When you become a mother, your entire world revolves around what is best for your baby; as you prioritise your baby’s needs and health, you may neglect yourself if you spend all your waking hours caring for your children.
Many breastfeeding mothers are concerned about how the foods they consume will affect their breast milk. However, keep in mind that the quality of your food and the number of fluids you drink will affect the quantity of breast milk you produce. This, in turn, will directly impact your baby’s nutrition and well-being.
As a result, you must adhere to a sensible diet, which may require you to avoid certain foods to prevent digestive problems or allergies in your baby. one that contains essential food elements to keep you healthy and well.
Diet Plan for Lactating Mother
First-time mothers are often more concerned and skeptical about what to eat and avoid while breastfeeding; believe me, this is entirely normal.
They begin to be extremely cautious of their diet plan, ensuring that it contains all the nutrition required for the baby. This article by Care for Child will highlight some points that will assist a new mother in maintaining a healthy diet during lactation.
What to Eat
1. Increase your Protein Intake
You will be required to consume more proteins while lactating. During the first 6 months of breastfeeding, the daily requirement is approximately 75 gm. As you supplement breast milk with weaning foods, your protein requirement should fall by 7 gm, or to around 68 gm per day.
Include the protein-rich foods listed below in your diet:
1. Dals like moong dal, Toovar Dal, Masoor Dal, etc. Also, consider adding pulses such as Rajma, Chawli, Moong and others to your diet
2. Milk, paneer, curds etc., as a dairy diet
3. Almonds and walnuts
2. Learn about energy and fats
During the first 6 months of lactation, you should consume at least 2400 to 2700 kcal per day. This is because your body’s energy requirements are higher because you will exclusively breastfeed your newborn baby. However, when you begin feeding by introducing variety into your baby’s diet during the last 6 months, you will breastfeed less frequently, reducing your daily energy requirement to 2250 to 2550 kcal.
Lactation reduces your energy reserves and consumes 3500 kcal per day. As a result, you will burn more calories than you consume. What causes this? A new mother begins using up the resources created during pregnancy, which is a natural way to lose the extra kilos gained during that time, given you eat wisely.
Fat is a concentrated energy source; you need at least 45 gm per day while lactating. This moderate fat is required to supplement your maternal stores to achieve optimal breast milk secretion. However, if you overdo it and eat too many ghee-rich items such as halwa or laddoos, you may pack more weight. So, I would like to practice exercises regularly.
Take care to supplement your diet with nutritious foods such as:
1. Cereals such as wheat, bajra, jowar, and others.
2. Fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. Dals and pulses like moong dal, Matki, etc.
4. Dairy products like milk, Paneer and Curds
3. Consume Enough Iron Content
This is a necessary component of haemoglobin, transports oxygen to our cells. Although breast milk is a poor source of iron, you need 30 mg of iron per day to keep your haemoglobin levels stable. Consume the following foods to meet your iron requirements:
1. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cowpea leaves, fenugreek, etc.
2. Nuts like almonds and walnuts, oilseeds like sesame seeds (til) and garden cress seeds.
3. Dried fruits like raisins, dates, and so on.
4. Whole grain cereals and pulses like bajra, jowar, cowpeas, and dried peas