Foods to Eat When Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding means the body of a breastfeeding mother prepares milk for the baby throughout the day. This internal process requires a lot of energy throughout the day and that is why lactating mothers feel hungry from time to time. But the solution is not to overeat, but to take nutritious and healthy diet. Yes, for a healthy breastfeeding, mother’s attention should be focused on what she should eat, how much she should eat.
Hence, it is advisable for a lactating mother to consume healthy and nutritious foods. However, there are many foods that should not be taken by a breastfeeding mother. Breastfeeding mothers deliver nutrients from food to their baby along with milk through their breasts to ensure their health and development. Therefore, mothers should pay more attention to healthy food choices to increase their milk yield.
One of the best food for lactating mothers is the post-delivery special home made laddus, which are prepared in most households across India. These laddus are made from panjiri, gum, dry fruits, ghee, dry ginger, turmeric etc. These ingredients help lactating mothers to regain their lost strength. On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week 2021, what should or should not be eaten by a breastfeeding mother from fitness expert and dietician Manisha.
Foods to Eat When Breastfeeding
Legumes contain proteins, minerals, vitamins and phytoestrogens. They are not only rich in nutrients but also help in milk production. Similarly, lentils and moong dal are also known as galactagogu or milk secretion agents. Although beans like kidney beans, chickpeas, pies, etc. are also healthy and are consumed by lactating mothers worldwide, they promote colic in the baby and are generally not recommended by doctors in India.
2. Green vegetables
Green vegetables like Parwal, Gourd are easily digested and are good for the health of lactating mothers and they help in developing good eating habits in case the baby eats few solids. They also contain phytoestrogen, which helps in the production of milk in the mother’s body. Avoid eating vegetables like cabbage and broccoli, as they can increase the problem of gas and may cause stomach pain in the baby.
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Seeds contain all the nutrients that are necessary for the development of the baby. Seeds contain other nutritious foods that lactating mothers should include in their diet. They are rich in protein, zinc, iron, calcium as well as many healthy fats. For example, chia seeds and flaxseeds must be consumed by a breastfeeding mother.
Turmeric is used by mothers worldwide as a lactogen, although there is no scientific evidence for this. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful in the growth and health of lactating mothers. They also help prevent breast enlargement and unnecessary shape changes and boost the immunity of both the mother and her baby.
These are another important source of nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin K and vitamin B. They are also rich in proteins and essential fatty acids. In addition to their excellent nutritional profile, they are used worldwide as lactogen foods.
Foods to Avoid When Breastfeeding
1. Tea and Coffee
Lactating mothers prefer to have a cup of hot coffee or tea in the morning as they are unable to get a good night’s sleep while feeding their baby. However, they should be careful when consuming caffeinated foods, as they reduce milk in their breast. This makes it challenging to get restful sleep for both mother and baby. Their underdeveloped system may also not be helpful in digesting caffeine effectively.
Yes, chocolate is also a caffeinated food that can interfere with their sleep. While it is important to consume chocolate in moderation, it should not be consumed in excess.
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The milk produced in a mother’s breast may depend on the flavor of the food she eats. While kids generally love it, but garlic flavored milk can sometimes not be liked by them. Therefore, if a lactating mother has recently consumed a large amount of garlic-rich food, her baby may refuse to drink milk, as it has more garlic flavor.
Although fish is the main source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, it is advised that lactating mothers should consume it in moderation. Certain types of fish, such as king mackerel and swordfish, are high in mercury that can enter the baby’s body through milk. If you are a fish lover, choose fish varieties with low mercury and low risk of bacteria and parasites.
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