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During pregnancy, you are advised to eat a lot of healthy nutritious foods. However what most women do not realize is that it is after the birth of the newborn and during breastfeeding that you should take the most care of your diet.
Your breastfeeding diet not only affects the quantity of milk produced but also makes a significant difference in the quality of milk produced.
Breast milk is a rich source of vitamins, iron, nutrients and enzymes that help in building the immune system of the child and developing his digestive system. It aids in cell growth and allows your baby to grow. While nursing, a woman produces around 25 to 27 ounces of breast milk.
To produce this milk your body requires around 500 calories of food intake. This however does not mean that you add junk food or sugary snacks to increase the calories. The type of food a mother eats impacts the quality of breast milk and the nutrition that the child subsequently receives.
The excess calories required during breastfeeding should be derived from a nutritious well balanced diet. Eat a lot of fruits like apples, plums, berries and vegetables in your diet.
Ensure that the foods in your breastfeeding diet include a mix of complex carbohydrates like whole wheat and grains. Calcium rich foods such as low fat yogurt and cheese along with proteins and good fats like olive oil, canola oil, olives and avocadoes should also form an integral part of your diet.
Foods rich in DHA such as salmon and sardines are also essential addition to the diet. It is advisable to eat fish in moderation. Shark, swordfish, mackerel and other fish containing high amounts of mercury should be restricted. Vitamin B9 and foods rich in folic acid such as spinach, asparagus, beet, chickpeas should be an essential part of your diet.
Include a lot of fluid in the diet. While breastfeeding the body loses a considerable amount of fluid. This has to be replenished with regular intake of water, juices and other fluid. Stay away from caffeine drinks like coffee, tea and soda that can result in stomach upsets in babies.
Certain foods like cow’s milk, eggs, chocolates, citrus fruits, garlic and certain spices are known to produce gas in breastfeeding babies. Avoid these foods till the symptoms disappear.
Cigarette smoking and alcohol are a strict no while breastfeeding. The tobacco increases the nicotine levels in the body and causes restlessness, vomiting and respiratory troubles in the newborn.
Similarly alcohol can result in developmental troubles in babies. Medications should be taken only after consulting the doctor. With these simple tips you can ensure that your baby gets the adequate nutrition and stays happy and healthy.