In addition to the wonderful feeling that a woman has at the birth of a child, this act puts before her the greatest responsibility that life prepares. Responsibility towards our own child cannot be compared to anything that happens to us in life. And while caring for a child, the most important thing for us to begin with is that the child is a sieve.
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When a mother is breastfeeding, she knows that in this way she will start giving her little miracle the best she can from the very beginning of her life. Breastfeeding as a diet has no equal. And we all know that. But, as strange as it may sound – here we can be confused about many things, if not very worried.
One of the more contentious questions a young mother will ask herself is, “May I eat this while breastfeeding?”
For all the time while breastfeeding, the mother must eat healthy, varied foods that contain balanced amounts of protein, sugar and fat. When preparing food, it is good to follow the rule that the best food is the one that is closest to its original state, that is – with as few spices as possible and as short a preparation as possible. It is advisable to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain pastries, cereals, as well as foods rich in calcium and protein. It is normal that the choice of food will depend on the environment in which the mother lives, dietary habits, economic situation and her own preference for a particular food. Postnatal vitamins are also an important addition to a mother’s routine.
Many times mothers from various quarters, and often from medical staff, hear advice that a certain type of food is undesirable to eat while breastfeeding. It is usually a “ban” on legumes – beans, peas and kale, cauliflower, chickpeas … in some places it is “forbidden” to eat onions and garlic … Sometimes these are real diets for breastfeeding mothers and the diet is completely unnecessary. Such “prohibitions” depend on climate, customs, and generally have no basis. The breastfeeding mother must eat a variety, but in moderation. Food that has a tendency to cause bloating, cramps, winds can be eaten, but it should not be overdone – if it is once a week, it is unlikely to cause problems.
The mother’s varied diet has another advantage – the food that the mother consumes will change the taste of her milk, so the child will be exposed to different tastes much earlier than he starts supplementation. It often turns out that breastfed babies have fewer problems with supplementation and acceptance of new flavors. The only exception to this rule about a varied diet is the presence of allergic reactions in the family as this increases the risk of allergies in the child. In this case, it is desirable that the mother avoids the consumption of known allergens during pregnancy, and after that while breastfeeding.
Exclusive breastfeeding until the age of 6 months, which is also a recommendation of the World Health Organization, is one of the ways to delay the occurrence of an adverse reaction, because the child is later exposed to potential allergens. Breast milk in infant nutrition also contains antibodies, including slgA, which creates a protective layer on the inner wall of the baby’s intestines, thus preventing the penetration of potential allergens.
Mom should be careful when eating foods that have a higher risk of allergic reactions – first cow’s milk, then citrus fruits, eggs, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, fish and shellfish … This does not mean that the mother during breastfeeding she should completely give up the food she likes – only if she notices during or after breastfeeding that the baby has a reaction that may be related to something she has eaten, it would be good to avoid that food for a while to confirm or rule out the suspicion. If there was any reaction during that period, it means that the meal was problematic and it would be desirable to avoid it for some time in the future.
The second most common piece of advice that mothers hear relates to fluids. It is very popular to advise mothers to drink a lot of milk. This is advice that we could call “semi-accurate” – it is important that the mother drinks plenty of fluids, but it does not have to be milk. By ingesting enough fluids the mother will ensure sufficient milk production and prevent her own dehydration. It is best if this liquid is water. Mothers can also find lactation tea or lactation products that help with the production of breastmilk.
Cow’s milk is not the best solution for two reasons. The first is that it is at the very top of possible and strong allergens, and therefore it is good or moderately used or avoided, while the second is that in the composition of cow’s milk (which is intended for different cubs) there are certain types of proteins that our body finds difficult digests, which will come through the mother’s milk into the child’s digestive system and cause bloating and gas (cramps, colic) and unnecessarily expel it. Calcium that the mother should take into her body through milk can be replaced by other foods – dark green vegetables, seeds (especially sesame), nuts and fish with a lot of bones, although, as already mentioned, with the intake of nuts and fish should be careful , because they belong to the group of strong potential allergens. Calcium can also be taken as a dietary supplement in tablets.
Since it is extremely important for the mother to drink enough fluids during the day, it is recommended that she drink whenever she is thirsty, and that she has a glass of water on hand while breastfeeding. Adopting the habit of drinking a glass of fluid during each breastfeeding will help prevent dehydration and ensure adequate fluid intake.
It is often not so much a problem for mothers to decide what to eat or to design a varied menu. A much bigger problem is finding time to buy and prepare food.
It is important to know that in order to prepare a balanced menu, it is not necessary for the mother to spend most of the day in the kitchen. There are many dishes that are easy to prepare and will serve well as “snacks” that can be eaten even while breastfeeding. Some of these are for example – sliced cheese, yogurt, bread and crackers made from whole grains, tomatoes, boiled Brussels sprouts, fresh fruits, whole or sliced vegetables (carrots, beets …), hard-boiled eggs, nuts, cereals and cornflakes … and can be eaten without or with very little preparation. three larger meals during the day.As with drinking, the mother can adopt the habit of preparing a small meal each time she starts breastfeeding to eat during breastfeeding.