Nutrition During Breastfeeding

Breast milk is a miracle food that meets all the needs of the baby for the first 6 months. Breast milk is also the most suitable food for all kinds of health of the newborn baby, considering the factors such as protection against infections and digestibility. For this reason, mothers should pay attention to their nutrition during breastfeeding.

The milk secreted during lactation is the result of the nutrients taken by the mother. The energy and nutrients required by the milk secreted for feeding the newborn baby are met from the mother. These needs are met from both the mother’s food and the adipose tissue stored during pregnancy. The breastfeeding mother should meet her own needs with her nutrition and also meet the needs of the baby with the milk she secretes.

Adequate and balanced nutrition during lactation is very important for both maternal and infant health. With adequate and balanced nutrition, the mother’s needs are met and her health is protected, as well as the amount and efficiency of breast milk is increased, the baby is fed and the problems that may occur in the baby can be prevented. For this reason, the mother should be fed in a way that will meet the energy, vitamins and minerals required for the baby in addition to her normal nutrition.

Most of the energy in secreted milk comes from what the mother eats. Some of it is provided from body tissues. About 80% of the energy in the food taken turns into milk energy. Considering this value, an average of 750 kcal should be added. About 500 kcal of this calorie comes from what the mother eats, and 250 kcal from the stores gained during pregnancy.

Quality protein intake is also very important during lactation. In addition to daily nutrition, adding 1 egg+1-2 glasses of milk/yogurt can meet the requirement. During this period, minerals such as iron and calcium; The need for B group vitamins such as A, C, E and niacin is also increasing. You may also need to take a vitamin D supplement.

The amount of fluid taken for the amount of milk during the lactation period is very important. In order not to decrease the amount of milk, it is important to consume about 3 liters of fluid per day. Water, ayran, sugar-free/low-sugar compote, lemonade, freshly squeezed fruit juices can be preferred as liquids.

A normal weight mother in the lactation period; By consuming 3 portions of meat / chicken / fish / legumes / eggs + 6-8 portions of fresh vegetables and fruits + 2-3 portions of milk group + 5-9 portions of bread group, they can meet the energy and nutrients required for both themselves and their baby.

General nutritional recommendations for breastfeeding mothers;

  • Weight loss diets should not be applied during lactation. However, not everything should be consumed just because I am not on a weight loss diet. It is also important in this special period to stay away from foods made from excessive oily, sugary and white flour, which we repeat under all circumstances for our health.

  • Since the mother spends energy with breastfeeding, the weight gained during pregnancy is easier to lose. However, mothers should not rush to return to their pre-birth state. If more than normal weight is gained during pregnancy, 2 kg can be lost every month.

  • To increase the amount of milk, water consumption must be increased.

  • It is important to have fresh vegetables and fruits at every meal in order to meet the increasing need for vitamins and minerals during the lactation period.

  • Processed meat products such as salami, sausage, sausage and other packaged, ready-to-use packaged foods with additives should not be preferred.

  • Calcium-rich foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese should be included in the daily diet as 3 servings.

  • 1 egg + 1 portion of meat group or legumes should be consumed every day.

  • In order to meet the vitamin D requirement, adequate use of sunlight should be made. If necessary, supplementation can be used with the approval of the doctor.

  • Smoking and alcohol should not be used.

  • Tea/coffee should not be consumed with meals as it prevents iron absorption. It should be preferred 1-2 hours before or after meals. During this period, teas such as linden, chamomile, rosehip can be preferred.

  • Vitamin C increases iron absorption. You can increase the absorption of iron by consuming fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C along with foods containing iron.

  • Acidic drinks such as ready-made fruit juices and cola should be avoided. Instead of these, ayran, sugar-free/low-sugar compote, lemonade, freshly squeezed fruit juices can be preferred.

  • Iodized salt should be used in meals.

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