Maintain a balanced diet for yourself and your baby
Postnatal mothers need more energy and caloric intake when breastfeeding than during pregnancy. As they care for their babies, sometimes they suffer from lack of sleep. Under these circumstances, mothers may tend to neglect their diet.
Be sure to maintain a balanced diet for yourself and your baby. Give yourself at least 6 months to lose the weight gained during pregnancy coupled with exercise. Avoid restricting your diet excessively to lose weight faster, as this not only affects your health, but also the production of breast milk.
Capitalise to increase your bone mass
A mother’s bone mass decreases substantially during pregnancy and breastfeeding. But they have a chance to increase bone mass during the 6 months to one year after their periods restart following childbirth. If you supply the building blocks of bones, which are calcium and vitamin D, then stronger bones will be produced. Dairy products, small fish, beans, seaweed and wheat are all rich in calcium.
The effects of drinking and smoking
As much as 2% of alcohol in the maternal system will find its way into the breast milk. Your newborn’s ability to rid alcohol would be slower than that of an adult due to his immature liver. This may affect your baby’s growth and his ability to thrive. It has been reported that nicotine has direct effect on babies, including causing vomiting, diarrhoea, an increased pulse rate and restlessness. The whole family should take the opportunity afforded by pregnancy to give up on smoking.
The effects of caffeine
It is said that when mothers drink beverages that contain caffeine, such as green tea and coffee, the caffeine is excreted in the breast milk^. Limit as much as possible your intake of products that contain caffeine, since breast milk that contains caffeine can cause sleeping disorders to your baby.^^
^Source: Berlin, C., et al.: Disposition of dietary caffeine in milk, saliva, and plasma of lactating women, Pediatrics, p.73, p.59-63,1984
^^ Source: Suplements & Health Support Food Dta Base Ver.1, national Insitute of Health Science,p.144,2007
Tips to yield quality breast milk
Drink adequate amount of fluids
Eat reasonably well-balanced meals
Sleep well and take time to relax
Consume foods that are less spicy, and low in fat and sugar
Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol or excessive caffeine as babies can be sensitive