Post Delivery Nutrition
Nutrition after Delivery is important for the health of mother and new born. Although they can expect to naturally lose 1 to 2 pounds per week with no extra effort, breast-feeding women actually need to consume approximately 200 calories more per day than they did while pregnant. Women transitioning from pregnancy to breast-feeding need to make important nutritional changes.
Lactating women should consume adequate portions of protein daily. Excellent protein sources include meat, fish, poultry, seafood, dairy, tofu and beans. Experts also recommend that breast-feeding women eat two portions of fish per week, but shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tile fish should be avoided because of their high mercury content. Additionally, women should strive for a well-balanced diet of five servings of fruits and vegetables; get an adequate intake of starches, such as whole-wheat bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, for energy; and consume fiber-rich foods, such as whole-wheat products, beans, fruits and vegetables, as many postnatal women complain of constipation. New mothers should also consume at least eight glasses of water per day.
Foods with Calcium and Iron
Calcium is particularly important for lactating women. It is recommended that adult breast-feeding women consume 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day, 30 percent more than the recommended dietary allowance for the average adult woman. Dairy foods, beans and green leafy vegetables are all excellent sources of calcium. In addition to calcium, lactating mothers need to get at least 8 milligrams of iron each day. Iron-rich foods include meat, seafood, poultry, fortified cereals, beans and spinach.
Foods with Vitamin C
Breast-feeding women should consume at least 120 milligrams of vitamin C daily. Citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, red bell peppers, broccoli and potatoes all contain significant amounts of vitamin C.
Considerations and Foods To Avoid
Avoid all alcohol when breast-feeding, but a drink once or twice a week should not harm the baby. If you feel you might indulge further during a certain event, express enough milk beforehand to feed your baby until the alcohol is out of your system. Try not to smoke while lactating. Using a nicotine patch can help you overcome your cravings, but the nicotine will still pass from you to your breast milk. If you find you are unable to quit smoking, continue to nurse your baby because breast milk helps protect infants from certain illnesses and is more nutritious than formula. Never smoke around your baby or in spaces you share with your baby, such as your home or your car, even if the baby is not present. Experts recommend drinking no more than 8 ounces of caffeinated beverages daily.
For more information on Nutrition during breastfeeding, please schedule consultation with our nutritionist