Diet for breastfeeding moms - guidelines:
While breast feeding proper nutrition of mother has got a significant meaning for the child health. After many years period of artificial milk mixtures infant feeding raising, couple years ago there was a significant turn to breast feeding. It is the best source of food for child. It also gives close contact with mother, making the emotional bond between both stronger. It was also proved that breast feeding has a huge importance not only in the childhood period but also in adult.
Advantages of breast feeding
The content of mother’s milk is perfectly matching to infant demands. Let’s combine women’s milk with the cow milk, which is the basis of milk mixtures. First of all mother’s milk proteins are more digestible. In cow’s milk the biggest part of proteins is casein. It also includes alien species for the child of protein beta-lactoglobulin, which can cause allergies in some children. The next advantage of women’s milk is high content of natural immune proteins : immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lysozyme. These are present in a big amount in colostrum, the milk secreted immediately after the birth, thanks to which the infant is highly resistant after born. So therefore, breast feeding has god huge importance in preventing a number of bacterial, virus diseases it also prevents the increase of allergy. Breast milk is tailored to the needs of the child also in terms of the content of other nutrients (e.g. proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats and other).
The influence of the way of woman’s nutrition on her breast milk content isn’t well explained. The content of some nutrients, e.g. proteins, doesn’t depend on mother’s nutrition. Although the fat content (ratio of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids) depends on the amount and quality of fat in mother’s diet. There is a similar dependence in case of vitamins soluble in water and fat. When it comes to the second group of vitamins in milk it depends also on the storage in mother’s organism. Breast feeding period demands from woman healthy nutrition due to the child's welfare and health. It is also necessary to stabiles lactation and keep proper amount of milk. Incorrect nutrition affects also on mother’s health, because the storages of nutrients in mother’s organism are used up in this time period, to make the milk proper content and goodness (so correct amount of energy and nutrients). Breast feeding demand a bigger amount of energy in woman’s diet. In comparison to the period before pregnancy woman should increase the caloricity of the diet for 500 kcal. Demand for proteins is also increasing – up to approx. 110 g per day (compared to 70-90 g per day before pregnancy). Women must also pay attention to fat content in a diet. During breast feeding they need far more of unsaturated fatty acids. Demands for other nutrients during breast feeding period looks similar : vitamins and minerals.
Most important guidelines of the diet
To fully fulfill the increased demands for energy and nutrients it is necessary to properly set the meals, choosing products, which has a big nutritional value instead of products being energy sources only:
- Meals should be regular. During the day there should be few (4-5) meals with lower volume
- It is necessary to increase amount of milk and dairy products in the diet to cover daily demand for calcium (1200 mg). This amount of calcium refers to 5 glasses of milk or dairy drinks or 3 glasses of milk, 2 slices of yellow cheese and 50 g of curd
- Products reach in complex carbohydrates amount should be raised, which should be the source of energy. We can recommend here products like bread, potatoes, groats, rice. White bread should be replaced with wholegrain bread, which is definitely reach in nutrients, it contains e.g. 3-5 times more minerals.
- It is recommended to put more fishes into diet being not only a source of protein, but also vitamin A, selenium and phosphorus. Sea fishes provides also polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are very important for child’s central nervous system development. Fishes contain also iodine, an ingredient rarely found in foods.
- In each meal there should be vegetables and fruits, which are the source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber and minerals.
- At least 2 meals during the day must contain product with high iron content: lean meat, smoked meat, fish, legumes. It is very important during the period after birth, when organism is regenerating after decrease of iron storage during the pregnancy or blood loss during the birth.
- It is recommended to enrich the diet into vegetable oils, especially added to fresh meats. These are the sources of one-and polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E.
- Amount of sweets in the diet should be reduced. Sweets are providing only energy, which is unfavorable when organism needs such a big amount of nutrients. It complicates also slow return to body weight from before the pregnancy. Similar complications can be also made by fat meals – remember that 1 g of fat is 9 kcal.
- Tea should be replaced with vegetable or fruit juices, mineral still water. Fizzy fruit drinks, which has no value and are caloric, should be avoided. It is forbidden to drink alcohol and strong coffee. Caffeine and ethanol migrates to milk and may have inapropriate influence in child. Remember that caffeine is also contained in beverages like cola and energetic drinks.
- Products that might affect the child with negative symptoms should be excluded. Often infants may react with inflation on mother’s milk, if she was eating garlic, onion, cabbage or chocolate. These product may also change the taste of milk for more intense, which children’s are not always keen on.