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Diet and Nutrition for Breast feeding

Dr. HK
Aug. 2, 2011

Expert Medical Counsellor 

Diet & Nutrition for Breast Feeding

Breast feeding is an important activity for a new parent. New mums are constantly under advisement from doctors, elders, fellow mums etc regarding the diet and nutrition that should be taken during the period of breast feeding the child.

The calories required for breast feeding are supplied by the body fat reserves which are laid down during pregnancy.  However, additional calories are needed to provide energy to supply the needs of your growing baby. The recommended dietary allowance for lactating mothers according to the Indian council of Medical research is as follows

  • 0-6 months – 550 Kcal/day
  • 7-12 months – 400Kcal/day

Recent studies are showing which suggest that this calorie requirement is too high and that an extra 300 – 400 calories per day is enough for exclusively breastfeeding mothers during the first three months

Some of the nutrition tips that one should follow

  • Drink plenty of liquids like water, juice etc. Atleast 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. This will help with milk production and also prevent dehydration, constipation and clogged milk ducts.
  • Focus on eating whole grains and cereals, fresh nuts and vegetables and food that provide plenty of protein, calcium and iron
  • Eating yogurt, whole wheat bread with greens also help in nutrition
  • Reduce intake of ghee
  • If as a pregnant woman, you have been advised to take prenatal vitamin supplements, then consult a doctor and check whether you can continue them post pregnancy and during breast feeding
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking during this period
  • If baby develops an allergic reaction, then it is mostly the case of a particular diet which is being followed. Consult a doctor immediately and change the diet accordingly

Keep a healthy diet during pregnancy and post pregnancy. Breast feeding tremendously enhances the child’s immunity and it is critical activity advised to all new mothers

By Dr. HK

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