YOUR BABY DE­PENDS ON YOU

Best foods to eat be­fore and af­ter hav­ing a baby

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS -

Na­ture has de­signed the hu­man body such that when you are ex­pect­ing or breast­feed­ing, the body first ful­fils the nu­tri­tional de­mands of the grow­ing baby. This could take a toll on your health. You’ll need to make sure that you are eat­ing a com­plete diet full of nu­tri­ents. This means that not only should you be plan­ning your meals to guar­an­tee the con­sump­tion of a va­ri­ety of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, but also that you’re ful­fill­ing your daily re­quire­ments, which might be higher than nor­mal. Here’s how to en­sure that op­ti­mum nour­ish­ment.

AN­TE­NA­TAL NU­TRI­TION

A bal­anced diet is vi­tal for nor­mal or­gan de­vel­op­ment and func­tion, growth and main­te­nance, en­ergy and im­mu­nity for both you and the baby. Dur­ing preg­nancy, you need to con­sume about 350 ex­tra calo­ries per day, which trans­lates to one ad­di­tional meal, but this may vary ac­cord­ing to your health sta­tus and lifestyle, and needs to be eval­u­ated by your di­eti­cian. Here are a few guide­lines that may help you make the right choices…

1Base

your meals on starchy foods such as pota­toes, bread, rice, and pasta, and choose whole grain op­tions when­ever pos­si­ble. These foods are ex­tremely sat­is­fy­ing.

2Eat

at least five por­tions of a va­ri­ety of fruits and veg­eta­bles ev­ery day rather than foods that are higher in fat and calo­ries. Pota­toes do not count as your five-a-day tar­get, and a por­tion of pure fruit juice only counts as one of your five-a-day, no mat­ter how much you drink. 3Eat

a low-fat diet and keep a check on your calo­rie in­take. Eat as lit­tle fried foods as pos­si­ble, and avoid drinks that are high in added sug­ars. Also, avoid foods such as sweets, cakes, and bis­cuits that have high fat or sugar con­tent. 4In­clude

fi­bre-rich foods such as oats, beans, lentils, grains and seeds in your diet. 5Eat

some protein ev­ery day. Opt for lean meat, and try to eat two por­tions of fish a week. Lentils, beans, and tofu are also good sources of protein, es­pe­cially for veg­e­tara­ians. 6Con­sume

dairy prod­ucts t o meet your cal­cium needs, but choose low-fat va­ri­eties such as skimmed milk or low-fat yoghurt. 7Watch

the por­tion sizes of your meals and snacks and note how of­ten you eat. 8Never

skip your break­fast. Eat­ing a nu­tri­ent-rich break­fast will not only keep morn­ing sick­ness at bay, but will also help you kick­start your day and set the tone for a healthy and en­er­getic one. 9Limit

your caf­feine in­take to 200 mil­ligrams (mg) per day. It would roughly make two mugs of in­stant cof­fee. Keep in mind that other bev­er­ages such as tea and en­ergy drinks also con­tain caf­feine.

POST­NA­TAL NU­TRI­TION

If you are a lac­tat­ing mother, your nu­tri­tional re­quire­ment should meet your own daily needs, pro­vide enough nu­tri­ents in milk for the grow­ing in­fant, and re­plen­ish the en­ergy for the pro­duc­tion of milk. It is im­por­tant that your diet sup­plies the es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents needed dur­ing breast­feed­ing such as protein, cal­cium, iron, and vi­ta­mins. Your diet should ide­ally com­prise of 60 per cenr car­bo­hy­drates, 20 per cent protein and 20-25 per cent fat.

GALACTOGOGUES TO BOOST MILK SUP­PLY

Galactogogues are nat­u­ral foods be­lieved to in­crease milk se­cre­tions. Make sure you eat as­para­gus, basil, cumin seeds, fen­nel, ragi, chia seeds, carom seeds, gar­lic onion, milk and milk-based prod­ucts, fenu­greek, gar­den cress and green leafy veg­eta­bles to in­crease your milk pro­duc­tion. Note: Ad­e­quate fluid in­take is an im­por­tant el­e­ment of good nu­tri­tion. If you are a lac­tat­ing mother, you should drink enough to sat­isfy thirst and pre­vent con­sti­pa­tion. It’s a good idea to dis­cuss your cur­rent diet with your physi­cian and come up with a good meal plan to­gether. He or she can bet­ter ad­vise you on how much you need and to help with any ob­sta­cles you’re fac­ing.

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