Lactation Tips for New Mothers
A lactating mother does need extra cals but I would say do not eat large amounts of food but increase your milk intake in the form of milk or curd to 1 ltr of skimmed milk per day for the first 6 months. Special care should be taken to avoid fatty foods at this time as it will cause unnecessary weight gain and indigestion. Gas producing foods like cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber and pulses (moong, channa, etc.) must be taken with caution to avoid gas formation in the mother and baby. Over 96% of women are biologically capable of breastfeeding and it can be a success quite naturally for most mothers. Breast milk is best for your baby as it has the perfect composition. Just be confident, positive and look forward to it as a special experience of bonding with your baby that God has gifted to you. As you breastfeed, your calorie need increases quite a lot but please note that you do not have to increase your intake because there are already fat stores built up in your body during pregnancy and this will be utilised for the milk production. The more the baby drinks, more milk is produced. The best food for infants is breast milk. Ensuring that sufficient quantity of milk and good quality breast milk is produced, requires that first the mother-to-be must have a properly balanced and healthy diet throughout the pregnancy (i.e. plenty of milk, dhals, pulses, fruits and vegetables). During the months that one is breast feeding (nursing) special care must be taken to continue to consume these foods. Besides this drinking plenty of water is very important to ensure a good free flow of milk.
Cream and ghee are the fat part of the milk and that is not necessary at all. Food should be cooked in oil and minimum oil. Rich fatty food, sweets and mutton are not the factors that will enhance milk production. If you eat too much fatty food you will not find time and space to fit in the fruits and vegetables. More B and C Vitamins from these are very important in the diet as they enter the milk and thereby go into the baby.
When you eat rich sweets and very fatty foods, it dehydrates the body and so please avoid these.
Consuming large amounts of ghee, mitai and heavy mutton preparations to ensure the production of milk is a misconception and one of the major reasons for obesity after the delivery.
You need to drink at least 3-4 ltrs of water daily which will ensure a good flow of milk of the right dilution.