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Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of an infant’s life is important as the milk is comfortable to digest. The milk contains antibodies, antimicrobial factors, enzymes, and anti-inflammatory factors along with fatty acids, which promote optimal brain development and the required amount of water for the baby. Hence a breastfeeding mother needs to pay a lot of attention to her nutrition during this period.
A healthy eating regimen is fundamental to guarantee that the mother gets her additional 500 kcal from nutritious food.
Some nursing mothers feel they can eat whatever they like, but she needs to be cautious with certain foods and drinks as they may contain toxic substances that could be harmful to the baby.
Seafood while breastfeeding: In present times, mercury levels are high in different water bodies, which get converted to high levels of mercury in seafood. High levels of mercury are present in shark and king mackerel, unlike other seafood, which has lower mercury levels. Hence doctors advise nursing mothers to avoid seafood altogether.
Processed food when breastfeeding: Processed foods are snappy and simple to plan, particularly when a mother has a child to take care of. However, these foods contain additives and added substances that are harmful to the infant. These substances can cause colic in the child and hypersensitivities.
Spicy food and flatulence-causing food: Spicy food and flatulence-causing foodscan cause a shift in your baby's reaction. Though this research is in its initial stage, it would help note the mother's diet and her baby's change in behaviour.
Artificial sweeteners and sugar: However, with some restraint, it is safe to have artificial sweeteners and sugar. A mother can utilize it once in a while in her food. A few internal hindrances keep the child from having overabundance sugar. There is no definitive hypothesis that sugars are unsafe for the infant, but it is ideal to have it just occasionally.
Caffeine while breastfeeding: Abstain from having caffeine as it can make the infant restless and keep them awake. A mother must drink coffee only after consulting a physician.
Consumption of alcohol while breastfeeding: Liquor intake during pregnancy and post-pregnancy is a NO. Even the slightest measure of liquor can hamper the baby's development. If a mother wants to have a glass of alcohol, quit breastfeeding until the liquor is thoroughly washed off from the mother's body.
Meat and poultry products: Meat that has fat retains toxic substances. Additionally, it makes the mother put on undesirable weight. It is prescribed to have lean meat for healthy eating.
Acidic foods while breastfeeding: Vitamin C may harm a few infants, found in oranges, lime, tomatoes, and so forth. The infant may encounter gastrointestinal issues with citrus nourishments. Mothers can eat it with some restraint, and keep a note of her infant's changes.
Food that may cause a change in digestion patterns are beans, cabbage, dairy products, garlic, onions, tomatoes, caffeine, chocolate, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, and citrus.
As suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 80% of breast milk is comprised of water. Especially in the first milk that comes out with each feed. This will satisfy the baby's thirst without additional water, except for oral rehydration solution, drops, and syrups of vitamins, minerals, or medicines. This is the primary reason that the WHO recommends children to be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.
Breast milk contains the right amount of nutrients and the antibodies to boost the baby's immune system. Beyond the health benefits for the new-born, breastfeeding might help a mother lose weight after childbirth. So it is recommended that mothers should have a balanced diet, and consume fruits and vegetables in equal portions. Most importantly, they should stay happy.
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