What is your main objective when preparing your postpartum confinement diet? Do you want to give your breastfed baby the best nutrition, or shed the extra pregnancy weight? The good news is that you can have both!
You will experience fatigue and have a weaker body because giving birth causes a loss of blood and energy. Therefore, one of the priorities on your “postnatal to-do list” should be regaining your health and strength.
How to Plan Your Diet during Confinement?
The “My Healthy Plate” proportions promoted by the Singapore Health Promotion Board is usually suggested to be followed by experts like dietitians, consists of:
- A quarter of pork, beef, fish or poultry
- A quarter of grains or noodles
- Half a plate of fruits and vegetables for your lunch and dinner
You will be able to obtain all the various vitamins and minerals from different food groups. Besides that, mothers are recommended to consume an additional 20g of protein during the first 6 months after giving birth. That equates to an additional egg, a piece of tofu or a protein the size of half-palm, whether it is meat, fish or poultry, in each meal, three times per day.
What should a Breastfeeding Mother’s Diet Consist of?
Although it’s common knowledge that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for babies, did you know that your breast milk’s nutritional value also depends on how well you eat? Not all the nutrients are influenced by your diet, but some are!
Along with the “My Healthy Plate” practice that was previously discussed, which mothers should follow as frequently as possible to make sure adequate nutrient is taken, it is advantageous for mothers to consume foods that are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Choline, Iodine and Omega-3 DHA.
The amount of nutrients in your breast milk can be directly influenced by how much of them you consume. For example, if you take more Vitamin A-rich food, your baby can obtain more Vitamin A through your breast milk.
Important Nutrients for Mothers in Confinement:
|Nutrient||Benefits||Where can you obtain them from:|
|Choline||Important for the brain||Mainly comes from eggs
*just 2 eggs a day can achieve more than 50% of your requirements during nursing
|Iodine||Important for mother’s hormone regulation of the thyroid gland and for baby’s brain development||Mainly in fish and seafood|
|Omega-3 DHA||Important for vision acuity and cognitive function||Salmon, blue hake, shrimps and fortified eggs|
|Vitamin A||Important for vision||Pumpkins, goji berries and carrots|
|Vitamin D||Important for the immune system and healthy bones||Fortified milk, fortified soy, mushrooms, eggs and salmon|
No matter what you consume, your breast milk for sure will always be the most nutritional for your baby. However, understanding the relationship between your diet, breast milk, nutrition levels and what they can do for you and your baby, may also be helpful.
What should you eat in order to improve lactation and maintain the production of breast milk? The solution is to keep the iron’s level in your body high. Your iron level will reduce as a result of the blood loss when u give birth, which may lead to low milk production. Therefore, to benefit both you and your baby, it’s important to have proper meal planning to maintain a high level of iron.
There are various of foods and ingredients that a mother can have for a nutritious and balanced diet during confinement. Here are a few examples:
Fruits and vegetables
During confinement period, pick your fruits and vegetables wisely. Vegetables such as kale, watercress and spinach can be eating regularly as they can help to boost the production of your breast milk. Every mother’s postnatal diet should include spinach, which is high in calcium. Vegetables that can help to ease constipation are like carrots and cauliflower. Include more neutral or warming vegetables in your cuisine, such as ginger, onions and garlic. To maintain the nutrients in your vegetables, avoid overcooking them during preparation. Besides that, fruits with high antioxidant, such as blueberries, grapes and papaya can stave off many chronic diseases.
It makes sense that nursing mothers are frequently thirsty and dehydrated easily. You should always stay well-hydrated by consuming a lot of water and fluids in order to increase your milk production and supply your newborn with an adequate amount of milk. Red dates which may be used to make red dates tea, are one particularly delightful, milk-boosting element. This tea is well-known throughout generations and locales for its benefits to enrich and replenish blood.
A cup of warm red dates tea helps with digestion and keeps you comfortable, especially on a chilly day. You can get the appropriate nourishment and care you require during this time by looking for skilled helping hands. Red dates teas are usually prepared by a confinement nanny throughout your confinement period to speed your recovery without other worrying issues.
Legumes, eggs, and pulses like lentils and beans are all great sources of protein for postpartum mothers. These will make a delicious and nutritional breakfast when cooked and paired with other ingredients. Pulses should be included in the diet after giving birth as they are good source of protein. Lentils are also high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. It helps in preventing constipation as they are much easier to digest. So, you can eat them without worries and get the nutrition.
Turmeric is quite effective in preventing infections since it contains nutrients like vitamin C, a lot of fiber, magnesium, vitamin B6 and potassium. To help you recover from the birth shock, mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a cup of warm water. Turmeric spice has been used in cooking for a very long time to give a dish a richer flavor and fragrant aroma. After delivery, you don’t need to limit your diet to plain and tasteless foods any longer.
Fresh cashew nuts and almond can help in boosting the production of breast milk. A breastfeeding mother can benefit from a handful of almonds. The richness in vitamin E, fiber, carbohydrates and vitamin B12 contained in almonds make them stand out among many types of nuts. