YOUR BABY DEPENDS ON YOU
Best foods to eat before and after having a baby
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.
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…
your meals on starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice, and pasta, and choose whole grain options whenever possible. These foods are extremely satisfying.
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.
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.