March, 2017

Breastfeeding - Benefits, Nutrition & Advice | Post Pregnancy Care | Best Maternity Hospital in Bangalore - Sakra World Hospital

Breastfeeding is not a choice. It is a responsibility

It is an act that not only helps you feed your baby but one that builds a special bond between you and your baby.

What are the benefits of breastfeeding for the baby?

It is the best source of nutrition for the baby as it contains all the essential vitamins, fats and proteins that are important for the baby’s growth, and are made available in a form that is easily digestible for the baby. Breast milk contains antibodies that boost immunity and helps your baby fight off various viral and bacterial infections.  It also protects the baby against many allergies and is known to significantly reduce the child’s risks towards cancers. It lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies along with other common infections.

Breast feeding is also known to significantly reduce the incidence of stomach infections, lower respiratory infections, ear infection and meningitis in children. It also prevents children from a lot of diseases that develop later in life, like – type 1 and 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and inflammatory bowel diseases and conditions like obesity as well.

How does breastfeeding benefit the mother?

Breastfeeding is not only beneficial for the baby but also has many benefits for the mother. Apart from building the emotional bond between the mother and the baby, breastfeeding is very healthy for the mother as well. It even fastens the mother’s recovery from childbirth. The hormone oxytocin, released during breastfeeding, acts to return the uterus to its regular size more quickly and can reduce postpartum bleeding. 

It is also seen that women who breastfeed, experience reduced rates of breast and ovarian cancer later in life. Breastfeeding can also reduce the future risk of developing type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, in women. It can also help protect you against ovarian cancer and weak bones (osteoporosis) later in life. 

Exclusive breastfeeding also acts as natural form of contraception as it delays the return of the mother’s normal menstrual period, thus increasing the time between pregnancies. 

What is the essential diet and nutrition requirement of a breastfeeding mother?

It is important to have a good nutritional diet for a lactating mother for the following reasons:

    1. For sufficient production of breast milk  
    2. For providing adequate nutrients to the infant
    3. To meet the mother’s daily needs

The nutritional requirements of a breastfeeding mother are similar to those of a pregnant woman. It is recommended to continue eating just as they were eating during the pregnancy. However, breastfeeding mothers need a little more amount of calories. The lactation period demands an additional 500kcal in diet. Lactating mothers should also take a diet rich in proteins, vitamins, iron and calcium. 

High proteins products like – cereals, pulses, whole grains, dry fruits, eggs and chicken, are good for the mother and thus provide the necessary protein supplement to the baby.

Lactating mother should abstain from consumption of alcohol and aerated drinks as well. Healthier options like fresh fruit juices, tender coconut water and lime juice can be consumed to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is very essential as it ensures regular supply of milk. It is advised to consume minimum 8 glasses of water a day, and try to drink one glass before every feed. 

Women can also continue the supplement of iron and calcium advised to them during pregnancy, until 3 months post-delivery.

Oatmeal, is also a good option for lactating mothers, as it is helps reduce cholesterol and regulate blood pressure. It's also seen to increase the milk supply and is a good nutritional diet for lactating mothers.

Copyright © Sakra World Hospital. All rights reserved

Web presence by

Ask For Second Opinion

Please attach your relevant documents (e.g X-Ray, Medical Reports,etc)