Your Milk Should Not Be Inadequate During the Lactation Period

Damla Arslan
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You have finally met the baby you’ve been waiting for months. Now, your only concern is about feeding your baby, isn’t it? In doing so, you disregard yourself and want to give him the most beautiful milk and advance his growth in the most healthy way. What about your health? Are you one of those who listen and practice every word in order to increase your milk and give him better quality milk? You don’t want to harm yourself and your baby with the stuff you’ve got, do you?

If you want to increase your milk, give high-quality milk to your baby and get your old great body while doing so, my first advice is to consult with an expert. If you do not have enough time or financial resources to consult a specialist, I think this article I will write about “Weight Control during Lactation Period” will be quite useful. ☺ So, let me talk about the answers to the most frequently asked questions, ‘”How should I feed during the lactation period?” and “How can I lose weight during the lactation period?“.

How should I feed during the lactation period?

Mother’s Need for Nutrients during the Lactation Period:
Breast milk is the most amazing food that contains all the energy and nutrients your baby needs for growth and development insufficient, balanced and healthy amounts. During the lactation period, the energy and nutrients in the milk secreted by the mother are obtained from the foods that the mother eats and the stores in the mother’s body. In other words, the more full your stores and the more variety, quality and balance of foods you eat, the more you can produce quality breast milk.

At this point, you should have 3 goals that you, dear mothers, should not forget while breastfeeding. The first of all, foods must meet the physiological needs of your own body, the second, the food stored in your body should be kept in balance, the third, energy and the nutrients should be provided according to the necessity of the secreted milk as much as possible. Therefore, the nutrients necessary for milk secretion in addition to the mother’s own needs should be calculated and consumed. If it cannot provide this energy and is underfed, energy and nutrients are supplied from the stores in the mother’s body. This causes the mother’s health to deteriorate due to depleted depots and at the same time causes inadequate milk secretion.

How much energy should the mother need during the lactation period?

What is the amount of extra calories to be taken during the lactation period?

Most of the energy in the breastfeeding mother’s milk is met by eating, while the rest is provided by the storehouse. It is known that a healthy mother secretes 700-800 ml of milk a day during breastfeeding. When we make a rough calculation, 600-800 kcal/day should be added in addition to the mother’s normal energy requirement.

How can I lose weight during the lactation period?

Of this calorie, 500 kcal is met from what you eat and 250 kcal is met from the stores gained during pregnancy. If you prefer to supply the required energy from unhealthy and empty energy sources such as sweet, sugared, fatty foods, you will get poor quality milk. In addition, if you eat more than 500 kcal, you keep gaining weight and you will not be able to regain your old body.

In this sense, if I have to answer the question ”Is there a slimming diet during lactation?” I would like to say ”not for the first 6 months ”. Although we should say that you shouldn’t diet for slimming, in fact, it is possible to lose weight as breastfeeding makes you burn more calories. To do this, all you need is not to get more energy than you need. In other words, it is possible to lose weight without affecting the quality and quantity of milk only when you meet the needs of your body.

How much weight should I lose in a month during the lactation period?

In this sense, it is desirable for a lactating mother to lose 2 kilos per month. The energy that the mother should receive daily should not fall below 1800 kcal. If you are overweight or fat mother, you should not fall below 1500 kcal.

How should be the mother’s necessity for the nutrients?

During the lactation period, nutrients should be met as much as energy. The protein quality of nutrition is very important. In future pregnancies, proteins of animal origin should be included to prevent malnutrition. For this reason, breastfeeding mothers must eat 1 egg each day and consume 1-2 cups of milk and milk products. The mother should follow a rich diet program with meat, chicken, fish and legumes.

What foods should be consumed during the lactation period?

Fat: Breast milk should be rich in unsaturated fatty acids, so the nutrients consumed are recommended to be unsaturated fats such as nuts, walnuts, olive oil, and omega-3.

