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Feeding the New Future_ A Comprehensive Diet Plan for Lactating Mothers

Feeding the New Future: A Comprehensive Diet Plan for Lactating Mothers

| 18 Sep 2023 | 80358 Views |

Introduction

Breastfeeding is often hailed as one of the most intimate connections between a mother and her child. But, ya know what? It’s more than just emotional nutrition; it’s about physical nutrition too! “You are what you eat” takes on a new dimension when a new mother is responsible for feeding her baby. The nourishment a lactating mother provides her child directly depends on her own diet. With India IVF Fertility clinics spread across Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Gwalior, we’re diving deep into the plate of a lactating mother. Let’s chow down!

A Proper Diet Plan for Lactating Mothers

Breastfeeding is like running a marathon daily, and trust me, your body’s screaming out for those extra nutrients and calories. Providing an infant with nature’s best elixir means the mother needs to be adequately fueled. And no, we’re not just talking an extra slice of pie.

Calories Needed for Breastfeeding Mothers

Did you ever think there’d come a day when you’d be encouraged to have some extra calories? Well, pat yourself on the back, momma, ’cause that day’s today! On average, breastfeeding mothers need about 500 extra calories a day. But remember, it’s not just about quantity but quality too.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has set guidelines for the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for Indians. The following is a table that illustrates the RDA for a lactating mother as per Indian standards:

Nutrient RDA (as per ICMR)
Total Calories 2250 kcal/day*
Protein 65 g/day
Fat 20-25 g/day
Carbohydrates 300-350 g/day
Dietary Fiber 25 g/day
Calcium 1300 mg/day
Iron 30 mg/day
Zinc 12 mg/day
Vitamin A 950 μg/day
Vitamin C 80 mg/day
Vitamin D 10 μg/day
Vitamin E 10 mg/day
Vitamin K 80 μg/day
Vitamin B12 2.6 μg/day
Folic Acid 500 μg/day
Niacin 20 mg/day
Riboflavin 1.9 mg/day
Thiamine 1.5 mg/day
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 1.3 g/day
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 8.6 g/day

The caloric requirements can vary depending on various factors including the mother’s activity level, body weight, and specific conditions. Always consult a registered dietitian or nutritionist for individual requirements.

It’s essential to remember that individual needs can vary and while the above table provides general guidelines, specific requirements should be discussed with healthcare professionals.

Food to Consume for Breastfeeding Mothers

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What foods should be the stars of a lactating mom’s kitchen? Let’s break it down:

Consume Iron-Rich Foods

  • Grains: Oats, quinoa, and whole wheat bread can be your best pals. Not just good for the heart but super for lactation.
  • Vegetable and Fruits: Think spinach, broccoli, and apricots. These aren’t just colorful plate fillers but iron-packed powerhouses.

Calcium-Rich Foods

  • Dairy products: Milk, yogurt, and cheese – the holy trinity of calcium sources. They strengthen bones for both you and the bub.

Meat and Protein

  • Red meat, poultry, and eggs: These are more than just Sunday brunch features. They’re packed with protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.

Sample diet chart for vegetarian Lactating Mother

Here’s a sample diet chart for an Indian lactating mother, keeping in mind the recommended dietary allowances by the ICMR:

Early Morning:

  • 1 glass of lukewarm water with 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds soaked overnight (natural galactagogue to increase milk production)
  • A piece of dry fruit like almond or walnut (for a dose of healthy fats)

Breakfast:

  • 1 bowl of vegetable upma/dalia/poha
  • A serving of idli/sambar or stuffed whole grain parathas with a side of curd
  • A fruit smoothie or fresh juice (like orange or pomegranate)

Mid-Morning Snack:

  • A bowl of fruit salad (include papaya which is good during lactation)
  • 1 glass buttermilk or lassi

Lunch:

  • 2-3 whole grain rotis/chapatis
  • A serving of rice (preferably brown rice)
  • Dal or legume curry (like rajma, chickpea)
  • Vegetable sabzi (spinach, fenugreek leaves or bottle gourd are good options)
  • A portion of fish or lean chicken (if non-vegetarian)
    Salad (cucumber, beetroot, carrots)
  • Curd or raita

Afternoon Snack:

  • A cup of milk with a pinch of turmeric or a herbal tea
  • A handful of roasted chickpeas or sprouts
  • 1-2 whole grain biscuits or rusks

Dinner:

  • 2-3 whole grain rotis/chapatis
  • Vegetable pulao or khichdi
  • Paneer (cottage cheese) curry or tofu stir fry
  • Green leafy vegetable sabzi
  • A bowl of soup (tomato, spinach, or chicken soup)

Before Bed:

  • A cup of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric or saffron
  • A piece of jaggery (helps in iron intake)

Tips:

  • Ensure to drink ample water throughout the day to stay hydrated, which is crucial for milk production.
  • Incorporate a mix of nuts and seeds in the diet. Flaxseeds, for instance, are a good source of Omega-3s.
  • Limit the intake of caffeine and avoid alcohol.
  • Consuming garlic, oats, and cumin can naturally help boost milk production.
  • A balance of protein, calcium, iron, and other vitamins is key. Ensure a colorful plate at every meal.

