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Health Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers

Puneet Kaur

Puneet Kaur
09 January 2021

This article is written by Puneet Kaur. She is a well-known nutritionist, fitness enthusiast and a lifestyle changer. An army wife, a mom and the CEO of 'Its Healthy Moms', she focuses on the overall wellness of women.

The food you eat when you are lactating does affect your body as well as your growing baby. Breastfeeding diet can be confusing sometimes; How much to eat? Which foods to avoid? How will your diet affect the baby? You might be pondering, why it is so important to stick to a healthy, nutrient-dense diet while breastfeeding. In addition to promoting your overall health, a healthy diet is essential for ensuring that your baby is getting all the nutrients they need for their growth and development.

Diet Tips for Breastfeeding

Methi leaves have a number of nutrients that are crucial for health.

100g of Kasuri Methi gives:

New mothers usually need more calories to fulfil their nutritional requirements while breastfeeding. While women are advised to consume around 350 extra calories per day during pregnancy, this number increases during the time they breastfeed their infants. Thus, lactating mothers require an additional 600 calories per day during the first six months in their diet after delivery, and 520 calories for the next six months as the baby will also be taking other foods. To get all the essential nutrients while breastfeeding, it is necessary to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. The food groups that must be consumed and avoided at this juncture are elaborated ahead.

Whole Grains

Go for a variety of whole grains like oats, barley, quinoa, and whole wheat flour.

FruitsFenugreek Leaves Nutrition

Have two servings of fruit every day. Try to include one citrus fruit in your diet along with banana, mango, and melons. Having apricots and dates can raise prolactin levels. Prolactin is the hormone that signals body to produce milk.

Vegetables

Include three servings of a variety of vegetables, especially leafy greens, peas, sweet potato, pumpkin, and carrots.

Protein-filled foods

Opt for protein-rich foods 2-3 times every day. These can be like eggs, meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, dals and beans like chana and rajma. You may also try the Tata Sampann Jeera Sattu. This is made with 100% unpolished Chana Dal. Also, it does not have any other mix of powders/flours. It is naturally high in protein and minerals like zinc, iron & phosphorus. Also, it is a source of manganese and potassium.

Milk

Both pregnancy as well as breastfeeding can leach calcium from the bones. Milk and milk products are superb sources of calcium. Hence, preferably go for cow's milk, curd, and paneer.

Iodine-rich foods

Iodine supports the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Your little one depends completely on your feed as a source of iodine. Lack of iodine in breastfeeding mothers can be a risk for babies. Thus do have enough iodine rich foods like dairy products. You should also include iodised salts, such as Tata Salt, in your diet.

Water

Drink water whenever you feel thirsty. Your body demands extra fluids while breastfeeding in order to stay hydrated. Best is to drink a glass of water every time you feed. Increase intake of water, even more if the colour of your urine is yellowish.

What to Avoid

Restrict beverages including caffeine and those with added sugars. Caffeine in your milk might bother your baby by interfering with his/ her sleep. There isn't any level of alcohol in breast milk that is considered safe for a baby. The safest choice for breastfeeding mothers is not to have any alcoholic beverages. Limit consumption of fish and seafood that may contain mercury.

Breastfeeding will certainly bring countless challenges and many changes to your life. Hence, stay calm and take care of yourself while nourishing your baby



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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Your baby’s first solids: How your infant can shift smoothly from breastmilk to other foods

Dr. Dharini Krishnan

Dr. Dharini Krishnan
09 January 2021

This article is authored by Dr. Dharini Krishnan, an award-winning Consultant Dietitian, she believes that for a healthy body and mind, we must combine modern medicine with native Indian practices which are proven to benefit us.

Every step of raising an infant is fraught with stress, as parents agonize over whether they are making the right decisions. One of the biggest transitions parents worry over is the shift from breast milk to solid foods.

Fortunately, the process can be easy and comfortably managed if parents follow a few simple strategies.

Infant growth and nutrition

Eat Breakfast

The first year of a baby’s life is a time of rapid and intense growth. Usually, the baby doubles its birth weight at about six months and triples it at about one year. All of the physiological systems of the infant body undergo rapid growth. The baby’s height also increases by about 10-12 inches in the first year after birth.

Brain development is another crucial area of rapid growth. Infants are born with 100-200 billion neurons or nerve cells, but these are not fully mature. During infancy and toddlerhood, the brain forms thousands of connections between its nerve cells.

Infants also develop several sensory and motor reflexes, as well as motor skills related to crawling, standing and walking.

All of these developments require large amounts of energy, as well as a range of nutrients. While breast milk forms a necessary part of the infant diet, therefore, it is not sufficient by itself.

Transitioning from breastmilk to solid foods

Skin Care

Shifting to solid foods is a gradual and progressive process that can be carried out in a series of well-planned steps. The first food infants can be introduced to are grains in the form of porridge, since they provide energy in the form of carbohydrates to fuel the infant’s growth. In south India, ragi is often preferred because it is a rich source of calcium, iron and protein, besides providing carbohydrates. These grains have to be dehusked by soaking, grinding and straining to make them easy to digest.

Next, infants can be introduced to a new vegetable every week. Parents can begin with carrots and watery vegetables, followed by beans, and finally leading up to cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. With fruits, parents can start with stewed apple, followed by mashed ripe bananas, and then other soft fruits. Harder fruits should be blended before being fed to infants.

With proteins, green gram dal is the best to start with, while some proteins like chana dal should preferably be given only after one year. Non-vegetarian proteins like egg, fish and chicken can also be started after the first year.

If breastfeeding is stopped after the first year for any reason, cow’s milk or curd can be given. Once the child reaches the age of one, he or she can eat most of the foods that the rest of the family eats, provided nothing is too oily or spicy.

In terms of preparation, parents should start with pureed or mashed foods, followed by food cut into very tiny pieces. Eventually, they can move to finger foods and then hard foods such as small apple pieces or boiled beans.

Feeding fussy children

For many parents, children growing fussy about eating is a major cause for concern. However, many children become fussy when parents focus too much attention on the feeding process in some way. When children start sitting up, they should be encouraged to pick up pieces of their food and eat it themselves. They should also be encouraged to sit and eat with the rest of the family from the first year onwards. If they learn from other members of the family to eat different varieties of foods, they are likely to develop healthy eating habits. On the other hand, if parents try to only feed children particular foods that they initially develop a liking for, they are more likely to grow fussy.

Transitioning from breastmilk to solid foods can seem a complex and difficult task for many parents. However, there are a few simple strategies that parents can follow to simply things for themselves and their babies. Done right, introducing children to solid foods can be a joyous experience of discovery for parent and child.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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