Breastfeeding mothers must eat healthy foods. By eating a nutritious and balanced diet, the mother can ensure good health for her as well as for her baby. If the mother does not get 1500 to 1800 calories per day, there will be less production of milk, and the baby may not be fully nourished and affecting its growth. Since mother’s milk takes care of all nutritional needs of your baby and is essential to build resistance to diseases, the baby may even suffer from a lack of immunity.
Related: Massage While Breast Feeding
The diet of a mother should therefore include nutritious foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Depending on how much you exercise and whether or not you want to lose, gain or maintain your current weight, you should decide the number of calories you take. Then you can eat different types of foods to get the calories you need to keep healthy while breastfeeding your baby.
A healthy diet for mothers should include
- More fresh fruit and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables – in five portions a day.
- Protein-rich foods like eggs, lentils, and beans
- Milk, yogurt, and cheese to get calcium
- Bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes for starch
- Fibrous foods like whole-grain bread, beans, oats, frozen peas, and Bran. Corn, figs, apples, pears, mangoes, and vegetables such as parsnips and sprouts.
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids – sipping a drink every time you feed the baby is a good way to have enough fluid intake. Lack of fluid intake will result in constipation. If you are constipated drinking Senna Leaf Tea and lots of fluids will provide relief.
If you follow a diet that is vegetarian, vegan, or macrobiotic, you would require an extra supply of iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, during pregnancy and also during breastfeeding. This will ensure a sufficient amount of those vitamins and minerals in your breast milk.
Related: Periods After Breast Feeding
Foods to avoid during breastfeeding
- Mothers with a family history of allergies should stay away from certain foods to avoid allergic reactions in the baby’s body while breastfeeding. Red pepper and fish are also found allergic and should be avoided or eaten in moderation.
- It is good to avoid or limit caffeine as it causes the baby to be irritable and have sleep problems. As an alternative to coffee, you may drink green tea, black tea, or other herbal as it has less amount of caffeine. Licorice tea, Siberian Ginseng tea, and Yerba Mate tea are good examples of herbal tea.
- It is common knowledge that spicy or gassy foods cause wind, so it is better avoided during breastfeeding.
- Avoid alcohol while breastfeeding as it is safe for your baby.
The general diet plan should take care of the nutritional needs of the nursing mother and at the same time prevents unwanted weight gain.