All breastfeeding mothers who wish to see optimal growth and development in their baby should follow a healthy eating routine. A healthy diet would ensure that the baby is receiving all the nutrients in proper amounts and is not suffering from any deficiencies. Increased focus on a healthy diet during pregnancy as well as breastfeeding is essential.
A general diet plan for breastfeeding would involve extra protein, calcium, nutrient and vitamin-rich foods, as well as extra fluids. As such there are no well laid guidelines that help you decide an ideal breastfeeding diet, but there are few essential nutrients that should be included in your diet to prevent any growth deficiencies in your baby and yourself. These include:
Milk is essential to maintain and boost your calcium intake. It is vital for the proper formation of your baby’s bones and maintains proper calcium content in your bones. It also helps in maintaining energy.
2. Non-alcoholic and Non-caffeinated Fluid intake
Breastfeeding mothers are advised to restrict their consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages since these chemicals may be secreted in the milk and may be passed on the newborn. Consumption of more than three cups of caffeinated drinks may significantly lead to sleeping troubles in mother and increased irritability in infants.
Breastfeeding mothers are usually advised to stay hydrated and increase their intake of fluids. Water serves to be the best fluid; restricting your intake of drinks like coffee to not more than 2 cups per day is advised. Consult your gynaecologist/ lactation consultant to seek ways on how to restrict these fluids.
We all have underestimated the hidden power of legumes; rich in iron and folic acid, they are great sources of meeting these nutritional requirements both for the mom and the baby. Beans and legumes are rich in healthy micro flora that assist in digestion and reduce bloating.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
They are rich in vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C, and iron, meeting most of the nutritional requirements of the mom and the baby.
Mothers who breastfeed need to keep themselves energised, refreshed, and revitalised. Oranges, which are full of vitamin C, should be an essential part of their diet: it helps in building the immunity of the baby along with keeping infections at bay for the mother.
Related reads: Prevention Measures For Gestational Diabetes.
6. Whole grains
Rich in folic acid, whole grain assists in proper cellular growth as well as brain development of the baby. Use of folic acid taken as a supplement should be done only once approved by a physician. Dietary folic acid is helpful to might these nutritional needs.
They are rich in DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and contain high quantities of omega 3 fatty acids. It is essential for your baby’s brain growth and development; however, its intake should be limited and not overdone.