Science has shown that exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life plays a very important role in the comprehensive development of children.
Breast milk is the most ideal food for babies. Breastfeeding offers practical benefits for both mother and baby. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants should be breastfed early within 1 hour after birth and exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months, complementary feeding from 6 months of age combined with breastfeeding until 24 months of age.
How does a mother’s nutrition affect the baby’s health?
During the period of breastfeeding, the mother’s nutrition has a significant impact on the baby’s health. Specifically, the composition of breast milk is generally relatively constant among mothers and the mother’s energy reserves are always mobilized to produce milk when needed.
However, many studies also confirm that maternal nutrition has a certain influence on some micronutrients as well as the amount of milk secreted.
If the mother’s diet lacks vitamins (especially vitamins A, D, and B1, …), breastmilk will also lack these vitamins. So for a new mom, you need to focus on a healthy diet plan to make sure both you and your babies are provided the nourishing meals! Exclusively breastfed babies in the first 6 months of life may become vitamin deficient if breastmilk does not provide the child’s body’s vitamin needs.
Besides, in the first 6 months, the maternal antibodies are provided directly through breast milk. Developing a scientific diet for mothers is the best way to prevent diseases for babies.
Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from diarrhea, pneumonia, and some other diseases than babies who are not breastfed. Children who are properly nourished by breast milk in the first 6 months of life will develop comprehensively both mentally and physically, have good resistance, less get infections, and grow up less likely to suffer from chronic diseases. contagious.
What nutrients do a nursing mother need?
Moms need more energy in the mother’s diet because when breastfeeding, the need for more energy and nutrients of the body to help the baby grow and develop well, ensuring an adequate supply of nutrients, which your baby will receive through breast milk.
Accordingly, nursing mothers need to provide 500 Kcal more energy per day compared to normal needs. This source of energy helps mothers produce about 750ml of milk per day for their babies.
A glass of milk for pregnant women has about 150 kcal, 100g of beef steak has about 190 kcal, 1 egg has about 70 kcal. To add more energy than 3 main meals, milk can eat 2 extra meals with cakes, bean tea, boiled eggs, milk …
The mother needs to eat more protein than usual. The amount of protein that needs to be provided adequately during lactation is over 28g / day (equivalent to 100g beef, 4 eggs, or 120g chicken breast, …)
Breastfeeding mothers can eat all Conventional protein foods such as fried fish, boiled meat, kebabs, stir-fried meats, and should not be on a diet excessively, which will reduce milk production.
Fat such as DHA, ARA are very important for the development of the baby’s brain and eyesight, but do not need to eat too much fat but need to choose healthy fats for the baby. Therefore, mothers need to add foods rich in DHA and ARA such as nuts, avocados, sea fish (salmon, herring), chicken, egg yolks, etc into their daily diet.
Vitamins and minerals
The nutrition of breastfeeding mothers needs to ensure that there are enough fruits and vegetables needed to provide adequate vitamins and minerals for the baby.
Giving birth causes a woman to lose a large amount of blood, leading to anemia, iron deficiency. Therefore, postnatal and lactating mothers need to supplement iron in the daily diet. Animal-derived iron is found in liver, beef, chicken, shellfish, eggs, … Plant-derived iron is found in tofu, legumes, and dark vegetables such as spinach, cotton, broccoli, choysum, …
Drink more milk and use more dairy products such as butter, cheese, etc. to add enough calcium for the baby and the needs of the mother’s body.
Drinking plenty of water also helps to increase the amount of milk. In addition to filtered water, mothers should drink more juice and eat more succulent fruits (apples, oranges, watermelons ..) The mother can get into a habit every time she breastfeeds and after breastfeeding, drink 1 glass country.
Foods rich in nutrients to eat
Rich in nutrients for new mothers. Salmon is high in DHA, which improves the mother’s mood and is very important for the development of the baby’s nervous system. As recommended, every week postpartum women should eat about 336g salmon.
Low-fat dairy products
Yogurt, milk, cheese provide a large amount of vitamin D to help keep the bones of the mother and baby strong. In addition, milk is also rich in protein, vitamin B, and calcium. Every day, the mother should drink about 700ml of milk.
Rich in iron, protein, and vitamin B12, providing enough energy for the mother. Women who breastfeed should eat lean beef to limit fat intake.
Vegetables also contain healthy carbohydrates that provide energy for the mother and add many essential micronutrients to help the mother’s body recover. Not only that, but fresh fruits and vegetables also provide the fiber that helps prevent constipation, a common problem soon after giving birth, especially if you have a cesarean section and are on pain relievers. Moms remember to wash fruits and vegetables to get rid of pesticide residues.
