You know breast milk is the best food for your baby, but what about your own nutrition while breastfeeding? Know from our expert doctors about the diet to adopt when breastfeeding.
There is no specific diet plan for lactating mother or food for lactating mother, but what you eat should be nutritionally balanced. It is therefore recommended to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as oats, brown rice as well as whole cereals and breads. These foods along with potatoes, pasta and semolina are also rich in starch, an important source of energy.
You need the lean protein found in chicken, eggs, legumes, lentils, fish, and lean beef, as well as the healthy fats found in olive oil, fruits, nuts, seeds, avocados and oily fish such as salmon or mackerel to increase you breast milk. Oily fish are good for your health and your baby’s development, but don’t eat more than two servings per week, as they are likely to contain polluting substances and are not considered the best foods to increase breast milk.
Vitamin D is essential. It is essential for healthy bones, both for you and for your baby, and exposure to the sun provides us with most of it. If you live in a place with little sunlight, especially in winter, your vitamin D intake may not be enough, so supplements may be recommended.
Also, make sure you are getting enough calcium as breastfeeding reduces it. Eat four servings of dairy products per day, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, or non-dairy products, including nuts, tofu, sesame seeds, and leafy green vegetables. One serving is roughly half a cup of green vegetables or a 50 g small piece of cheese.
Good news, apart from fatty fish whose consumption should be limited, no specific food should be avoided when breastfeeding your baby. Caffeine and alcohol are also acceptable, within reason.
Unless you are allergic to peanuts, there is no reason to avoid peanut foods when you are breastfeeding. Recent research indicates that if you eat peanuts while breastfeeding and introduce them to your infant’s diet as early as their first year; they will be less likely to develop intolerance.
Breastfeeding mothers need about 500 calories more per day than non-breastfeeding mothers, but every woman is different, and your energy needs will vary over the course of your breastfeeding experience. The amount of calories required will depend on your baby’s age, size, and appetite, as well as your Body Mass Index (BMI), activity level, and factors such as how you exercise, how you breastfeed your baby (exclusive or not) or if you are breastfeeding twins or several babies.
Breastfeeding can make you thirsty, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Usually, we need to drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day and even more when breastfeeding. Drink a glass of water, milk, or fruit juice without added sugar every time you breastfeed your baby.
As with everything you eat or drink, caffeine passes into your breast milk, so it is advisable to limit consumption when you are breastfeeding. Ask your healthcare professional what is best for you.
Many breastfeeding mothers choose to stop drinking alcohol. However, occasional light consumption while breastfeeding has not been shown to have
so if you have a drink of alcohol, your baby may have more appetite and want to drink more.
Your breast milk is flavoured with the foods you eat. any adverse effects on babies. Better to avoid alcohol until your baby is three months old.
Remember that alcohol can temporarily reduce your milk supply,
Therefore, if your diet while breastfeeding is varied and exposes your baby to different flavours, it is possible that he/she will enjoy these tastes later.
If you like spicy foods, there is no reason to avoid them when breastfeeding.
Young babies are often irritable or have gas, and mothers naturally wonder if their diet is causing it. Though it is very unlikely. Research shows that the proportion of infants who are allergic to something in breast milk is just over 1%. Cow’s milk, eggs, corn or soy protein in their mother’s diet are the most common causes of allergy and not the spicy dishes, hot sauces or the different types of cabbage that cause concern.
If your baby is allergic to any component of your milk, it can cause excessive vomiting, a rash, blood in the stool, or persistent congestion. If your baby has food intolerance, you are likely to experience symptoms such as irritability, crying after a feed, reflux, explosive stools, and your baby would bring her knees up to her chest. If you think something is wrong, seek advice from a healthcare professional. Your doctor may advise you to stop a particular food for a few weeks and then reintroduce it to see if it makes a difference to your baby.
As long as you’re getting enough calories and all the nutrients your body needs (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals), you should be fine and there should be no special diet for breastfeeding mother but the lactating mothers who are vegetarians and vegans must ensure that they receive a significant amount of vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids. For this, they will choose foods or food supplements that allow them to refuel these essential nutrients.
If you are on a vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, or any other specialdiet for lactating women, seek advice from a healthcare professional to make sure you are getting all the nutrients, you and your baby need.
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