Nutrition Advice During Lactation (Postpartum Period)

Damla Arslan

In my previous article, I told you dear mothers about the energy and nutrients that should be taken to increase your milk. In this article, I would like to give practical advice about nutrition during breastfeeding and share information about what you should consume and what you should not consume.

Breast milk is the most bioavailable, most easily digestible, most natural food containing the energy and nutrients necessary for the growth and development of the newborn. This wonderful nutrient strengthens your baby’s immunity while also contributing to physical and intelligence development. In addition, breast milk is an irreplaceable food that strengthens the bond between mother and baby. While this is the case of your esteemed mothers’ concerns like “My milk is insufficient“, “My milk is not enough for my baby” , you both panic and apply to ear-filled information.

It is quite inconvenient to eat extra foods and eat plenty of calorie and sweet desserts so that your milk increases. So how should I feed during this period? What foods are right to consume? What should I consume to increase the amount and efficiency of my milk? If you are looking for answers to questions like those, here are the simple tricks 🙂

What are the tips to increase breast milk during lactation period?

Can I diet during lactation?

  • Do not mind the excess weight and try to lose weight fast. Slimming diet for the first 6 months to return to your old form is a condition we do not recommend at all. It is best to aim to lose 5 pounds a month with healthy eating and breastfeeding.
  • While slimming diet is not done during breastfeeding, try to avoid excessive fat, sugary, floury foods in order to lose weight in a healthy way.

How should carbohydrate consumption be during lactation?

  • The most important mistake made during lactation is to stop taking carbohydrate. Cutting carbohydrates will reduce the amount of breast milk. Carbohydrate sources such as bread, rice, pasta and fruit should be included in the nutrition of the breastfeeding mother. What should be considered while consuming these foods is the preference of the brown ones of these grains.

How can I eat healthy without gaining weight during lactation?

  • Vegetables are the most important source of tendon and vitamin-minerals. You should include plenty of green vegetables at every meal. Many studies show that especially greens like celery, zucchini, artichoke, basil, purslane, dill, spinach, peppermint increase milk yield. However, the consumption of parsley, which is known to reduce breast milk, should be reduced as it has a water-throwing feature.
  • Diversify your diet to take all kinds of nutrients. Meat, milk, vegetables, fruits, cereals, fat should be consumed in a balanced way at each main meal and this is one of the rules you should pay attention.
  • Care should be taken to consume foods rich in vitamin A and with a strong antioxidant like Beta-carotene such as carrots, beets, and pumpkins.
  • Because of the pesticides used, vegetables and fruits should be washed with plenty of water before they are consumed.
  • Unsaturated fatty acids contribute to the neural development of the baby. For this reason, it is very important to increase the consumption of oily seeds such as hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and fish which provide omega 3 storage. Large oily fish cooked in the oven or grill at least twice a week should be preferred.

What are the foods that cause gas problems during lactation?

  • Consumption of legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils should not be avoided because it causes gas problem. If it makes too much gas, these foods should not be consumed in the first month, then added to the diet and boiling water should be poured if gas production still continues. Consuming these nutrients 2-3 times a week as a source of quality vegetable protein is very important for cell renewal, tissue repair and blood production.
  • In addition to your legumes, you can consume vitamin C-rich vegetables or fruits such as lemon, orange, green leafy vegetables to increase iron absorption.
  • Foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and onions should be avoided if they cause gas problems.
  • If lactose in the milk causes gas, lactose-free milk should be preferred or other foods such as kefir, yoghurt, buttermilk should be consumed instead of milk.
  • Natural beverages such as buttermilk, freshly squeezed fruit juice, compote should be preferred instead of acidic beverages such as ready-made fruit juices, soda pop, cola.

How should be the fluid consumption during lactation?

  • The most important way to increase your milk is to consume plenty of fluids. It was observed that the mothers consumed 3 liters of water per day and the amount of milk was high. You can drink 2 liters of water a day and in addition you can complete your liquid consumption to 3 liters with sugar-free herbal tea, sugar-free compote, buttermilk, soup.
  • You should consume 2-3 servings of dairy products such as milk, kefir, yogurt and cheese which are calcium-rich every day.

How should be the intake of iron during lactation?

  • To avoid iron deficiency, you should prefer 1 egg and 1 portion of minced / meat dishes every day.
  • Vitamin D should be taken as an additional nutrient since it is very low in foods or sunbathed for 15-20 minutes in sunlight.
  • Molasses have blood-forming effect due to iron content. You can eat molasses at your breakfast to meet your dessert needs and to prevent anemia.

What are the nutritional recommendations for breastfeeding?

  • Iodized salt should be used in meals.
  • Dried fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially in iron and calcium. These products must be included in the nutrition program by paying attention to the amounts.
  • Black tea should not be consumed with food as it will cause anemia. If desired, black tea can be consumed 1-2 hours after meals. However, instead of black tea, linden, rosehip, chamomile, balm tea should be preferred.
  • To minimize the loss of vitamins and minerals, boiling water of vegetables, macaroni, noodles and legumes should not be spilled.
  • Fennel seed and tea, fenugreek seed, nettle, sesame, brewer’s yeast, barley and oats are foods that increase breast milk.
  • Deli products containing additives such as salami, sausage, sausage and hot spices should not be consumed because of isot, chili pepper and black pepper that will change the taste of milk .
  • Excessive consumption of salt, turnip, brine and pickles, vinegar, potatoes, corn, peas which have excessive consumption of starch food reduces the breast milk.
  • Smoking and alcohol should never be used.

Does psychology of mother affect the amount of breast milk?

  • One of the most important factors that increase the amount of milk is that the mother is rested and relaxed. The mother’s sleeplessness affects the hormone prolactin negatively, which reduces milk production.
  • Frequent breastfeeding, comfortable breastfeeding and open nostrils are the key points of successful breastfeeding.
  • Melatonin hormone secreted during sleep increases the quality and quantity of milk.

What are the commercial products that increase breast milk? Is it harmful to use these products?

  • Another method that you dear mothers use to increase breast milk is to consume products on the market. Since these products are herbal products that increase breast milk, I recommend it to you and my clients.
  • If I need to list some of them;
    • Grain malt drinks,
  • Still tea which include plants such as anise, fennel, fenugreek, amber flower, lemon balm, cumin, rooibos (Milupa or Humana),
  • Lactamil, which is made of whey protein and contains many nutrients,
  • Hipp Natal Instant Herbal Tea for Breastfeeding Women which include dextrose, maltodextrin, lemon balm extract, natural lemongrass extract, nettle extract, chilli cumin extract, anise extract, fennel extract, goat mother-of-pear extract

You can use many products like those I mentioned. However, you should pay attention to the dose, quantity and calories. These products increase the nutritional value of breast milk; however, to increase the quality you need to pay attention to the above tips as well as the amount of milk.

I wish you all a healthy day, see you in my next article 🙂

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