A breastfeeding diet is the appropriate regimen of food and vitamins that a nursing mother needs to take in, for maintaining her health and the nutritive content of her milk; in this way also maintaining the health of her baby. The average output of mother’s milk is from 23 to 27 ounces daily, each quart containing roughly 300 mg. of calcium. Your breastfeeding diet should address the production of this milk and give you a minimum of 500 calories over the average, normal caloric output.
In the post-natal period of maternity, as it was during pregnancy, the body is without mercy when it comes to providing for the baby’s needs. Before anything else, it concentrates on producing milk for the baby even if the mother’s needs should go unmet. The quality and the quantity of mother’s milk remains more or less constant, regardless of the state of nutrition of the mother. If the nursing mother does not take in enough food in her breastfeeding diet to make up for the accelerated consumption and utilization of nutrients and energy during this period, she will get sick.
Here are a few pointers on a healthy breastfeeding diet:
1. Increase your water consumption to up to one quart more daily. Nursing mothers tend to get very thirsty because much of their water goes to milk production.
2. Eat one gram of protein daily per pound of body weight. Avoid sweets and junk food.
3. Eat equal amounts five times a day, breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and midnight snack. This will make sure that the nutrients in your milk always appear in more or less the same levels.
4. Your breastfeeding diet contraindicates nicotine If you must smoke leave a time span of one hour between your puffing in smoke and your eating so that the nicotine is not absorbed into the food.
5. Again, if you must drink alcohol or beer while on a breastfeeding diet should be done after feeding your baby. Alcohol slows down the baby’s development.
6. Seek the advice of your doctor before taking any medication. Chemicals with iodine, many antibiotics, laxatives, are among the drugs that are dangerous to the baby. Protracted use of any drug is also contraindicated while breastfeeding feeding.
7. Allergies and intolerances should be watched out for. Take extra care to avoid substances and foods to which you are intolerant or allergic. If you have allergies, avoid places where you can come in contact with them. Food allergies may occur in public restaurants where you will not know the ingredients that went into the preparation of the dishes.
8. Your breastfeeding diet should include foods that can supply the needs of the infant’s developing nervous system. Ask a dietitian about foods with essential fatty acids.
9. Do not neglect your vitamins. If your doctor prescribed some prenatal supplements, they will also be good for a breastfeeding diet.
Featured Image: Today