August 1-7 of each year celebrates World’s Breastfeeding week to establish good breastfeeding culture and give support for breastfeeding mothers everywhere, and improve the health of babies.
The World’s health organization (WHO) and the American academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life before introducing solids food and then supplemented breastfeeding up to 1 or 2 years of age.
- Protects your babies from germs and illnesses
- Increases immunity
- Decreases the risk for babies to develop food allergies
- May boost child’s intelligence
- Decreases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
- Decreases the risk for the mother of developing inflammatory diseases
That said, it is important to know that a good and appropriate nutrition are very essential for mommy and baby to maintain their health.
The diet should be varied, balanced and natural including all 5 main food groups as such:
- Fresh cuts of fruits and Fresh vegetables cooked or raw for a rich salad
- Lean proteins like chicken breast, beef fillet, salmon and fish
- Low-fat dairy products like cheese, yogurt and milk
- Whole-grains like brown rice, pasta, buckwheat, burgul, quinoa
- Source of good fats like avocado, peanut butter, olive oil
It is also good to keep in mind to have small and frequent meals to avoid cravings and hunger such as:
- Raw and unsalted nuts
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Cut up vegetables with hummus or homemade guacamole sauce
- Homemade baked sweet potato fries
- Low-fat yogurt with unsweetened granola
However, it is always questioned on the amount of calories needed for a breastfeeding mother. Since might vary depending on each person’s lifestyle and on her activity level. It was previously believed that a nursing mom would need an extra 500 calories per day but this might just be too much or also insufficient.
The truth about milk supply is also determined by the baby’s sucking as supply increases with demand.
In short, the best is to eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet to ensure that the mother is not lacking any nutrients and has got enough energy supplied for her body for normal performance and physical activity and without her lacking any essential vitamins and minerals.