The Definitive Guide To Lactation After Pregnancy
Eating Well Post Pregnancy
Good eating habits is hard to maintain when you are a new mother as it is hard to follow a routine when you are too busy feeding and caring for a new infant. Moreover if you are already caring for a young family you already have plenty of housework and shopping to do.
If ever there is a time that you are to enjoy more food then this is the right time. During lactation you will consume a lot of energy unlike when you were pregnant. If you plan to fully breastfeed then every kilojoules that your baby requires for the next few months will come directly from you. Your breast milk will provide all the essential nutrients your baby needs to grow and the first few months is when an infant grows at the fastest rate. In more ways than one your mammary glands are amazing organs which will grow in size and weight during lactation. It’s been said that at peak lactation that it can produce up to a liter of milk per day. You can maintain lactation as long as you and your baby wish.
Advantages Of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is very convenient and cheap. There are no warnings to worry about and there’s no packaging and it is the perfect food for a new baby. Many reports say that breastfeeding will lower the risk of babies becoming overweight and obese as they grow old and reduce babies from developing allergies and diabetes in the future.
- Protects your baby from illness and infection.
- Provides the correct food for your baby.
- Reduces the risks of SIDS.
- Reduces diabetes risks in the future.
- Reduces the risks of allergies and asthma.
- Is less expensive and more convenient because there is no need for expensive formulas and feeding equipment.
- Reduces the risks of mothers getting breast and ovarian cancer.
- Reduces the risk of postnatal depression.
What To Limit And Avoid While Breastfeeding
There are some foods and fluids that are best avoided or limited when breastfeeding.
Caffeine – It is recommended that breastfeeding women limit their caffeine intake each day while breastfeeding. Any caffeine consumed while breastfeeding will pass on to your breast milk and the highest levels found will be sixty minutes after consuming a cup of coffee. Newborns metabolize coffee really slowly so the levels can build up if you drink a lot. Caffeine is not just found in coffee but also in energy drinks and soft drinks.
Alcohol – It is best to avoid alcohol when breast feeding as it will also pass through your breast milk. If you have a planned event and want to have more than a glass of wine consider expressing milk beforehand to give your baby.
Smoking – It is a well known fact that smoking is harmful while pregnant but less is known on how it affects breastfeeding. However there are plenty of reasons not to smoke while breast feeding as babies with mothers who smoke have been known to have higher incidents of colds and ear infections.
Struggling To Find Time To Eat
Preparing some healthy snack while breastfeeding is a great idea as this will make sure that you are refueling and re hydrating regularly as your baby takes in nourishment from you. For some top breastfeeding snacks Some women are at risk of not getting adequate nutrition during lactation
- Women with highly restricted eating.
- Women following strict vegetarian vegan diet.
- Women who are dieting to lose weight.
- Women who avoid dairy products.
- Women on very low income.
Finding The Time For A Healthy Diet After Pregnancy
Healthy Snacks For Mothers
Wholegrain toast or raisin toast
Glass of milk or soy
Muesli and porridge
Wholegrain crisp bread with cheese or avocado
Dried fruit and nut mix
When Breastfeeding Is Not Possible
Sometimes it is not possible to start breastfeeding after birth. Some babies born prematurely need to be in a medical crib for days and some babies stay longer even for months. Do not stress as thousands of babies worldwide are fed with breast milk substitutes including the ones designed for premature babies. You can collect your breast milk and feed your baby through a tube or a bottle or begin lactation at a later date.
Undersized And Premature Babies Need Special Care
Infants that are born full term are able to feed from the breast or a bottle. However it is common for babies who are born preterm to have initial difficulties with sucking and swallowing. Some premature babies need tube feeding until they are medically stable to feed on their own. If you have a premature baby it is important that you have individual professional help so your baby gains weight and catch up with complications.
Is It Time To Get My Figure Back
At this point it is normal to still carry some weight as your uterus is still big, your blood volume is still higher and nature ensures that you have around three to four kilos of stored fat to facilitate breastfeeding. At this point your weight loss results may not be successful. It is better to focus on sustainable changes to your eating and exercise habits and make sure that they are changes that you can maintain long term. This is even more important now that you are a parent and a good role model for your child. Exercise is good for you but after the first few months of giving birth, don’t overdo it. Your body needs time to heal and you need time to adjust to your new role and to care for and bond with your baby.
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Breast Milk Protects Infants From Infections
Breast milk contains protein and carbohydrates. The protein in human milk supplies all the essential amino acids for building new tissues and enzymes. It also helps protect your baby from infections and carry through some minerals through your baby. Fat is the most variable component in human milk it provides not only energy but also serves to carry the fat soluble vitamins and hormones. It is common for lactating mothers to take daily fish oil supplements however improving the quality of your diet is probably the best thing. The main carbohydrate in human milk is called lactose and all humans have the ability to digest lactose until three to five years old and after that it undergoes changes which are usually genetically determined.
The demands of looking after a new born baby is definitely time consuming. Now is the time when looking after yourself is even more important to ensure you are able to cope with your new role and the challenges it brings.We have discussed the benefits of eating well during the pregnancy, some healthy snack tips for breastfeeding mothers, food to avoid while lactating and other great hints and tips to reassure mothers out there with common concerns about breastfeeding.