Breastfeeding is the most organic and primitive method of mother-baby interactions, it also has numerous health benefits; for both, mother and baby. Breastfeeding has been related to lower ear infections, stronger bones and higher IQs in babies.
The right diet for Breastfeeding Mother
- An ideal diet for a breastfeeding mother is a well-balanced diet consisting of starchy foods, like bread, potato, pasta and rice.
- Along with starchy foods, dairy produce, like a yogurt or a glass of milk and protein, like lean meat, fish, eggs, or pulses.
- A breastfeeding mom needs 500 calories more than mothers who don’t.
- Your breastfeeding needs to have a total of 2,000 to 2,500 calories.
Here are some common food items for breastfeeding mothers with their calorific value –
|Item||Quantity||Calorific Value (approx.)|
|Bread slice with butter||1||90|
|Cooked rice/plain||1 Cup||120|
|Milk with sugar||1 Cup||75|
Foods that help to increase breastmilk
Some of the superfoods that help a breastfeeding mom to ensure a wholesome diet for their breastfed babies are:
- Most pediatricians recommend oatmeal to boost milk supply in breastfeeding moms.
- Oatmeal assists breastfeeding mothers to lower their cholesterol and promotes a healthy blood pressure.
- These properties of the oatmeal help mothers with several functions in the body including lactation.
- Oatmeal is said to be a comfort food. It helps the mother to relax, causing the body to release oxytocin – A hormone that is involved in milk production.
Spinach and Beet Leaves
Effect of alcohol and caffeine on breastfeeding mothers
Drinking alcohol while breastfeeding
- Along with this, new mothers need to understand that drinking alcohol and breastfeeding is never a good idea. While having drinks in moderate quantities (1-2 drinks per week) is permissible, one should always remember that the amount of alcohol that makes into your bloodstream is bound to make through your breast milk.
- Studies have shown that alcohol has visible effects on your baby’s sleeping and eating patterns. This is because a baby’s ability to digest alcohol is much less than that of a grown up adult. While the babies, who are breastfed after drinking, might become drowsy and sleep quickly; the naps are generally short.
- While the true effect of alcohol on breastfeeding infants remains unknown, it is safer to refrain from drinking while breastfeeding; at least for the first three months.
Along with alcohol, it is suggested that breastfeeding mothers keep a check on their caffeine intake.
Caffeine and breastfeeding
- While less than 1 percent of caffeine enters the breast milk, it is advised that caffeine should be avoided for the first three months as it is very hard for a baby’s digestive system to break down and get rid of coffee.
- According to experts, moderate intake of coffee (300 milligrams per day) is fine, however, drinking more than 3 cups might cause an issue. Your baby could become irritable, jittery or agitated along with some alterations in his sleeping pattern.
- Compared to its counterparts, green tea is, by far, the least affecting when it comes to breastfeeding. With the caffeine free variants available, green tea should be your ‘go-to’ option. Some of these being: white tea, chamomile tea, ginger tea, peppermint tea, dandelion and rose hips.
You may also want to know about drinking bottle gourd and amla juice daily while breastfeeding.
Staying fit while breastfeeding
While the urge of losing extra weight is understandable, it is advised that breastfeeding mothers don’t lose weight by dieting for at least two months. A reduced calorie diet would bring down your energy and diminish your milk supply.
The key to being on the road to fitness lies in being active, staying hydrated and listening to your body.
Got any more breastfeeding diet tips? Make sure to drop them down in the comments section!