Diet Plan for a Lactating Mother

Giving birth is a magical feeling. Welcoming your little ball of sunshine can bring an unfathomable amount of joy. Taking care of your young one becomes your priority. Feeding, clothing, cuddling and how to raise the baby well are all we worry about. The market may be flooded with a hundred baby food options but we know the healthiest diet one can ever provide to a newborn is, through breastfeeding.

Nothing can ever replace breast milk when it comes to feeding your new born. Doctors recommend breastfeeding till the baby turns six months old as breast milk contains all necessary nutrients needed for healthy growth. Breastfeeding plays an important part in the vital developmental processes of a baby and also helps to prevent several diseases and illnesses.

Mothers themselves need to be on a healthy diet while she breastfeeds her child. Every nutrient plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of your baby. You cannot deprive yourself of them. For instance, reports say that mothers whose diet do not comprise of non-vegetarian sources of protein, are likely to produce breast milk which is low in Vitamin B12. The low amounts of vitamin B might place their infants in danger of vitamin B12 deficiency, leading to several health concerns in the future. This makes Vitamin B an essential supplement that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers must incorporate in their daily diet.

We have curated a diet chart that contains all the essential nutrients that a new mother absolutely needs in her food to have a healthy breastfeeding experience that benefits both mother and child.

Ideal calories to be consumed by breastfeeding mothers

The number of calories needed by a breastfeeding mother depends on several factors like age, metabolism, body mass index and extent of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding requires energy. If you are not pregnant or breastfeeding you may require 1200 to 2000 kilocalories per day based on your activity level, age group, height etc. However, when you are Breastfeeding you would require an additional 450-500 kilocalories worth of healthy food calories in your diet making it a daily consumption of 1800-2500 kilo calories.

Some options for a healthy Indian Diet Plan for Breastfeeding Mothers

Indian food contains an abundance of options to choose from, when it comes to a healthy diet.   Healthy fats like ghee and butter form an integral part of our diets. It is definitely not unknown that ghee is considered as a very good energy supplement. Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals, Carbohydrates, Fibers, Iron and Calcium are other factors we cannot ignore while curating a meal plan for a new mother.

Veg Meal Plan:

  1. Proteins: It is highly important for a lactating mother to consume a diet that is rich in proteins. Proteins help in the synthesis and production of breast milk. They also help mothers to lose that post-delivery flab that they gained during pregnancy. Apart from a diet rich in pulses and legumes, taking milk at least two times a day with added supplement of protein powders can be really beneficial.
  2. Iron-rich foods: For breastfeeding mothers, it is important to take iron-rich foods such as legumes, baked beans, wholegrain bread, cereals, green leafy vegetables, nuts and dried fruits.
  3. Vitamins: Breastfeeding increases the requirement for vitamin rich foods. Include citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, capsicum, pumpkin, etc. These can be cooked in various ways to add all the essential vitamins that are important for both baby and mother.
  4. Galactagogue Foods: Galactagogues are synthetic or plant-based food that help in increasing breast milk production. Galactagogues include spinach, garlic, almonds, sesame & poppy seeds, ragi kanji, Shatavari or fenugreek, fennel seeds, etc.
  5. Fluids: Drinking water is extremely important for breastfeeding mothers. At least 2-3 liters of water must be consumed to quench the frequent thirst and also to hydrate the body.

Non-Veg Meal Plan:

Non-vegetarians should include proteins like fish, eggs, and chicken meat in their diets. However, it is best to avoid chilies or spices in your fish curry or meat curry.  You can also include egg whites in breakfast. It all includes a high amount of protein that is of utmost importance to lactating mothers.

Full-Day Diet Plan: – A sample based on Indian Traditional Meal Plans ( Non vegetarians can replace dal with fish or chicken or can substitute it with other protein options)

Morning:

  • 6:00-7:00 A.M: – 1 cup tea (1tsp sugar) or Herbal tea /Milk + Panjeeri (Half small bowl)
  • 8:30 A.M: – 7-8 almonds or 4-5 dates

Breakfast:

9:00 A.M: – 1 glass (200 ml) skimmed milk + 1/2 cup badam sheera + 1 Fruit OR 3 small methi or palak paratha + ½ cup curd/raita OR 2 slices of brown bread and a whole egg + 1 fruit or 1 cup of poha or upma/ Cheese sandwich

Mid-Morning:

1 non-citrus fruit such as apple or pomegranate + 1 methi ladoo

Lunch:

1 cup salad + 2 multigrain rotis or 1 cup rice + 1 cup vegetables + 1 cup moong curry/dal + a small piece of jaggery or homemade steamed Sandesh

Evening:

1 glass milk (200ml) + 1 gland ladoo

Mid-evening:

1 cup tea (1 tsp sugar) with 2 small pancakes (Puda/chila) or sprout bhel or 1 cup vegetable upma

Dinner:

1 cup salad + 2 rotis or 1 cup rice + 1 cup green vegetable + 1 cup dal or 1 bowl of soup+ I cup salad+ I cup rice+ I gravy of your choice like Paneer, Fish or Chicken

Bedtime: 1 glass milk (200ml)

We hope you can now choose a healthy diet plan that provides all the vital nutrients to you and your baby. It is the best immunity drink that you can give your baby. This makes diet an important part in your life. A healthy diet can do more wonders than you think! It adds all the goodness to the breast milk. Breastfeeding in turn helps you to lose weight, works as a natural contraceptive, keeps you healthy and happy and improves overall body health of your baby.

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