Updated: Aug 24
Research carried out by PubMed Central shows that breast milk is made up of 87% water, 7% carbohydrates, 3.8% fat and 1% protein.
The diet of a breastfeeding mom therefore should therefore be guided by that: Lots of fluids, a few carbs, fats and proteins.
But why a breastfeeding diet?
After giving birth, women will be seeking information on the best diet for breastfeeding mothers.
This is because of three reasons:
Ø They want to have a good supply of breastmilk for their baby.
Ø They want to lose the weight gained during pregnancy.
Ø They want to have energy throughout the day
According to Nurse Geoffrey of Royal Care Medical Eldoret, breastfeeding women will need lots of proteins, greens and fluids in their diet.
“Foods such as njahi, millet ugali, meat, milk, cabbages, green vegetables, pumpkin, eggs, sweet potatoes and arrow roots. Smoked fish is also a great source of DHA which your baby needs for proper development of the brain,” he says.
When cooking, Geoffrey advocates for using natural oils and fats such as lard, ghee, butter and animal fats.
How to safely lose weight while breastfeeding
Healthline recommends that you should be taking at least 1800 calories per day for safe weight loss when breastfeeding. You do not want to go on a hunger strike because your body needs to secrete milk for the newborn. Without enough food, you will not be able to feed your baby sufficiently.
--Exercise as advised by a doctor.
After giving birth, you do not want to get into a tough workout regimen. No, your body is recuperating and as such you should give it time to do so.
You therefore need to ask your doctor for a safe workout program that you could start implementing.
The workout program should not be too strenuous maybe a bit of yoga here and there plus walking around with baby will be alright.
After childbirth, your body needs a lot of rest. However, it is normally not possible for most women since their babies will mostly be crying due to colic. But you could always ask your partner to support you take care of the baby as your rest. If your partner is not available, you could hire a babysitter or ask a relative to come live with you and help take care of the baby.
--Lots of hydration
Hydration is good not only to aid in metabolism but also to ensure that your breastmilk production is not affected.
--Avoid too many carbs and junk food
Replace your high carb intake with proteins.
Alcohol is not good for a breastfeeding mom.
Nurse Geoffrey states that the mental state of a breastfeeding mom is key in getting her to produce breastmilk but also in maintaining good health.
He advises new mothers to stay away from stressing factors. The family at large should solve any matter that might depress the lactating mother as fast as possible.
Check out all that we train on breastfeeding in Kenya