Balanced diet while breastfeeding helps in post-delivery weight loss | Nagpur News

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Nagpur: Most of us know that breast milk helps to keep the baby healthy by providing all the important nutrients that the child requires in the proper quantities. Breastfeeding also has its benefits for mothers. Apart from saving new mothers from various types of cancer, diabetes and hypertension, it helps burn calories thereby helping in post-partum weight loss, said dietitian Malvika Fulwani.
“Mother should exclusively breastfeed her child for first six months. This will not only make the baby feel safe and loved, but also helps mothers lose some extra pounds gained during pregnancy,” said Fulwani. But, for this, there is no need for the mother to eat for two.
“Mother has to eat for two is a myth. The mother has to eat for herself and a little extra like 500 calorie more in the diet, which can get her fit and back in shape within six months. But, this diet should be nutrient-rich and packed with the nutrition which supports breastfeeding and nurtures a healthy baby,” she said.
Eating double will only add unnecessary weight which may land mothers in post-partum depression, she said. “Mothers can avoid all such complications by having a balanced diet. Theme of breastfeeding week 2020 is ‘Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet’. I think diet is the most important support for breastfeeding,” she said.
Doctors said breast milk constantly changes itself in its composition as and how required by the baby to meet all of its Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). “Weight gain is the best way to tell if your baby is getting enough nutrition through milk. It is normal for babies to lose about 7 to 8 per cent of their weight in the first five days and return to birth weight by 10 to 14 days. You will establish a milk supply for baby in the first three weeks. The more the baby has, the more milk your body produces,” said gynecologist Dr Rajasi Sengupta, secretary of Nagpur Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society (NOGS).
What feeding mothers should have
Carbohydrates: Healthy sources like whole grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables to be preferred
Protein: Seafood, chicken and other non-vegetarian sources are known to be complete proteins
Fat: Omega-3 fatty acids important for immunity; include salmon, flax seeds, avocado, walnuts
Iron: Rich sources are cereals, legumes (beans, split peas, and lentils), and leafy green vegetables
Vitamin A: Good sources include orange, yellow fruits and vegetables
Iodine: Iodine salt, foods high in iodine, like seafood and dairy products
Zinc: Soy products, seeds, oyster, liver, chicken and lamb are rich sources of zinc
Vitamin D: Sunlight, fortified low-fat or fat-free milk, fortified orange juice, egg yolks, and salmon
Folic Acid: Fortified cereals, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and nuts
QUOTE:
Balanced diet comprising of all the food groups like cereals, pulses, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and poultry, nuts and oilseed and water and reduced intake of empty calories is the key, and not eating for two, to be fit while breastfeeding: Malvika Fulwani, Dietitian

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