Lifestyle, Fashion and Beauty

4 December 2016

Breastfeeding diet for Indian Mom & Foods to Increase Breast Milk

In India pregnant women and breastfeeding moms get a lot of advice on what to eat and what to avoid. You can get confused with so many people telling you their own versions of what you should do and eat especially since most of breastfeeding do's and dont's are age old myths without any scientific backing.

I had my baby 8 months back and exclusively breastfed her for 6 months before slowly introducing her to solids. Today I am going to break some myths and bring to you breastfeeding diet for Indian mom which is a combination of traditional home remedies and scientific research 

Healthy Breastfeeding diet for Indian Mom 

Breast Feeding period can be roughly divided into 3 stages

[1] First 40 days 
After giving birth the first 40 days are very important and you need to take utmost care of your body . These 40 days are considered recovery period but ofcourse you can recover faster or take longer depending on the type of delivery you had and many other factors. If you decide to breast feed your baby you need to make sure to eat healthy to produce adequate milk for your new born. In india these 40 days are considered healing period and new mom is confined to home and pampered with nutrient rich traditional foods like kheer garnished with nuts and ghee, panjiri and porridge. You can have all these foods and take protein and vitamin supplement also but consult our doctor before this.

[2 ] 40 days - 6 months (Remaining exclusive breastfeeding period)
The first 40 days of breastfeeding you will depend mainly on easy to digest foods but after 40 days you can return to your normal healthy diet which you followed during your pregnancy. Start eating all kinds of vegetables, fruits and non veg dishes.

[3] 6 months - 2 years :
Now you can introduce solids to your baby and dont require to exclusively breastfeed. This is the period when you should start cutting down on calories to help shed the pregnancy fat. But you need to take things slowly, dont go on a strict diet or exercise rigorously as you will still be breastfeeding your baby.

Breastfeeding diet Plan for Indian Mom

* Early short Breakfast: Because you will be breastfeeding in the night you will feel hungry early in the morning.
What to eat: Eat a healthy snack or a katori of panjiri, harira, daliya or kheer. If you have habit of drinking tea then you can have a up of herbal green tea or tulsi tea

* Actual breakfast: You can have your regular healthy breakfast here but keep spices and oil to bare minimum.
What to eat: Upma, poha, vegetable khichdi or oatmeal

* Lunch: 
What to eat: Green vegetable curry, Dal chawal, curd rice, spinach paratha

*Evening snack
What to eat: Til laddos, halwa , pudding or a cup of green tea

* Dinner
What to eat: Masoor dal with drum sticks, Rice, soup, eggs, Chapati

*Bedtime milk :  You need to breastfeed all night so have a glass of milk with some protien powder before going to bed.
All new moms can follow this diet plan irrespective of the type of delivery you had.

Tips for healthy breastfeeding diet

- Aim for small protein rich meals which consist of dals seasoned with fenugreek, saunf and jeera. Also add nuts like almonds, cashew nuts and walnuts to your diets like snacks
- Make sure your meals have very low quantity of oils and spices
- You dont need to avoid non vegetarian food while breastfeeding. For the first 40 days start with meat in soups and then you can eat meat curries
-  More fluid intake means better milk supply so drink lots of healthy juices and water this will also help with post pregnancy constipation . Coconut water, milkshakes and water rich fruits are also good idea
- Drinking milk is important as it is rich in calcium but I hate milk so I stuck to curd which a very good alternative. I ate curd rice (mosar anna) and drank butter milk
- The only real dont for breasting feeding mom is to stay away from alcohol and avoid eating out. 
- You can consume caffine while breastfeeding but it is better to limit it to 2 cups a day. If you like tea go for herbal green tea when breastfeeding.

Indian Power Foods which increase breast milk naturally

If you choose to exclusively breastfeed for first six months it is important that there is enough breast milk to help your baby grow properly. You can include these Indian foods in your breastfeeding diet plan to increase milk supply.

Oats: An oat meal is easy to prepare and is ideal when breastfeeding because you tend to get hungry a lot during this time. Fiber rich oats are healthy and also helps increase supply of milk. You can start your day with a yummy oat meal or try the inidanised oats dishes like oats upma , oats idly, oats poha or curd oats.

Masoor Dal : The orangish red masoor dal is rich in protiens and is known to promote lactation. I mostly cook toor dal but when breastfeeding I shifted to Masoor dal. You can even mix toor dal with masoor dal if you dont like the tate of masoor dal and cook like you normally cook dals

Vegetables: Carrots, sweet potatoes and beetroots will help with lactation. Other vegetables you need to add to your diet include greens like beans, bottle guard and drumsticks. If you dont like vegetables then make halwas out of them. Gajar ka halwa, lauki ka halwa, carrot juice, sweet potato pudding and drum stick dal are some delicious ways you can add vegetables to your diet 

Fenugreek Seeds (Methi): Methi is a favourite with my granny to boost breast milk increase their milk supply. It can be very tricky using methi in your diet. You can soak methi seeds in a glass of water in the night and drink the water in the morning. You can even add methi to curries or pickles.

Saunf or fennel seeds: fennel seeds help increase milk supply in new moms and they are help in digestion. The best way to include saunf or fennel seeds in your diet is to use it like a mouth freshener after a meal. you can also use it to season dals and vegetable curry dishes

Cumin seeds (Jeera): Jeera is goof for breastfeeding moms to help with milk supply and it also helps with constipation and acidity which is very common post pregnancy. I usually add cumin seeds in everything from dals to curries. You can roast and powder cumin seeds and add it to your healthy juices, butter milks and other appetizers

Spinach: Spinach is a very good source of Iron and it also helps promote supple of milk . You can add spinach to your dal or make spinach parotha.

Sesame seeds (Til): Til seeds promote lactation and the best way to eat them is in the form of yummy til laddoos like snacks.

Basil (Tulsi): Most Indian homes have a tulsi plant and you can use these leaves to boost immunity of your baby. Starting your day with a cup of tulsi tea is best way to add basil to your diet.

What to avoid in breastfeeding diet for indian mom

-Junk food
-commercial food or food from outside
-Spicy food
-Soft drinks
-All kinds of drugs and medicines (Consult your dtor before taking any kind of medicine even for common cold and fever)
For more information on what to avoid read Foods to avoid while Breastfeeding

I hope this Breastfeeding diet  information helps Indian moms


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