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Myths about the postpartum diet for nursing mothers
For a long time in the domestic tradition was taken not a completely rational attitude to the diet after childbirth and during pregnancy. Poor women in labor were first severely restricted, kept almost starving, and then persuaded to eat for two, supposedly to increase the amount of milk, to cram with dubious combinations, “so it was not empty. “Empty milk” is another harmful myth: milk is always what the baby needs, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. So, what thoughts guide those who choose rigid postpartum diets for breastfeeding moms?
- Some foods can cause colic and/or allergies in the baby.
- Pungent smelling foods eaten by the mother can make the baby refuse to breastfeed.
- If you don’t increase the ration, the milk will become scarce and its fat content will decrease.
All of these myths have very little basis in fact.
How is milk made from food?
A simple analogy: no matter which log is burned in the stove – birch or spruce, the heat from it will be the same. Milk in a nursing mother does not come directly from the food she eats, but from her lymph and blood. Yes, food processed in the stomach and intestines is absorbed into the blood in the form of nutrients. But it is already processed energy, in exactly the same form as it came to the baby in utero through the umbilical cord blood.
Only preservatives, dyes and other artificial food additives, as well as a number of drugs contraindicated during breastfeeding, get directly into the milk from the mother’s blood. It is clear that all of these should be excluded.
IMPORTANT: There is a connection between products and milk affecting the baby, if these products affect the mother herself. This is because the composition of her blood changes. For example, if the cabbage causes the mother’s fermentation, the baby, too, though not necessarily, may feel colic. The same situation with potential allergens.
So, no dietary rules are needed?
Modern research and worldwide experience shows that there is no need for special postpartum diets for breastfeeding mothers after childbirth. But do not go to the other extreme. Dietary rules are important for everyone, and in such a serious period of life – especially. They should be adhered to:
- for the well-being of mother and baby;
- to provide the mother with the energy she needs during lactation;
- for the optimal formation of the baby’s gastrointestinal tract;
- for getting back in shape as quickly as possible, and for maintaining a comfortable weight;
- to establish healthy eating habits in the family.
The basic rule for a diet after childbirth during breastfeeding – a normal varied healthy diet with an increased caloric content by 15-20% (extra 300-500 calories “for milk”).
How to properly organize a diet after childbirth for breastfeeding?
All moms and babies are individual. Therefore, to the general rules recommended for everyone, you need to add a few nuances.
- In the first few days after childbirth it is worth limiting the bind and gas-forming foods, and not because of lactation, and because of the postpartum difficulties in establishing the natural processes of emptying the bowels. Especially if there were stitches or a C-section.
- Introduce a familiar diet gradually, in small portions, in the first half of the day. You need to monitor your feelings and possible reaction of the child. If there are possible problems, peak them in the daytime, and not at night. If all is well, the amount of the product can be gradually increased to a full portion, then consume without fear.
- It is not recommended to start eating several potentially dangerous products at once, otherwise it will be difficult to determine the source of the reaction, if it follows. You should try 1 product every three days.
Some foods for the postpartum diet are strictly contraindicated during breastfeeding, you can read about their dangers in another blog article. If you want to organize a really effective diet, taking care of the diet after childbirth for a nursing mother, including weight loss, you can contact our experts.