Lactation period refers to the duration when the mother breastfeeds her child. A Nutritious dietary intake is therefore particularly important and has to be different from a mother who has to feed her child orally. The food intake should be such that it meets her nutritional requirements besides ensuring adequate milk production for the baby. Inadequate food intake reduces the milk secreted and may even change the composition. Here are some nutrition recommendations to include in your diet:
- Eat 6-8 balanced meals a day and nutritious snacks. Do not miss meals, remember not to feast or starve.
- While your body is producing breast milk, it requires more calories than usual, about 500 cal are sufficient.
- Drink plenty of liquids each day, since milk production uses additional water.
- Nurse the baby after 2-3 hours for six months, TAKE WARM MILK OR SOUP BEFORE FEEDING.
- Continue to take your prenatal vitamins. [Each day you breastfeed, your body subsidizes lactation with about five hundred calories from fat stores]. After the first three months, breastfeeding women generally lose weight more rapidly than bottle-feeding mothers and return to their pre-pregnancy weight sooner. Avoid rapid weight loss during breastfeeding it can result in diminished milk production.
- Eat fresh natural foods than canned ones. It must be remembered that natural foods do not contain any additives to increase its acceptability. Avoid mithai, biscuits, soups with preservative, color & ajinomto.
- Concentrate on the food while eating. Keep aside your worries and distraction while feeding the baby as this will also ensure better feed.
- Take good care of diet for six months till you are feeding the baby ,keep control on fried foods, namkeens and mithais.with chandi wark, colours. Take Kheers ,custards,steamed puddings,made by using skimmed milk. Use shakkar or honey instead of sugar wherever possible. Use pudina freshdry,kheera,adrak,alu, arbi ,musambi ,safed til, urad dal, gond, methi ,dry fruits,sprouts, jeera pani etc.
- Remember to drink water in between meals not while eating Have fruits and salads half an hour before or 2 hrs later addition of ghee in dals, veg not required, avoid fried foods.
Dr. Neelu Malhotra