Breast Feeding: 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?

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.

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. 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.

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.