Follow These Diet Tips To Meet Maternal Nutrient Requirements During Lactation
Celebrity nutritionist in her recent Instagram post said, "Nutritional demands during lactation are high and can have a negative impact on both infant and the mother if they are not met."
The primary function of lactation is to provide nutrition and immune protection to the child.
- Initially the baby gets all the nutrition from mother's milk
- You must include nuts, eggs, green vegetables to your diet
- You must avoid alcohol as it can pass to breast milk and then to the baby
What is lactation? Lactation is the secretion of milk from the mammary glands and the period when a mother lactates to feed her child. The primary function of lactation is to provide nutrition and immune protection to the young after birth. The nutrition during this period is essential for both the baby and mother. During the first few months the baby delivers all the nutrition from the mother's milk. Thus, the nutrition for mother is extremely important. What a mother eats determines the energy, protein, nutrient and vitamin content of the breast milk as well. Celebrity nutritionist in her recent Instagram post said, "Nutritional demands during lactation are high and can have a negative impact on both infant and the mother if they are not met." Therefore, lactating mothers requires larger quantities of body building foods such as proteins and protective foods like vitamins and minerals and additional energy yielding foods i.e. carbohydrates and fats to facilitate the formation and secretion of breast milk.
Also some food items known as galactogogues stimulate an increase in milk production.
Some of the galactogogues foods are as follows:
1. Fenugreek seeds
Take in powdered form along with 1/2 tablespoon of milk or water. You should have this thrice a day.
2. Cumin seeds
You can add cumin seeds in your curd or vegetables. You can also take in powdered form along with water or milk.
3. Fennel seeds (saunf)
These seeds can be added to your tea or even after your meal. Powdered fennel seeds can be taken with lukewarm water. These seeds are great for digestion as well.
4. Barely (jaun)
Barely flour can be simply mixed with normal flour in 50-50 ratio.
This can be taken in the form of sago khichdi, sago kheere or sago tikki.
You can add garlic to your tea or can have it with lukewarm water. Garlic helps in lowering high blood pressure and is great for your immunity as well.
Oats flour can be added in normal flour in 50-50 ratio or one can have salted oats with lots of vegetables. Oats are rich in fiber and proteins which help in weight loss as well. Oatmeal can be perfect for early morning breakfast.
Healthy nuts like almonds, dates, raisins, munacca (black currants) and pistachios are rich in proteins, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. You can have it as a snack or include in your salads or smoothies.
9. Green vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, mustard leaves are rich in minerals like calcium, iron, vitamin C to support breastfeeding and encourage milk production.
10. Whole grains
Certain whole grains like wheat, rice, bajra and ragi are the best sources of energy for lactating mother. Especially bajra is rich in magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorous and ragi is very high in calcium, thus these grains are beneficial for the lactating mother and must be included in their diet.
1 full egg is recommended for lactating mothers due to Vitamin D and the protein content present in it.
12. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits and berries should be consumed as they are full of antioxidants and fiber which helps to regulate mother's and babies bowel movements post birth.
13. Healthy drinks
Ample amount of fluids should be consumed as it is essential for quantity of milk production.
Apart from these diet tips it is advised for a lactating mother to avoid:
- Highly spiced and strongly flavored food as they impact to the flavor of breast milk which may be repulsive to the baby
- Alcohol as it can pass to breast milk and then to the baby
- Smoking as it affects the growth of the baby, also the vitamin C content of milk decreases and also it harms the lungs of baby as well
- Excess of tea, coffee and cold drinks as caffeine and tenants can pass into breast milk and can cause hyperactivity and sleeping problems in baby
- Also check with the medications intake with the doctor as they can also pass into the milk
Good nutrition is also very important after pregnancy and lactation period to ensure good health of you and your baby. Food preferences and eating habits are developed in early childhood and are often carried into adulthood.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information, health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems like diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, weight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.