After the great day…

After giving birth

After the birth of your child a new stage begins where tiredness and the experience of breastfeeding may affect your body. This is why it is crucial that your diet is as varied and rich as possible. You will still need as many vitamins and nutrients as you can get! 

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  • Many myths abound in regards to the diet the breastfeeding mother should follow to stimulate lactation. However, most of them have no scientific basis.

    The same as during pregnancy, the breastfeeding mother will have an increased need for energy and nutrients (proteins, lipids, and vitamins) than before becoming pregnant. The quantities will have stabilised by now at 500kcal/day above the mother's usual level. However, don't get too obsessed with calculations. All you need is to follow a varied and balanced diet that contains all food types, and slightly increase the size of your portions in accordance with your appetite.

    Studies have concluded that the mother's diet does not noticeably affect the composition of breast milk. Only in extreme cases of undernourishment or in strict vegetarian diets can nutrient-defficiency appear in the milk, especially a deficiency related to vitamins and essential fatty acids.

    The main aim of a varied and balanced diet is to take care of your own health. To take care of your baby, it is of far greater importance to focus on what you should avoid, such as tobacco, caffeine, alcohol (including beer), and certain pharmaceutical products.

  • The general recommendation for a balanced diet is to ensure a daily intake of the following
    • 6 to 8 portions of carbohydrates (bread, cereals, rice, pasta or potatoes), some of them wholegrain in order to avoid constipation. You should also avoid an excessive intake of the simple sugars that are present in drinks and sweets.
    • 5 portions of fruit and vegetables. These are important due to their high content in water, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Try to eat your fruit unpeeled, as this is where you will find most of the fibre, and make sure at least one of your vegetable portions is fresh, such as a salad.
    • 2 to 3 portions of dairy products (milk, yoghurt, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, etc.) are enough to obtain an adequate calcium intake. One portion of dairy products equals one cup of milk, two yoghurts, or 60g of low-fat cheese.
    • 2 to 3 times per week you should eat pulses.
    • 2 portions of lean meat or fish. You can substitute one of them for one egg twice per week.
  • More information on an adequate diet
    • In general, if you do not suffer from nutritional problems and you follow an adequate diet, you will not need to take any vitamin or mineral supplements, since the food you ingest will contain all that is necessary to meet your needs and your baby's needs. There are, however, two cases where some supplements may be necessary, which are the need for iron supplements for mothers who suffer from iron-deficiency anaemia and vitamin B12 for mothers who are strict vegetarians.
    • It is important to ensure an adequate intake of essential fatty acids, since your baby will not be able to produce all the quantity that he needs for his development and maturation and therefore will have to obtain them from breast milk. They are present in large quantities in food like seed oil and in fish such as tuna, sardines, and herring.
    • The quantity of water or liquid that you should ingest should also increase. You should quench your thirst on demand, i.e. drink whenever you are thirsty, since during pregnancy there is an increase in oxytocin production which increases your thirst. If you tend to forget to drink or if you notice your urine getting darker, increase your consumption of liquids.
    • You should not refrain from eating certain foods because you think they might cause flatulence in your baby, such as beans, as they will only affect your intestine, not your baby's.
    • As to foods with strong flavours, such as asparagus, cauliflower or garlic, the only reason for reducing quantities or refraining from eating them is if your baby dislikes the taste of your milk.
    • If your baby has a family history of food allergies and you notice that he has episodes of diarrhoea, vomiting or discomforts whenever you eat a certain type of food, he might be allergic to it and therefore you should stop eating it. Seek advice from your paediatrician.
    • Don't get frustrated over the weight you have gained during pregnancy, as the fat you have accumulated is kept in reserve for the breastfeeding period. Breastfeeding mothers tend to lose weight spontaneously starting from the third month until they recover the weight they had before pregnancy. Overweight women should follow a low-calorie diet, always under medical prescription, and do physical exercise.

     

    If you have chosen to feed your baby infant formula, you should still follow a balanced and varied diet, as you did before becoming pregnant, and gradually increase your physical exercise to enable recovery of your usual weight.

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At Laboratorios Ordesa we provide a wide range of high quality products to satisfy the needs of infants and babies. From here you can find the product that better suits the age, stage and characteristics of your baby and find the flavor and texture with which you will certainly make him happy. Bon appétit!