Breast Feeding FAQ’s: Tips And Doubts Of lactating Mothers

Breast feeding is one of the great feeling in the world. Every women should breast feed their babies to ensure their health. If you are a breast-feeding mother, you are giving nutrients that will promote baby growth and health. Many mothers might have some doubts and questions, about what foods and drinks are best for you and how your diet might increase your breast milk nutrition.

Breastmilk is the ideal food for infants. As milk contains antibodies, it is safe and clean which help to protect many common child illnesses. Breastmilk only provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life.

Let us clear some of our doubts and understand the basics of breast-feeding nutrition.

Do I need to eat extra calories while breast-feeding?

Yes, you might need to eat a little more calories compared to a normal women, about an additional 330 to 400 calories are required per a day. These extra calories helps to give you the energy and to meet your daily nutritional needs.

On average, a lactating women should take 2000 t0 2800 kcal per day. The number of additional calories needed for an individual breastfeeding woman is also affected by her age, body mass index(BMI) and activity level. The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) Calculator provided for Healthcare Professionals external icon can be used to estimate calorie needs based on sex, age, height, weight, activity level, and pregnancy and lactation status.

What foods should I eat while breast-feeding?

Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed your baby, and it’s one of the best things you can do for your baby. It provides all the nutrients your baby needs in the first six months. It is important to make sure that you are getting enough calories and nutrients to keep up your strength for breastfeeding.

Here are some tips on how to make sure you’re getting enough calories and nutrients:

Try different foods to see what works best for you and your baby. Try different cooking methods, such as roasting vegetables or making a stew. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water or milk. Eat small meals often so that you don’t get too hungry between meals. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables in order to keep your digestive system running smoothly.

Focusing on the health of lactating mothers, making healthy food choices help to fuel your milk production. You should have protein-rich foods, such as lean meat, eggs, dairy, poultry, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and seafood low in mercury. Choose a variety of whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables. The flavor of your breast milk will change when you take variety of foods. So, that your baby can easily get habituated to different tastes, which might help them to easily accept solid foods.

Should mothers take a multivitamin while breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding mothers should take multivitamins to meet RDA values. These multivitamins are helpful for your baby to get all of the vitamins they need, your health care provider might recommend continuing to take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement until you wean your baby. When you use these as prenatal multivitamins continuously, it may lead to excess iron and folic acid.

This is a common question for mothers and it is important to be informed about the risks and benefits of taking a multivitamin while breastfeeding.

The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers take 400 micrograms of vitamin D per day. However, this recommendation does not include a multivitamin.

Prenatal vitamins: When you decided to conceive, you should start taking multivitamins at least one month before to pregnancy. Vitamins taken during this period are known as prenatal vitamins. But keep in mind that, prenatal vitamins may also exceed iron and folic acid levels in breastfeeding mother. Consult your doctor before start using multivitamins and minerals.

However, diet alone doesn’t give you adequate nutrients, these may not be sufficient for pregnant and lactating women. We have some people, who take vegan diet, they may not get adequate nutrients through their diet alone and may be closer for nutritional deficiencies.  In addition, the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) amount of a vitamin or mineral (such as iodine and choline) increase while breastfeeding, but it is not possible only through diet. In these cases, breastfeeding mothers may benefit from taking a multivitamin supplement.

How much fluid do I need while breast-feeding?

Breastfeeding mothers have too many doubts about their diet. Apart from that, fluid intake is also a big doubt to breast feeders. Breastfeeding is a natural process that requires a lot of energy from the mother. This is why it is important for her to drink enough fluids.

In order to maintain a healthy weight, mothers should drink at least 2 liters of water per day. But they also need to take into account the amount of milk they will be producing. If a woman produces 1 liter of milk per day, she will need to drink 3 liters per day in total. If she produces 2 liters, she needs 4 liters and so on.

Every individual should drink 8 glasses of water to maintain regular health. Likewise, breastfeeding mothers should drink water normally. Drink any fluid when you are thirsty and drink more if your urine appears dark yellow. You might drink a glass of water or another beverage every time you breastfeed. Be sure to limit sugary drinks and juices which may cause weight gain, also decrease your caffeine intake to 2 cups a day. More caffeine in your breast milk might interrupt baby’s sleep.

What are the Foods to be avoid while breast-feeding?

Certain foods and drinks may cause some problems to your baby and allergic reactions while you’re breast-feeding. These are not common and sure for every breast feeding mother, it depends upon their body type and their allergies Here are some foods that should be limited or avoided during breastfeeding:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Coffee
  3. Chocolate
  4. Fish rich in mercury
  5. Citrus foods
  6. Peanuts
  7. Dairy products
  8. Raw vegetables
  9. Processed foods
  10. Caffeinated drinks
  • Alcohol consumption is not at all recommended during breastfeeding. If you have to consume alcohol, make sure to pump your breast milk to feed your baby later or don’t feed your baby up to 2 or 3 hours after drinking alcohol.
  • Although seafood is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, many seafood fishes may contains mercury or other contaminants. Exposure to excessive amounts of mercury through breast milk can risk your baby’s developing nervous system. So, avoid fishes including swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.

Tips for lactating mothers:

It is important to be aware of the physical and emotional changes that happen during this time. You may experience a decrease in energy, an increase in vaginal discharge, and a change in your mood.

  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • Eat healthy foods to get the nutrients you need.
  • Try not to skip meals or snacks because this can make you feel tired and weaken your immune system.
  • Exercise regularly to stay healthy and maintain strength.
  • Take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, taking baths or showers every day, and wearing clean clothes that are comfortable for you.

Here are answers to clear few doubts For lactating mother:

This section will cover the doubts of a lactating mother. The section will also provide a list of questions and answers for the reader to refer to if they have any doubts.

1) How long can I breastfeed my baby?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, then adding other foods while continuing to breastfeed up until one year old.

2) Can I drink alcohol while breastfeeding?

No, it is not safe to drink alcohol while breastfeeding. Alcohol can pass through breast milk and could harm your baby.

3) How often should I nurse my baby?

It is recommended that you nurse your baby every 2-3 hours or 8-12 times per day during the first few weeks after birth and then about 8-12 times per day during the first few weeks after birth and then about 6-8 times per day.

Summary

Breastmilk is the ideal food for infants. As milk contains antibodies, it is safe and clean which help to protect many common child illnesses. Breastmilk only provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life. Breastfeeding mothers should drink water normally. Drink any fluid when you are thirsty and drink more if your urine appears dark yellow. You might drink a glass of water or another beverage every time you breastfeed. Be sure to limit sugary drinks and juices which may cause weight gain, also decrease your caffeine intake to 2 cups a day. More caffeine in your breast milk might interrupt baby’s sleep.