A Maa who's exclusively breastfeeding her baby needs to ensure that she eats well too. It's not only essential for her, but also important to maintain the milk production. People ask me if I'm having enough dry fruits, ghee etc. And my answer is an absolute no. I'm allergic to dry fruits and I know I don't require dollops of ghee and butter in my diet. On the other hand, the diet needs to be well balanced and light. In the first six months, you cannot exercise; hence, it's the food you eat that will help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight. The key, here, is to have a regular diet plan which ensures you get the extra calories you need to feed your child, while keeping your weight in check.
Many mothers have asked me for the diet plan I've been following. I have shared with a few, while I'm sure this will help many others out there too. This was given to me at the hospital where I delivered; and it has helped me tremendously in both, feeding my baby well and losing weight (YES!!!).
So for all new Maa's out there, here it is - a diet that involves 6 small meals which are light and good for breastfeeding.
Early morning - 5 almonds, tea or milk with 2-3 Threptin or glucose biscuits (I skip the almonds though)
Breakfast - milk or milkshake, or cornflakes/daliya/oats/toast, or egg or paneer and fruit or fruit juice.
Mid morning - lassi or juice or fresh lime with besan cheela or paneer cutlet or dhokla or moong dal cheela
Lunch - 3-4 chapatis or 1-1.5 katori rice, 1 katori veggies, 1 katori dal or soyabean or paneer and 1 katori curd and salad.
Evening - milk or milkshake with biscuits or peanut chikki or til ke laddoo or roasted chana or dates.
Dinner - same as lunch, but avoid rice.
Bedtime -1 glass of milk.
So, basically, you need to have milk at least 3-4 times and could be as a milkshake or with daliya and oats etc. In case you experience bloating or acidity at night, avoid anything raw (such as salads) after 7 pm.
Foods to Eat
Sabudana, methi, fennel seeds, cumin, sesame seeds, tulsi, valaithi saunf or aniseed.
Also, have plenty of fluids like coconut water, buttermilk, soups, lime water etc.
Snacks you can have include fruit smoothies, idli, egg salad or sandwich, bhelpuri, roasted nuts, dry fruit, besan sheera, ragi roti and sabudana tikki.
I personally ensure to have sabudana regularly, either with milk or as khichdi.
Avoid caffeine as it's passed into breast milk. Also, include vitamin c and avoid fatty or hard to digest food.
Following a good and healthy diet is important for a new mother as she needs all the energy and strength to cope with the new phase of life. As days and nights merge into one during the initial few months of motherhood (could extend to a year or two as well), finding some time for yourself and eating the right food becomes even more critical. So, yes, it's essential for your baby as well as you :)
Most importantly, stay happy and stress free and don't think too much. Breastfeeding is very satisfying and fulfilling and enjoy every bit of it as nothing can match this experience.
Will be back soon. Till then, take care and stay precious :)