Diet tips for new moms!
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on May 29, 2020
You’ve just been through an overwhelming experience of your life. To give birth is to literally breathe life into another – and it takes a whole lot of energy. And there is not a moment to pause. Breastfeeding follows almost instantly. What you need now is a diet that helps you build strength and aids in healthy lactation too. Here are some expert diet tips guaranteed to boost up your motherhood experience…
For more milk production: Almonds, cashew, walnuts, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, dates, raisins, cumin seeds, methi seeds, ajwain, dried ginger, gaund, jaggery. So you can make the traditional panjiri and laddoos with these ingredients (with less ghee if you are weight conscious). Along with these foods, you should take ample fluids in the form of lukewarm water, jeera water, soups, buttermilk, egg nog and milk. Fluid is important for milk production.
For managing stress and mood swings: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seeds, beans. These foods keep cortisol in check. Cortisol is a hormone associated with increased stress levels, so eating a diet that reduces/controls cortisol production in our body helps to de-stress. On the other hand, serotonin is a brain chemical that helps to elevate mood and fight depression. A diet containing complex carbohydrates such as whole grains cereals, beans, high fibre vegetables and fruits boosts up serotonin levels in the body. The result: A happy and calm you. If you eat fish, there are reasons to be happier. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish also increase serotonin in the body; walnuts and flaxseeds also contain omega-3. Avoid caffeinated drinks and refined foods.
For better digestion: Using ajwain, jeera (cumin seeds), garlic, ginger, hing in food preparations helps in digestion. A lactating mother needs to eat an easily digestible diet so the digestion process does not tax her body much. Opt for small and frequent meals rather than three heavy meals in a day. Avoid spicy and fried foods.
For building strength: Eggs, milk products, poultry/fish, dals, legumes, beans, cereals like bajra, ragi, dalia, bown rice, dark green leafy vegetables, jaggery, dates, dark raisins, sesame seeds. These foods are rich in PCI, which stands for Proteins, Calcium and Iron (don’t google it, we just invented this term so you can remember it easily!).These three nutrients help your infant become strong and healthy. A diet deficient in these would not only affect the health of the breastfed child but also negatively impact the health of a new mother – she is at the risk of developing anaemia, weak bones and low immunity.
Oh dear! Where do we start? From the time you got pregnant, you’ve heard nothing but ”eat this” or “don’t eat this”… right? And the suggestions are simply unstoppable if you are lactating. What’s a fact? What’s a myth? Here’s where we separate the two:
Hot foods help in lactation
FACT: Foods like nuts, dried fruits, seeds, jaggery, ginger and garlic, which are generally considered to be hot foods, have been seen to help in lactation. This is because most of these foods provide essential nutrients like proteins, calcium and essential fats.
Fluid intake should be limited
MYTH: Fluids play a key role in lactation as milk is mostly water. So the more fluids you take, especially before you breastfeed your baby, the more it will help in milk production. Opt for nourishing beverages like soups, egg nog, milk, buttermilk or even jeera water, instead of plain water.
Strong flavours affect the taste of milk
FACT:Strongly flavoured foods and spices like garlic do leave a taste in breast milk. In fact, this helps the child to accept these flavours more readily when he/she takes to solid foods.
Cold foods like citrus fruits, curd, rice should be restricted
MYTH: There is no scientific evidence to support this restriction.
Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks as these can be secreted in your milk and are harmful for your baby. Only prescription medicines should be taken.
So are you ready to become a health champ, post-childbirth? Follow the above diet tips and enjoy the experience of motherhood like it should be – stress-free! We would love to hear your tried-tested diet suggestions. Write in!