7 Rules For a Balanced Diet for Nursing Mothers

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Nursing Mothers

The infant’s health and development until the start of complementary feeding fully depends on the mother’s diet. World Health Organization recommends supplying a kid with breast milk at least for 6 months. That’s why the mother’s daily diet must have all the necessary components for the kid’s growth and development because breast milk is the only source of nutrition for a baby. Therefore, nursing mothers’ nutrition should be considered with special care. 

Of course, not every woman can breastfeed an infant and in such a case it’s essential to find good alternative nutrition. In no way should you give whole milk to a newborn. When breastfeeding doesn’t work for you, you need to look for the best baby formula. Firstly, you need to visit a pediatrician whose recommendation you’ll have to follow to select the best formula. Secondly, it’s necessary to pay attention to the elements in the content. For instance, Kendamil is the only organic formula with human oligosaccharides (3’-GL, 4’-GL, and 6’-GL) that are significant factors in supporting kids’ immunity. 

However, studying the content of the formula and its quality applies only to those who can not breastfeed. So if you do not have any indicators against breastfeeding, let’s check what nutrition rules every nursing mother should follow.

Essentials Products in the Menu 

Meat is a source of protein and iron, which are necessary for full growth and development. It is preferable to consume varieties that contain little fat e.g. chicken, turkey, rabbit, beef, quail, and lean pork is allowed. Fish is a complete and easily digestible protein that is necessary for the formation of a strong skeleton, for brain function, normal sleep, hematopoiesis, and prevention of stress and fatigue. 

Dairy and sour milk products are very rich in protein and calcium, so they must be included in the daily diet. Vegetables, which are high in fiber, can help protect a baby from constipation. Cauliflower, baked onions, and zucchini are recommended for consumption. Cereals are very rich in fiber and trace elements e.g. oatmeal, buckwheat, millet, and barley.

Keep the Schedule 

The diet of a nursing mother should ideally be divided into 5 meals:

  • breakfast

for example, it may consist of buckwheat, baked apple, hard cheese, a favorite drink

  •  1st snack

the first snack can include 1 banana, 1 cup of kefir

  • lunch

the next meal could include chicken filet rolls with soft cheese and greens, baked potatoes, and  favorite vegetable

  • dinner

the dinner might consist of steamed broccoli, and low-fat fish, baked with cheese. 

  • 2nd snack

the last meal may include 1 cup of kefir or other sour milk products

Carbohydrates should be eaten in the morning, and for dinner, prefer protein products and vegetables.

What Should be Avoided?

It couldn’t be obvious to everyone, but alcohol and nicotine are strictly forbidden. These substances easily penetrate a woman’s milk and adversely affect the baby’s health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking also decreases maternal milk supply because nicotine lowers serum prolactin levels. It is advisable to avoid coffee (at least for the first six months) and some sort of tea because it also contains caffeine. 

Follow the Basic Principles of Nutrition

There are fundamental truths to keep in mind for successful and long-term breastfeeding:

  • Balanced menu. Carbohydrates, fats, and protein should come with food every day
  • Water. It is needed for the coordinated work of the whole organism, it speeds up metabolism and is the basis of milk. Therefore, at least 2 liters a day should be consumed
  • Product safety. It is necessary to temporarily limit yourself in the use of food that can cause kids allergies. During the first month, pay attention to the formation of lactation, sufficient milk production, and weight gain

If you will follow the basic rules of food processing, lactation won’t be a problem. However, sometimes, even if the nursing mother keeps the diet, breast milk could disappear or it cannot be enough. In such cases, you need to select a baby formula that can ensure a baby receives the right nutrients. Experts recommend giving preferences to an organic formula that is the most similar to breast milk.

Include New Products into the Menu Properly

Any new product should be introduced into the menu separately. At intervals sufficient to monitor the well-being of both mother and child. Remember that the simpler the food, the better it is digested and carries the lowest risk of adverse reactions. Many doctors recommend keeping a food diary to record all the innovations in the diet of a nursing mother. So it will be easier to find exactly those products that may cause digestive disorders in kids.

Cook the Food Carefully

Food preparation is an important element of food safety, especially during the first months of a child’s life because its digestive system develops. Depending on how the baby’s gastrointestinal tract responds to the chosen food, the mother can adjust her diet. Therefore, during the first 3 months of the diet, you should use more steamed and baked products. It does not mean that raw food(fruit and vegetables) should be excluded.

Intake the Next Products to Increase Lactation

The following products will improve lactation:

oatmeal, rice, buckwheat cereals

  • soups
  • meat dishes
  • sour milk products
  • herbal teas
  • lettuce and other greens

For lactation to be good, you need not only to keep proper nutrition but also a calm home atmosphere, walks in the fresh air, adequate sleep (at least 8 hours a day), and rest. Sports and light physical work are useful.