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Eating habits while breastfeeding for a healthy baby and Mom

Doctors today recommend that breast feeding your little one is the best diet any mother can give to her baby at least till six months of age. Doctors are of the view that mother’s milk is the nectar for the child as it contains all the necessary vitamins and nutrients in proper proportions. It also protects the baby against diseases like diabetes and cancer. Above all it is easily digested, no constipation, no risk of diarrhea and stomach upset.

It also is packed with disease fighting substances that protects the baby from illness. For a healthy baby, mother must adopt healthy eating style.

Here are few tips for eating habits while breastfeeding a healthy baby and MOM:

1. Eat well balanced diet: One of the wonders of breast milk is that it meets your baby’s nutritional needs even if the mom is not eating perfectly. But if your diet is too low in calories then the quality of your milk gets affected. If your body does not get nutrients from the diet, then it draws from the reserves, which can eventually deplete. Good diet gives you required stamina and strength that is required to look after your baby.

2. Never count the calories: There is no perfect answer as to how much calorie intake a nursing mom needs. But generally, most women who are breast feeding need about 2000 to 2500 calories per day, an additional of 500 calories as compared to non-feeding moms. It is advisable that instead of counting on calories, follow the hunger. Exact amount depends on individual factors like weight, how much exercise you do, how you metabolism works and how frequently you are breast feeding.

3. Avoid spicy and oily food: Spicy and oily food will cause harm to the baby by upsetting his/her stomach. In case if you find that your baby is often gassy or colicky and is passing stools frequently after you eat a particular food; then try to avoid that food for several weeks.

4. Vegetarian diet is best suited with breast feeding. Eat other sources of iron and zinc such as dried beans, dry fruits, nuts, seeds and diary. Do take B12 supplement to make sure your baby does not develop B12 deficiency.

5. Include whole grains such as whole wheat breads, cereals and oats meals in your daily diet.

6. Eat two servings of fruit per day

7. Include protein foods 2-3 times a day in the form of diary, eggs, beans, nuts, meat and seeds.

8. Eat three servings of vegetables per day including dark green and yellow vegetables.

9. In summer eat homemade curd three times a day.

10. Dairy produce like yoghurt or glass of milk.

11. Drink plenty of water in case you feel thirsty and more of water if your urine appears dark yellow.

12. Eating different variety of foods while lactating will change the flavor of your breast milk and will expose the baby to different tastes; that might help him/her more easily accept solid foods down the road.

13. Your health practitioner may give you all vitamins that are needed for weaning the baby.

14. Some foods like cabbage, broccoli may not agree with your baby and might cause allergy so it is better to avoid them for some time. 

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