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Good Nutrition for Breastfeeding Mums

Good Nutrition for Breastfeeding Mums

Breastmilk is the best possible food for your baby. As a mum, you’ll want to give your baby the nutrients that promote his growth and health. While breastfeeding, you, too, need to eat right  – remember, what you eat, your baby eats too


What to eat:

Do’s:

- Include whole grains and cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet

- Keep up your calcium intake. Continue taking 1,200 to 1,500mg of calcium daily. Dairy, tofu, sardines and chickpeas are excellent sources of calcium

- Eat a varied and balanced diet

- Wash your fruits and vegetables well to reduce exposure to pesticides. Better yet, peel them

- Include oily fish in your diet as they contain omega-3 fat which play an important role in the brain and eye development of your baby. DHA also helps prevent postnatal depression 

- Drink eight to 12 glasses of water a day


Don’ts:

- Take caffeine. Besides leaching through breast milk and making your baby drowsy or unable to sleep, it affects calcium absorption adversely

- Take alcohol. It will enter breast milk and may also affect your milk letdown reflex (the reflex that prompts the release of milk from the breast)

- Take broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts as they are known to cause colic

- Go on a strict diet. Limiting what you eat can reduce your milk supply

- Take garlic, durians, celery, spices, onions, citrus fruits and leeks as they are known to give baby gas and diarrhoea

- Eat shark, tuna, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish as they contain high levels of mercury


Supplements:

Do’s:

- Ask your doctor what vitamin supplements you need to take

- Take an omega-3 supplement if you don’t take seafood 

- Take Vitamin D to aid calcium absorption


How often:

Do’s:

- Have regular meals

- Have regular snacks


Don’t:

- Skip meals

- Count calories. Follow your hunger as a guide to how much you need to eat

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