Motherhood is an experience which can never be described in words, and is a journey which you, as a mother undertake with your little one. It is generally noticed that moms in particular tend to downplay the need of a good diet plan while they breast-feed. Various factors like, for example, lack of guidance, poor economic conditions, sheer negligence and in extreme cases, postpartum depression, can be attributed to this neglect of personal well-being while a woman becomes a mother to a new life.
It is extremely important that the people around the new mother, the family in particular, pay adequate attention to the diet of the breastfeeding mother. I definitely feel lucky that I had a supportive family when I became a mother!
It is widely observed that in a country like India, post-delivery care by the family is a systematic approach followed by the family and has been handed down by the women folk carefully from one generation to the other. The best part of all this is that many women, even though unlettered, never got it wrong!
In today’s digital era, you will still come across people discussing over phone, chatting up online or video-calling just to check on the ways and methods that have been indigenously followed to take care of the new mother. I vividly recollect my mom in particular calling up on her mother to check on “what’s in and what’s not” for my diet whenever she had any confusions or whenever she felt she could lean in on some sane elderly advice!
Today it is largely seen that nuclear families take the extra plunge and do everything independently when they are in a situation wherein the immediate elderly folk cannot be with them.
So what exactly should be in your diet plan? Well, I curiously observed what my mom was making me eat while I breastfed my little girl and came up with an understanding of it in my own way.
1. KISS – Keep It Simple and Short
For a breastfeeding mom, it is best to go in for small meals at regular intervals instead full-fledged large course meals. This helps since the initial phase will be that of complete sleep-deprivation especially in the nights.
2. A Well balanced Diet
Moms should ensure that their diet should be a judicious mix of proteins, calcium, iron, minerals, fats, etc. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy should be thoroughly included in the diet plan. It should not be forgotten that the body undergoes a major physiological and anatomical change while giving birth, and needs a major energy boost during this period.
3. Stop Counting Calories
Like it or not, but this is a phase when new mothers will be made to eat heavily calorie-laden food and will have to abide by it, no questions asked. Remember that your calorie requirement as a breastfeeding mom is at least 500 more than someone who is not. So don’t complain, just indulge!
4. Eat Right
During mornings, the body metabolism will be more active and food can be digested well and fast. So it would be a good idea for Fats to be included during these hours instead of during nights when metabolism rates tend to slow down. Also focus on foods which can aid in increasing lactation. If required, talk to your healthcare provider about it.
5. Include Supplements
Whether it is an allopathic drug or alternate medicine by way of the Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani, etc., unless advised by a medical personnel, never include any dietary supplements in your diet.
6. Consume Cautiously
Mothers should be aware that sometimes, certain foods when consumed by them can be intolerant to the baby when breastfeeding. This can lead to allergies in babies and can also hamper growth and development. It is sensible to avoid alcohol, drugs while you breastfeed.
Don’t ever forget the universal elixir! It is best to consume boiled and cooled water always at frequent intervals.
To conclude, breast-feeding mothers should pamper themselves while they breastfeed without looking at the weighing scales for once! The extra weight gained can always be brought back down by adequate exercising at a later stage. Most importantly, the emotional well-being of the new mother is a crucial aspect. Take adequate rest and indulge in recreation with your family. Always be happy and try to stay happy, because you will not get this experience everyday and forever in your life!
So, go ahead, indulge and enjoy!
Blog Contributed By Geethanjali Kalibhat.