Ask the doc

Young Parents (Singapore) - - The Baby Years -

Is it true that I should not drink too much wa­ter dur­ing con­fine­ment to avoid wa­ter re­ten­tion?

QDrink­ing suf­fi­cient flu­ids ac­tu­ally helps the body to re­move ex­cess fluid, says As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor Tan Thiam Chye, se­nior con­sul­tant at the de­part­ment of ob­stet­rics and gy­nae­col­ogy at KK Women’s and Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal.

Your body starts to re­tain more fluid from the third trimester of preg­nancy.

He also ad­vises mums to drink enough af­ter de­liv­ery, es­pe­cially if you are breast­feed­ing.

Your kid­neys will pro­duce more urine for a few weeks af­ter your baby is born to re­move ex­cess fluid that has ac­cu­mu­lated dur­ing preg­nancy.

To man­age wa­ter re­ten­tion, re­duce your salt in­take, drink more wa­ter and avoid bev­er­ages that have a de­hy­drat­ing ef­fect, such as cof­fee, tea and al­co­hol.

Ex­er­cise reg­u­larly, too, and el­e­vate your legs when­ever pos­si­ble, Prof Tan sug­gests.

AWill my milk sup­ply be af­fected if I be­come a veg­e­tar­ian while breast­feed­ing?

QYou need not worry about this. The nu­tri­tional needs of a breast­feed­ing mother on a veg­e­tar­ian diet does not dif­fer from that of a woman on nor­mal diet, says Ne­hal Kam­dar, a con­sul­tant clin­i­cal di­eti­tian in pri­vate prac­tice.

De­pend­ing on the type of veg­e­tar­ian diet you are fol­low­ing, your nu­tri­tional in­take may need to be ad­justed to en­sure that you are get­ting ad­e­quate cal­cium, iron, vi­ta­min B12, omega-3 fatty acids and vi­ta­min D.

Veg­e­tar­ian food sources for cal­cium in­clude milk, yo­gurt, cheese, bean­curd, broc­coli, spinach, nuts, and for­ti­fied prod­ucts, such as cal­cium-for­ti­fied soya milk.

For iron, take eggs, green veg­eta­bles, bean­curd, legumes, nuts and dried fruit. Vi­ta­min B12 is in milk, for­ti­fied soya milk, eggs and fer­mented soya prod­ucts, such as miso or tem­peh.

As for omega-3 fatty acids, they are found in oil (canola, soya bean), seeds (flax, chia), nuts and legumes (soya beans, lentils).

For vi­ta­min D, take eggs, for­ti­fied milk and get 10 to 15 min­utes of sun ex­po­sure daily.

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