Postpartum women and lactating women should eat at least 150g of fruit or juice per day. Postpartum mothers need to increase vitamin C by adding citrus fruits to the menu every day.
Blueberries are also an option to meet the nutritional needs of mothers after giving birth. These berries are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and healthy carbohydrates for energy maintenance throughout the day.
Whole grains, brown rice
Carbohydrate (carb) will give you the fastest energy source. However, mothers should not load too many carbs into the body, because this will cause blood sugar to spike but can also drop quickly. The sudden drop in blood sugar will make the mother feel tired and drowsy.
Therefore, mothers should choose foods containing complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, beans, corn, cereals, and cereal products. They will absorb slowly and stabilize your blood sugar, providing you with energy without the extra calories found in single sugars. Mothers can get 9 to 11 servings of whole grains in their daily diet.
You and your baby need to include dietary fats, but be selective about healthy fats. So what should a nursing mother eat? It is a food rich in omega-3 fatty acids found in fish to help your baby develop brain and eyes. However, mothers should not eat more than 2 servings of fish per week due to the risk of mercury toxicity.
Canned tuna, catfish, pollock, and salmon are all low in mercury. If you don’t eat fish, flaxseeds also provide omega-3 fatty acids. But the fatty acids contained in flaxseeds are not easily converted to eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, two of the essential omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.
Also, use olive oil or vegetable oil instead of saturated fats like fat, palm oil, butter, or coconut oil for cooking. These oils contain unsaturated fats that lower your cholesterol levels.
Six tablespoons of oil a day will meet the mother’s daily needs for fat, but nowadays, many processed foods contain an amount of oil in them, so mothers need to consider reducing them appropriately.
Foods to avoid:
Be careful with foods that can cause indigestion such as onions, cabbage, eggs, fish eggs, spicy spices
The nervous system and digestive system of the child are still very young, so it needs to be protected by alcohol even if it is very small. Furthermore, alcohol can affect a mother’s ability to produce milk
Breastfeeding mothers should not drink too much of these stimulants because they will make the baby irritable, uncomfortable, and difficult to sleep.
Limit consumption of mercury-rich fish such as tuna, shark, swordfish, etc because mercury can pass into breast milk, affecting the baby’s neurodevelopment.
Fast food, greasy
Fast foods such as french fries, fried chicken, etc. are high in calories and low in nutrients, so mothers need to limit their use. At the same time, the amount of fat in these foods can cause problems with breast milk as well as irritate a baby’s stomach.
Some specific guidelines for nutritional care for nursing mothers:
Eating more meals
Because of the high energy requirement, along with the requirement to provide a full range of nutrients, including micronutrients, the whole day diet of a nursing mother should be. divided into several meals a day (average 3-6 meals/day).
Eat a variety of dishes
Meals need a variety of foods (at least 10-15 foods) with all 4 groups of nutrients (carbohydrates; proteins; fats; and groups of vitamins/minerals).
The diet also needs to provide enough calcium needs (1300 mg/day), this amount of calcium is both to provide the baby through breast milk and to prevent calcium loss in the mother’s bones.
In addition to other calcium-rich foods (such as meat, fish, eggs, seafood, etc.), mothers need to consume 6.5 units of milk per day (1 unit of milk is equivalent to 100ml of standard liquid milk. , either 15g of cheese or 1 cup of yogurt 100g), each unit of milk will give you about 100mg of calcium.
In case of need, the mother needs to comply with the prescription of the physician regarding the addition of vitamins and minerals, especially iron, zinc, vitamin D, and calcium. Drink enough water, on average about 2.0 to 2.5 liters of water/day (equivalent to 12 to 15 cups of water).
Work and rest reasonably, always keep a cheerful, optimistic attitude
Along with a reasonable diet, mothers need to always keep the spirit of happiness, comfort, and optimism. Have a reasonable working and resting regime. Get enough sleep, ensure 8 hours of sleep per day. In the period of breastfeeding, mothers need to have the care and support of family members, as well as the attention and help of everyone around them so that mothers can breastfeed their babies.
Breast milk is the most effective food for the development of babies and young children, so mothers should try to maintain their milk supply by properly breastfeeding, nutritional supplements, avoid anxiety, stress, to ensure the source of nutritious milk for their baby.
Any food or food group that is on a diet should be replaced with another food. Dietary changes should be carefully considered, especially changes that reduce diversity and food groups as it may reduce nutrient content, lack of calories, and increase susceptibility to different foods when eating only certain types of food.