Lactation Diet

Mothers milk is right for the baby regardless, whether the mother is taking a proper nutritional diet or no, as your body knows exactly what nutrition your baby needs at every stage of development and maintains the composition of the milk accordingly.

But, if mother doesn’t take care of the nutritional needs, then the milk will be formed from the reserves of mothers body and hence mother will start losing her charm, and may end up in some nutritional deficiencies disease like anemia, osteoporosis, chronic hairfall, body ache, lumbar spondylitis; etc.

Hence, one should take care of the additional requirement of the nutrients and include in the diet.

ENERGY:-
Based on the milk produced, additional energy requirement of a woman during exclusive breastfeeding, during first six months would be 600 kcal/day.
This is actually more than the calories requirement during pregnancy.
As at that time, baby’s weight was just 2.5 to 3 kgs. But now, it’s increasing at a higher rate and gets almost double by 6 months. And ideally baby is only on breast feed. Most indian mothers continue to lactate even after 6 months but milk production is reduced, as baby starts weaning and requirement of milk is less. Hence, additional calorie requirement is reduced to 520 kcal/day for the period of 6-12 months.

Many a times, this doesn’t happen. Mother continues to take higher amount of food later also, which is the main cause of weight gain in mothers.

PROTEIN:-
The recommended additional protein intake during lactation is 23 g/day for first 6 months and 13 g/day for 6-12 months. For proper milk,  adequate amount of good quality proteins need to be included in the diet.

FAT AND ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS:-
Diet of lactating woman should contain at least 30g of visible fat per day.
The composition of milk is affected by the quality of fat in the mother’s diet.
Include good quality and essential fats.

CALCIUM:-
Additional calcium is required for milk formation. Mother’s milk contain 30-40 mg of calcium/100 ml.The total calcium secreted through milk is about 300 mg/day. Therefore, in lactation, an additional intake of calcium is essential to enable the retention of 300 mg of extra calcium daily.
Hence, once should try to include 1 litre of milk in any form. And also need to take supplement for calcium.
If not taken, baby will get all the calcium from mothers bone calcium, which may later lead to osteoporosis in mother.
 
VITAMIN A:-
Since milk is a rich source of Vitamin A, a lactating mother needs additional amounts of this vitamin. The average Vitamin A secreted in mother’s milk is 350 microgram of retinol per day. Considering this, an additional amount of 950 microgram of retinol per day is recommended for a lactating mother.
So, consume yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.

FOLIC ACID:-
Folic acid is secreted in the milk by the mother. In a lactating mother, blood folate levels drop constantly, therefore an additional allowance of 100 microgram folate is suggested during lactation.
So have whole grains and green leafy vegetables.

WATER:-
The forgotten nutrient water..
On an average, mother secrets 750 ml to 1000 ml of milk, ie 1 litre of milk. Milk is 90 percent water. Hence, mother has to drink comparatively more water, around 4 to 5 litres.

GALACTAGOGUES:-
A substance that increases milk supply is called a galactagogue. Some of the most commonly used herbal galactagogues are fenugreek, shatavari, ashwagandha, Halim Seed or Garden cress; etc.
At any ayurvedic or herbal shop, one gets combination of 32 herbs, which together acts as galactogogues. This herbal powder can be easily added to any home made sweets and can be taken on a daily basis.

“IN ORDER THAT A MOTHER MAY BREASTFEED HER BABY WITHOUT ANY UNDUE STRAIN ON HER OWN BODY RESERVES, SHE MUST CONTINUE TO EAT A WELL BALANCED DIET TO MEET THE ENHANCED NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF LACTATION.”

For your & baby’s healthy life !! 🙂

Dr. Mansi Pujara

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