Always remember that personal needs can vary, and this diet chart provides a general guideline. Consultation with a nutritionist or dietician can provide a tailored approach for individual requirements.

Sample diet chart for vegetarian Lactating Mother

Here’s a non-vegetarian diet chart tailored for an Indian lactating mother, ensuring she receives the nutrients vital for her and her baby:

Early Morning:

  • 1 glass of lukewarm water with 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds soaked overnight (natural galactagogue to increase milk production)
  • A piece of dry fruit like almond or walnut (for a dose of healthy fats)

Breakfast:

  • 2 egg omelette with veggies (capsicum, tomato, spinach) and a sprinkle of flaxseeds
  • 1-2 whole grain toasts with butter
  • A fruit smoothie (banana or mango works well) with a spoonful of honey

Mid-Morning Snack:

  • A bowl of mixed fruit salad (ensure to add papaya, which aids lactation)
  • 1 glass buttermilk or lassi with a sprinkle of roasted cumin powder

Lunch:

  • 2-3 whole grain rotis/chapatis
  • A serving of brown rice
  • Chicken curry or fish curry (make sure the fish is low in mercury)
  • Mixed vegetable sabzi (like beans, carrots, peas)
  • Salad (cucumber, beetroot, tomatoes, and a dash of lemon)
  • Curd or raita with grated cucumber or boondi

Afternoon Snack:

  • A cup of milk tea or herbal tea
  • A handful of roasted chickpeas or a chicken sandwich
  • 1-2 whole grain biscuits or rusks

Dinner:

  • 2-3 whole grain rotis/chapatis
  • Fish biryani or chicken pulao
  • Mixed dal or lentil soup with vegetables
  • Paneer (cottage cheese) or tofu stir fry for added protein
  • Green leafy vegetable sabzi (like palak paneer with spinach and cottage cheese)

Before Bed:

  • A cup of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric or saffron
  • A piece of jaggery (for additional iron intake)

Additional Tips:

  • Hydration is key. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, crucial for milk production.
  • Consume a mix of nuts and seeds. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are great sources of Omega-3s.
  • Caffeine intake should be limited, and alcohol is best avoided.
  • Garlic, oats, and cumin can be included in the diet to naturally boost milk production.
  • Always ensure a balanced intake of protein, calcium, iron, and other essential nutrients by having a variety of foods in your meals.

Food to Avoid for Breastfeeding Mothers

While you indulge in the above delights, there’s a naughty list too. Here’s what you should be wary of:

Alcohol and Cigarette

A glass of wine might seem tempting after a long day, but alcohol can pass into breast milk. And as for smoking, well, we know the drill. It’s a no-go.

Processed Foods

They might be easy, but they’re not always the best. High sodium and unnatural preservatives? Thanks, but no thanks.

Junk Foods and Soft Drinks

Ah, the guilty pleasures. While an occasional treat is fine, frequent consumption might not be the best for you or the baby.

Conclusion

Motherhood isn’t easy, and when it comes to breastfeeding, it’s not just about the baby but the mother too. A healthy diet doesn’t just ensure optimum milk production but also keeps the mother’s health in check. So, the next time you’re reaching out for that snack, give a thought: is it for you, or is it for the two of you? Cheers to healthy eating and happy motherhood!

FAQs

Lactating mothers should ideally consume an extra 500 calories per day.

Absolutely! Grains like oats and quinoa are rich in iron and can be beneficial.

It's best to avoid alcohol as it can pass into breast milk.

Red meat, poultry, and eggs are excellent sources of protein during lactation.

No, smoking is harmful and can affect the quality of breast milk.

They often contain high sodium and unnatural preservatives, which aren't ideal for mothers or babies.

Occasional consumption is fine, but regular intake might not be beneficial.

Extremely! Dairy products like milk and cheese are essential for bone strength for both mother and baby.

While occasional indulgence is okay, frequent consumption can affect both mother's and baby's health.

Spinach, broccoli, and apricots are some iron-rich options to consider.

About The Author
Dr. Richika Sahay

MBBS (Gold Medalist), DNB (Obst & Gyne), MNAMS, MRCOG (London-UK), Fellow IVF, Fellow MAS, Infertility (IVF) Specialist & Gynae Laparoscopic surgeon,[Ex AIIMS & Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi]. Read more

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