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Mother's Milk Supplement

Use of Malunggay (Moringa oleifera) for Augmentation
of the Volume of Breast Milk Among Non-Nursing Mothers of Preterm Infants

Download Full StudyExcerpts : Lactagogues or galactagogues (mother's milk supplement) are special foods, drinks, or herbs which people believe can increase a mother's milk supply. In most parts of the Philippines, women take malunggay (Moringa oleifera) leaves mixed in chicken or shellfish soups to enhance breast milk production. The mechanism of action has not been explained but it was effective as a galactagogue and has been used by generations of nursing mothers especially those with inadequate lactation.

A local study done in 1996 by Almirante and Lim demonstrates the lactation-enhancing effect of malunggay leaves as evidenced by a greater increase in maternal serum prolactin levels and percentages of gains in the infants' weights among the lactating mothers who took the malunggay leaves (capsules).

Our current study demonstrated the lactation-enhancing effect of malunggay leaves as evidenced by the significantly greater increase in the volume of milk expressed by mothers on the 3rd to the 5th postpartum day given Moringa oleifera capsules compared to those given placebo.

We, conclude that Moringa oleifera leaves increase the volume of breast milk produced by mothers of preterm infants on post-partum days 3 to 5. We, therefore, recommend its routine use among mothers of preterm infants to augment lactation, thereby ensuring an adequate supply of breast milk in the population that needs it the most.

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