. We’ll acknowledge that breastfeeding is no easy feat, in fact, in can be a real struggle for some. Get the support you need from family and friends (encouragement can go a long way), speak to your employers to provide you break time and a private space for nursing mothers and seek help from a lactation consultant for further advice.
On the other hand, breastfeeding can also pose a challenge after a breast cancer diagnosis. After treatment, the treated breast may produce little or no milk. If certain cases, the milk from one breast may be enough or some women may consider a breastmilk donor. Also, an experienced breastfeeding coach or lactation consultant can help you figure out the best possible solution for your unique situation. Recent evidence has reported that women diagnosed with breast cancer who previously breastfed their babies had a 30% decreased risk of recurrence. Stay strong, ladies!
Breastfeeding and cancer prevention
Breast cancer and breastfeeding: collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries, including 50 302 women with breast cancer and 96 973 women without the disease
History of breastfeeding associated with reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence