Breastfeeding requires approximately 500– 600 kcal more each day compared to the period when are not breastfeeding. Fluid requirements also increase for a breastfeeding mother. Food sources discussed below provide healthy calories and fluids for a breastfeeding mother. Include them in your diet to ensure health for both you and your baby.
Helps build and maintain strong bones. Calcium is absorbed better when consumed with Vitamin D.
Good sources: Milk, cheese, yogurt, dark green leafy vegetables, tofu made with calcium, calcium-fortified fruit juice or soya milk.
Maintains your energy level and also can help protect you from infections. Iron from vegetable sources is absorbed better when consumed along with Vitamin C.
Good sources: Poultry products (especially dark meat), iron-fortified cereal, soya bean nuts, spinach, red kidney beans, whole grain dalia, soups, jaggery, munacca, dates etc.
Important for growth and cell reproduction.
Good sources: Poultry products, beans, nuts, zinc-fortified cereal, low-fat or fat-free milk, whole grain bread, oysters.
Keeps all your tissues and cells in good repair. Protein needs increase for breastfeeding mothers by about 25 grams- the amount in about 3 ounces (85 g) of lean meat, poultry or fish.
Good sources: Lean meat, skinless poultry, fish, low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy products, eggs, soya foods, cooked dry beans, peas and nuts.
Helps your body utilize calcium.
Good sources: Low-fat or fat-free milk fortified with Vitamin D, Vitamin D-fortified cereal, exposure to direct sunlight.
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can lead to fatigue. It works with folic acid to form haemoglobin in red blood cells.
Good sources: Lean meat, skinless poultry, fish, clams, Vitamin B12-fortified cereal, low-fat or fat-free milk, eggs.
Here is a quick overview of foods rich in protein and calcium. Use this guide to help you plan your meals.
- Serving sizes: 85 g of meat are about the same size as your palm
- 1 cup is about the size of your fist
Protein helps build healthy cells for you and your baby.
Dairy: 250 g of whole milk and 320 ml of skim (8 g protein); 33 gm cheese (8 g protein)
Meat: 40 g of meat, fish or chicken (7 g protein)
Nuts: 2 tablespoons or 1/8 cup of almonds or cashews (12- 13 g protein)
Beans: 1/4 cup of beans or 4 tablespoons soya beans (52 g protein)
Grains: 1 slice of bread (2 g protein)
Cereal: 20 g of cereal (2 g protein)
Calcium is needed for strong bones and also to regulate muscle and nerve contractions. Lack of calcium may cause leg cramps or osteoporosis.
Dairy: 250 g of milk (fat-free, 2%, or whole milk) (300 mg calcium)
Curd: 250 g of curd (372 mg calcium)
Calcium Supplements: Calcium carbonate or calcium citrate
Check with your doctor before taking a supplement. Calcium content varies. Be sure to check the label.
Fortified Nutritional Supplements provide vital vitamins and minerals for you and your baby.
At this stage, both your and your baby’s health depends on your diet. Know the food that helps you maintain the right diet and produce the best for your baby. This is the only way to maintain the health and happiness of both you and your baby.