Regular meal is very important for nursing mothers when breast-feeding in order to gain essential nutrients and to increase breast milk levels. Eating well when breast feeding means getting a variety of nutritious food which will help your child’s growth and development.
To ensure that your baby is well kept, a nursing mother needs to keep a close eye on her diet. She must ensure that she eats food that are rich in protein, folic acid, carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals but must reduce fat and oil. According to experts, below are the health benefits of these foods to your child.
Protein: is important for nursing mothers and their children because it supports growth, repairs tissues and also aid immune system functions. Two serving of food like egg, fish, and beans everyday will help your child a lot.
Calcium: Plenty of calcium rich foods are also effective and essential in a breast-feeding diet. Calcium helps build and protect the bone and teeth, it also plays role in blood clotting and helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Examples of food that contain calcium are yogurt and cheese.
Carbohydrate: Rich foods such as rice, bread, yam and so on are also good for the mothers especially, because they strengthen them, and also give them energy to stay strong for their off- string.
Vitamins: Vitamin A and C are also essential in a nursing mother because it will strengthen the baby’s vision and bone growth. Babies generally are dependent on their mothers’ dietary intake to get Vitamins A and C. Examples of these are; sweet potatoes, carrot, orange juice, mangoes, avocado and pumpkin.
Fat and oil: Doctors often discourage mothers from taking too much of fat and oil because it has been scientifically confirmed it that high fat content is not good for babies. Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fat and oil available for nursing mothers because of it high content of calories.
Effect of malnutrition on nursing mothers
Dr. Muyiwa Olugbesan of J.V.M hospital said “when nursing mothers don’t eat food that are rich in protein, carbohydrate and take too much of fat and oil, they will not be able to fight infections and are likely to succumb to diseases such as anemia, malaria and so on.
Effect of malnutrition on babies
Dr. Muyiwa Olugbesan said no disease has been associated with babies because nature has done it in such a way that breast milk itself is enough for a baby adding that the only thing negative effect is that the immune system of the child will be reduced and the child is bound to have diseases like diarrhea, malaria, kwashiorkor, marasmos and even xerophthalmia (process while by the child face start to turn dry then later get blind).