Many breastfeeding mums are so much occupied taking care and feeding their toddlers that they skip looking after their own diet, energy and wellbeing. The milk production, puts an additional effort on your body, therefore, taking care of your diet is one of the keys to effective breastfeeding. Breast milk is the best food for your infant and one must make sure that the mother is properly nourished, to ensure that her newborn gets the proper nutrition. If you are breastfeeding, a baby is getting all the nutrients required to promote his or her growth and development.
But on many occasions, breastfeeding diets can get very confusing. A mother gets worried about numerous question emerging in her mind such as what kind of diet she should take? How much she should eat? What kind of food she should avoid? Women get worried that whatever they will eat or drink is going to affect their baby. There are misconceptions, traditions and utter misrepresentation doing round the clock about this topic.
So, first things first, there is no requirement for a specific diet plan for breastfeeding, but whatever goes inside the stomach of a newly mom should be rich in nutrition. A mother should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grain food such as daliya, oats, potatoes and couscous in her diet. A nursing mother should eat lean protein such as eggs, pulses, fish and chicken as well. A growing baby uses protein in ample quantity as it is important for growth, maintenance and restoration of cells. Here are a few common concerns of a breastfeeding woman:
Does a mother need extra calorie intake while breastfeeding?
Yes, it’s absolutely true, a breastfeeding mother needs around 400 to 500 additional calories per day, this is also dependent on the mother’s activity level, weight, age and appetite. If you have twins or multiples the calorie intake will further go up.
Does a mother need to take any breastfeeding vitamin?
A mother’s body, tends to get very week after the delivery. Therefore, she needs her daily dose of Vitamin D as it is important for strong bones for the mother and the baby both. If you don’t get enough sunlight, then take Vitamin D supplements as prescribed by the doctor. Calcium also gets wash-out while breastfeeding. Your focus should be on having a calcium rich diet like milk, cheese, tofu and green leafy vegetable.
How much water a mother should drink while breastfeeding?
The simple thumb rule will work here. Drink more if the color of your urine appears dark yellow or whenever you are thirsty. Avoid too many sugary drinks and this will lead to weight gain. Breastfeeding will by default make you thirsty, therefore it is essential for you to drink ample amounts of water and keep yourself well hydrated.
Should a mother drink alcohol while breastfeeding?
Although many mothers choose to stop drinking alcohol while breastfeeding as alcohol can reduce your milk production. If you want to drink, avoid feeding your infant till the time the alcohol has completely emptied your breast milk. A mother can also pump her milk before drinking for the babies next feed.
Should a mother reduce her caffeine intake while breastfeeding?
Caffeine does get through to your breast milk like any other food item, so limit your intake of tea or coffee while nursing your child. The intake shouldn’t be more than 2 to 3 cups of any caffeinated drinks on a given a day. Caffeine present in your breast milk might disturb your baby’s sleep and wake him or her awake whole night.
If a mother is vegetarian will this affect the breast milk?
If a mother is eating a balanced diet and taking sufficient minerals and nutrition a body needs, it won’t affect the breast milk. A vegan or a vegetarian nursing mother should take supplements or food items rich in Vitamin D, B12, Omega -3 fatty acids and Calcium and also consult your gynecologist or medical care professional for the right nutrition you and your baby.