Food during lactation should be rich in energy, lipids, proteins and vitamins, in order to meet the needs of the baby and the mother during this period.
Breastfeeding is a period of a woman’s life in which she must offer the most suitable food for the baby’s needs, breast milk, which makes it necessary to adapt the mother’s diet to optimally cover her needs and those of the baby. newborn , without putting the health of both at risk.
When breastfeeding the baby, the demand for nutrients increases because, during these months, part of the nutrients obtained from the diet are used for the production of breast milk. The mother who has decided to breastfeed must know the factors that influence milk production and its quality .
As long as you offer food through your breasts to your baby , your body will be exposed to a huge energy expenditure. This is when your body uses the fat reserves that you have stored during pregnancy . Many women wonder if they should follow a special diet during this time, but it is not necessary to make major changes in diet, you just have to keep in mind some dietary recommendations .
DIET TIPS IF YOU ARE BREASTFEEDING
As a general rule, most women who offer food to their child through their breasts need 200 to 500 calories more than women who do not. This means consuming about 2,000-2,700 calories each day . There are factors that determine how many calories you should eat, such as your current weight, how active you are, and how often you breastfeed.
This increase in calorie consumption does not mean eating uncontrollably , but you must control your diet and make it more concentrated in nutrients to achieve your goal: to meet the increased caloric needs of the mother and the nutritional requirements of the baby . Spread meals throughout the day, about 4-6 times a day. Varied diet .
Increase the intake of fluids, 2-3 liters a day. Moderate your salt intake . Avoid salted foods, pickles, sausages, oriental food, envelope soups, precooked … Meat, poultry, fish and eggs: Both at lunch and dinner there should be some food from this group . Include fish (white and blue) at least two or three times a week. Lean meats: beef, chicken (without skin), turkey, rabbit, quail, pork tenderloin and sirloin. Take 3 or 4 eggs a week.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR DIET, THE RESULTS WILL BE REMARKABLE FOR YOU AND THE BABY
Cook with olive oil. Control the snacking of sweet or fatty foods . If you are hungry between meals, choose skimmed dairy, fruit, toast … Do not smoke or drink alcohol . In some cases it is recommended to continue with prenatal supplements or with vitamin and mineral supplements , at least the first few months. It will depend on each case and the doctor’s advice.
BENEFITS OF A DIET ADAPTED TO BREASTFEEDING
Breast milk provides nutrients that promote the growth and health of the baby. However, the mother’s diet directly influences the milk it generates . In this way, the woman must adapt her diet so that her milk has the most suitable qualities for feeding the baby.
Dividing the meals and having them varied will help improve blood glucose levels and control the mother’s hunger pangs. Monitoring water intake is very important , since breast milk is composed mainly of water, hence the needs when breastfeeding are increased. It also helps to improve intestinal transit, preventing the appearance of constipation and hemorrhoids, reduces fluid retention and contributes to the reduction of stretch marks .
When breastfeeding, the increase in protein in the diet must be considerable, especially those of high biological value, which is why it is important to take eggs, since egg protein is one of the most complete. The fatty acids that fish provide, especially Omega-3s, are very important for the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system , and the best source is the breast milk that you offer from your breasts when breastfeeding. The fiber obtained from fruits and vegetables helps the mother with constipation that still persists for some time after delivery.
The calcium intake is increased as it is a fundamental element for the baby’s bone mineralization . In addition, breastfeeding for the mother improves bone density and protects against osteoporotic fractures. Vitamin D is also essential for bone growth and overall maternal health . It also helps absorb calcium. Another of the minerals with the highest demand is phosphorus and iodine, important for their participation in bone mineralization, dental and neurological development of the baby .
PROBLEMS FOR YOU AND THE BABY IF YOU DON’T WATCH YOUR DIET
It is fortunate that breast milk meets the nutritional needs of the baby even if the mother is not feeding properly . However, a low-calorie diet, a strict postpartum weight loss diet or focusing only on the intake of a single food group excluding the rest, can not only affect the amount of milk produced by your breasts, but also its quality . Also, just because your baby is not affected by the mother’s nutritional deficiencies does not mean that it does not affect the mother .
AVOID ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE TO AVOID INFLUENCING THE QUALITY OF THE MILK
Some types of fish are not recommended due to their high content of mercury, which is harmful to the baby , they are shark, swordfish, canned albacore tuna, grouper and emperor fish.
Some foods with strong flavors such as garlic, onions, asparagus, artichokes, spices …, can make the baby gas or irritated. You will notice because he will be more irritated after the feeding, crying without stopping or sleeping little .
In the case of a family history of food allergies, and given that the baby is at greater risk of suffering from it, it is advisable to limit the intake of cow’s milk, eggs, oily fish, cocoa and peanuts, due to their high allergic potential .
Eating a hypocaloric diet to lose weight can be dangerous for the baby because losing weight quickly releases toxins that reach the blood and pass into the milk .
Taking care of your diet during breastfeeding is as important as doing it during pregnancy. The health of both will thank you .
Dr. Tabriella Perivolaris, Sara's mother and fan of fashion, beauty, motherhood, among others, about the female universe. Since 2018 she has been working as a copywriter, always bringing to her articles a little of her experience and experience as a mother and woman.