World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. I attended a great informative session organised by Apollo cradle. The speakers, who were Dr. Geeta Chadha ( senior obstetrician and gynaecologist) and Dr. Vanada Sarkar ( lactation consultant) shared and discussed a few extremely important points.
Breastfeeding is the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need. It is recommended exclusively breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is 6 months old. Nutritious complementary foods should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2 years or beyond.
New mothers sometimes get so engrossed in doing all the right things for their new baby that they forget to take adequate care of themselves, which is the most important. What they don’t realize is that taking good care of themselves is directly related to their baby’s health, especially during breastfeeding. What the mother has at this time, directly or indirectly reaches the child. Here are some dos and don’ts to guide new mothers through this special and new phase of their life. Here are a few things you need to take care of
• Consume a balanced diet: A breastfeeding mother needs to consume an adequate and balanced diet. There is an extra demand for nutrients, especially to secrete sufficient quantity and quality of milk and to safeguard your own health. Your requirement for energy increases since you need additional calories for producing milk. Some nutrients are also needed in extra amounts like protein, calcium,and a lot of other important vitamins.
• Eat at least 3 nutritious meals a day: Mothers can get hungry easily while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a natural way to lose weight, since lactation mobilizes fat in your body.
Aim for regular meals and two to three light snacks a day as part of your lactation diet. Do not skip meals, particularly breakfast. Some snacking options include fruit smoothies, a handful of nuts, veg rolls, sandwiches, fruits, etc.
• Drink plenty of fluids: Breastfeeding every two to four hours can be dehydrating. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water which is an integral part of your lactation diet. Fluids also help to keep up milk production. Consume milk, fruit juices and soups. Reduce caffeine intake by cutting down on coffee, tea, aerated drinks. It was a tad bit difficult for me to do so but yes I did.
• Iron: Iron is required to fulfill additional demands in breast milk. Iron rich foods include pulses , green leafy vegetables, watermelons, eggs, red meat etc.
• Exercise: Incorporating some moderate exercises like brisk walking or swimming three times a week, will keep you fit and happy.
• Unwind and relax: Always remember to take time out for a spa treatment or massages that will help you to de-stress and keep calm.
• Limit foods high in sugar and fat: Cut down on high fat and high sugar foods like potato crisps, chocolates, cakes and soft drinks. These foods are full of “empty” calories
• Do not diet during breastfeeding: Dieting during breastfeeding might reduce the quantity and quality of your milk. To lose your pregnancy weight, limit the intake of foods that are high in fat and sugar.
• Avoid alcohol: Alcohol passes quickly into breast milk and can affect your baby. So basically it’s a big NO
• Food safety: Be particularly careful with food hygiene. Avoid foods that carry a high risk of contamination. Try to minimize your exposure to contaminants like pesticides, insecticides, etc. in your food. Consume local and seasonal products. Drink filtered water.
I hope you found this blog to be useful. If you did then please let me know in the comments below.
HAPPY BREASTFEEDING TO ALL NEW MOMS..