As a new parent, you received lots of advice, as a breastfeeding mother, you’re likely to hear plenty of myths about what you should or shouldn’t eat, strict rules, limitations and big problems for the baby if the mother eats “something wrong”. Here are few Myths-
- A breastfeeding mother should eat for two.
During pregnancy, the female body accumulates useful substances for the unborn child in the form of fat reserves deposited in the area of the hips, abdomen, etc. Keep in mind that it is not the quantity of food that matters but its quality like calcium, proteins that’s helpful. Don’t try to eat thinking you have to eat for two & increase unnecessary calories. But do include protein & calcium rich diet.
- The mother should not breastfeed if suffering from an infection.
If the mother has an infection, the baby, would normally contract the infection through close contact with the mother. While breastfeeding, in itself, is unlikely to pass the infection, it will pass antibodies to the baby that will help the baby fight the infection and get better faster. So don’t stop breast feeding.
- Drink more fluids like milk & water to increase volume of breast milk.
Not only is drinking a lot of water unnecessary, but contrary to the advice you may receive, it will not boost your milk supply. Your goal for water consumption should be the same when breastfeeding as any other time. Similarly drink more milk to get more milk is a myth as cow’s milk we drink is not funnelled in our breast.
- Eat huge amounts of Ghee
No need to pour ghee blindly by vati, though your calorie requirement increases during lactation by 550 extra, still we need to select good fats in form of pure ghee in limits. 2-3 tsp/day is fine & rest calories can be through eggs, dry fruit laddoo but all in limits, don’t overdo that.
5. Avoid spices& garlic as it may make milk unpalatable to baby-
It’s true that the flavour of a mother’s milk is influenced by what she eats. But garlic is a galactogogue so should be included in the diet. In fact, at least one study suggests that babies stay at the breast longer and consume more milk when their mothers eat garlic, so forget that baby has aversion to garlic.
- Some Foods like Cabbage, cauliflower in mothers’ diet cause colic in baby.
Babies were considered to have colic if they showed abdominal cramping (drawing up of legs, appearing to be in pain), irritability, and intense crying. In one study, mothers with colicky babies had greater intake of the following foods: cow’s milk, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onion, and chocolates.
Ref-Lust, K.D., J.E. Brown, and W. Thomas, Maternal intake of cruciferous vegetables and other foods and colic symptoms in exclusively breast-fed infants. J Am Diet Assoc, 1996. 96(1): p. 46-8.
Reducing the number of calories by avoiding desserts, sodas, chips, and other fried foods with “empty calories” will not cause milk to lose nutritional value. Breastfeeding alone helps to lose the extra weight gained during pregnancy. It is possible to lose additional weight through restricting calories while you are breastfeeding, but the current recommendation is that the diet not include fewer than 1800 calories per day.