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  • Writer's pictureYusuf Tokdemir

Healthy Nutrition for Breastfeeding Mothers

Healthy nutrition is a crucial parameter for healthy development of the baby and the health of the women. We can successfully design, develop and implement the Food Pyramid of Breastfeeding Women as we performed in our previous projects.

Foods for healthy active mother and baby are as follows;

Clearly, eat the following food groups each day. They have enough nutrients for you and your lovely baby.

1- Eat 5-7 servings (1 serving means 2 slices of bread) from bread (prefer wholegrain), rice, pasta, noodles and cereals (prefer wholegrain). Wholegrain cereals or wholegrain bread contains more fiber. This fiber is beneficial for digestive and immune systems. Prefer folic acid and iron fortified cereals. Prefer wholegrain cereals and bread. Wholegrain bread and cereals can also prevent constipation.

2- Eat 7 servings of vegetables per day. One serving means 75 grams or ½ cup prepared vegetable. You can eat carrot, potato, pumpkin, squash, spinach, cooked greens, tomato, sweet red pepper etc. Wash and clean well. You can choose fresh, canned, frozen and dried ones.

3- Eat 5 serving fruits per day. One serving is 1 medium sized apple. You can consume 100% apple, orange or prune juices, apricots, bananas, mangoes, prunes, melon, oranges, apples, pears, red grapefruits etc. Prefer 100% fruit juices for one time.

4- Eat 2 servings of lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, legumes and nuts per day. 1 serving meat is 70-100 gram, 80-125 gram fish, 2 eggs, etc. These foods are a good Iron source. Sea foods are a good source of Iodine.

5- Eat 2-3 servings of milk and milk products per day. Prefer reduced fat or 1% fat containing dairy products. 1 serving milk is 250 ml, 2 slices of cheese (40 g) and 150-200 g yoghurt. These are good Calcium sources.

6- Drink plenty of water and low or reduced fat milk or milk without fat each day. 10 cups are better each day.

7- Limit your daily intake of salt, fat and sugary foods and drinks. You can take limited salt with iodine. You can take 20-25 gram poly or monounsaturated fats and oils per day. Limit your intake of saturated fats. Limit sugary drinks.

8- When you are preparing food at home, use less salt, fat and sugar in foods.

9- When you are shopping foods, read labels and prefer foods that are low in saturated fats, salt and sugar.

10- Saturated fats are found in butter, milk, meat, cheese, baked products and hot chips. Limit them.

11- Avoid high fat foods and prefer polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. Use butter and margarine sparingly.

12- Read food product labels for the production date, expire date and lot number. Don’t purchase any damaged labeled product. Never use it. Don’t use any food product stored under the sun, in high temperature, etc.

13- Keep food products in the refrigerator. Don’t hold foods at room temperature more than 30 minutes.

14- Wash well your hands with clean water. Be careful for hygienic conditions.

15- Wash well vegetables and fruits with clean water.

16- Prefer peeling for fruits to remove any pesticide or chemical residue that is coming from field etc.

17- Be away from allergic foods.

18- Keep your weight and physical activity for your health. If there is no any reverse advice from your doctor you can make shorter physical activities as 10 minutes in different intervals or 30 minutes per day.

19- Don’t drink alcohol while breastfeeding. If you drink wait 2-3 hours before breastfeeding. Please note that alcohol is passing to mother’s milk. In the first month, don’t drink. Limit it to one drink per day. It has negative effects on the baby.

20- Never smoke while breastfeeding. Don’t smoke at the same room with the baby. It is harmful. Don’t smoke at 6 months of breastfeeding. If you choose smoking, smoke at outside.

21- Limit your drinks including caffeine, such as coffee, cola and tea. Limit it to maximum 5-6 cups per day.

22- During meals, don’t drink tea. It can limit Iron absorption.

23- Avoid energy drinks.

24- Limit soft drinks. These are low in nutrients and high in sugar.

25- Ask your doctor about herbal tea drinking and be careful.

All above foods of the food pyramid of breastfeeding women supply all essential nutrients for breastfeeding. A healthy active mom will have benefits for her and her baby when she applies a healthy active concept for breastfeeding.

Healthy nutrition of breastfeeding women is a crucial factor for baby health and development.


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