Iran J Med Sci 2016 May;41(3 Suppl):S29
Nutrition Center, Tabriz university of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Background: Support for breastfeeding is a public health priority. One of the major factors that can negatively affect breastfeeding is the lack of breast milk. There are many instructions on the subject of breast milk in Iranian traditional medicine resources. This article attempts to investigate causes and reasons for the lack of breast milk from the perspective of the great scholars in this field.
Methods: This study reviews the literature based on the Iranian traditional medicine. The literature review included traditional medicine resources and a survey of reputable databases using keywords such as "morzae", "sady", "pestan", "sheer", "sheerkhar", and "hifzossehhe". The content analysis was used after collecting data.
Results: According to the viewpoint stated in traditional medicine literature, the primary substance for milk production is blood that transforms to milk after crossing the breast glandular tissue. The main causes of milk shortage can be classified into four categories, namely food-related factors, factors related to blood impaired, factors related to breast tissue and psychological and physical factors. One of the main reasons for milk shortage is the impaired quality and quantity of food. Appropriate mizaj of breast tissue is required for adequate milk production as it develops sufficient ability to absorb and transform the substance into milk. On the other hand, the ability of breast tissue is greatly influenced by the main organs of the body, particularly the heart; being the core of understanding psychological factors. Thus, psychological factors can have a significant effect on the process of milk production.
Conclusion: Due to the importance of breastfeeding, reflection on other viewpoints, such as those mentioned in Iranian traditional medicine, could pave the way towards new research areas. It could also steer policies towards an extra focus on breastfeeding by mothers.