Iron deficiency is a common problem in many countries as well as in our country. It has been reported that 15mg of iron should be taken daily especially in pregnant and lactating women with the approval of WHO. A lactating mother secretes 1-2 mg of iron per day. To compensate for this, she should take an additional 5 mg of Iron (Fe) per day to minimize the risk of anemia.

Iodine is found in the composition of hormones found in the thyroid glands. In our country, iodine deficiency is seen in 15-20% of lactating women. Iodized salt consumption should be provided and iodine deficiency should be avoided in order to ensure the growth and development of the baby properly and to avoid growth retardation that we call dwarfism.

The need for calcium increases during the lactation period. Breast milk contains approximately 250 mg of calcium. To prevent bone diseases such as osteomalacia, which is the softness of the bone due to calcium deficiency, 1000-1200 mg of calcium should be consumed daily. In this sense, 1-2 slices of cheese should be consumed in a day in addition to 1-2 cups of milk or kefir or yogurt.

The daily requirement of other vitamins should be met and vitamin deficiency should be eliminated. Adequate intake of vitamins B group (such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin), B12, Folic acid, vitamins A-D-C-E should be ensured. In this sense, 1 µg B12, 100 µg Folic acid, 3000 IU vitamin A, 30 mg vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin D, 3 mg vitamin E should be added to the mother’s diet. Vitamins should not be used without medical supervision.

How much should be the fluid intake that increase the amount of breast milk during the lactation period?

How many glasses of water should I drink during the lactation period? What other liquids should be consumed other than water during the lactation period?

The water metabolism of the breastfeeding mother is also increased. The amount of drinking water increases with the secretion of milk and the metabolic water increases with the foods consumed. Liquid intake should be increased in order not to change the amount of milk. In this sense, the taken fluid should be 1.5 ml/kcal/day, which is 3000 ml (3 liters) in average. This corresponds to 12 glasses of water. This can be obtained from beverages such as milk, buttermilk, compote (without sugar, prepared with fruit sugar). The point is that consuming black tea and coffee reduces milk yield and quantity, and caffeine also harms the baby. Instead, you can prefer lemon balm and jasmine tea that increase breast milk.

What should be the sample nutrition plan for the lactation period?

With this information, I would like to share with you the sample nutrition plan that I prepared to increase breast milk and to obtain high-quality breast milk during the lactation period. Let’s start with breakfast, the first feeding time of the day.

Sample breakfast menu for nursing mothers:

  • 1 glass of milk
  • 1 egg or 1 slice of white cheese (30g)
  • 5-6 olives
  • 1-2 slices of brown bread
  • Cold cuts (seasonal vegetables, green leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses or honey or 1 piece of fruit or 20g of dried fruit

Snack: 1 fruit or 20g dried fruit

Sample lunch menu for nursing mothers:

  • 1 portion of vegetable dish with meat or legumes with meat
  • 1 portion of rice or pasta
  • 1 bowl of yogurt or buttermilk
  • 1 slice of brown bread
  • Seasonal salad

Snack: 1 slice of white cheese, 1 slice of brown bread, 1 fruit or 1 handful of raw nuts and dried fruit mix.

Sample dinner menu for nursing mothers:

  • 1 bowl of soup (such as tarhana, lentils, vegetables, soups with yogurt)
  • 90-120g red meat, chicken or fish or minced / meat vegetable dish
  • 1 bowl of yogurt or tzatziki
  • Seasonal salad
  • 1 slice of brown bread or 3-4 tablespoons of rice/pasta

2 hours before bedtime: 200 ml of milk or kefir or yogurt or milk dessert 1-2 times a week

Herbal tea such as linden, mint, chamomile, rosehip, lemon balm can be consumed among meals or drinks made with very little sugar such as compote can be consumed instead of fruit.

This menu is in the form of a general list and the quantities vary according to the individual. If you want a personalized nutrition plan, it is best to proceed under the supervision of an expert.

Hope to see you in my next article, goodbye for now ☺

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