Many breastfeeding moms often wonder if the foods they eat will affect their breast milk.
While you don’t need to ‘eat for two’, but you would need an additional 400 calories if you are breastfeeding. You will also need to pay attention to what you consume as what you eat provides your baby the nutrients that promote his or her health and growth.
So, here are some tips that can make it a win-win for you and your baby when you’re breastfeeding.
What to include in your diet when breastfeeding
Consuming nutrient-rich diet helps your body heal post-delivery and keeps you healthy, which in turn helps you produce enough milk to feed your baby on time. Ensure that your diet contains the following.
Proteins make sure that your body can build, repair and maintain tissues after delivery. Milk, curd, eggs, chicken, and grilled fish are good sources of protein. So are pulses, legumes, dals, and soybean.
Breast-feeding mothers have a storage of calcium in their bones. Should their diet be lacking in calcium, the body will remove calcium from the bones to supply it to the breast-feeding infant.
Calcium is important for babies overall development. If the moms diet is lacking in Calcium she would lose the nutrient from her body while breastfeeding. Milk and milk products including curd, cheese, and paneer are good sources of calcium. Leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are rich in calcium but must be consumed with care to avoid indigestion.
Iron helps combat weakness that results from blood loss during delivery, maintain energy and prevent fatigue. Consuming iron-rich foods help renews iron stores in the body. Green leafy vegetables and organ meat of chicken and ducks are good sources of iron.
Galactagogues are herbs that helps increase milk supply. Some commonly known foods of this kind include Fenugreek, Fennel seeds , AlfaAlfa, Aniseeds and Blessed Thistle garlic. Include them in your diet if you are faced with reduced breast milk supply.
When breastfeeding your baby, it’s easy for you to get dehydrated. So, drink plenty of water at regular intervals but limit the intake of Caffeine. You could also consume light soups and freshly prepared fruit juices or tender coconut water to keep water and salt levels with required limits.
Tips for healthy breastfeeding
- Eat at short regular intervals – your baby feeds many times a day and to keep up with this increased demand, your body needs extra energy. When breastfeeding, eat at least 3 nutritious meals every day, interspersed with two to three light snacks such as porridges, soups healthy salads, and dry fruits or nuts.
- Stick to fresh, home-cooked food – the quality of the food that you eat has a direct impact on your baby when you breastfeed. So, ensure that what you consume is safe and contamination-free. Pick local, seasonal, and organic products where possible.
- Limit sugar, fat, and spice intake – high fat and high sugar foods can cause weight gain, so consume them in moderated amounts. Stay away from caffeine, aerated beverages, and alcohol. Also avoid foodstuff rich in spices and oil, as they can be difficult to digest, causing uneasiness to you and your baby.
- Avoid the intake of alcohol as no amount of alcohol is considered safe for the baby
The above-mentioned are commonly-advised tips for new moms. Users are encouraged to consult with their doctors for efficacy and safety of following such diets or including different foodstuff into their routine, as results may vary from person to person.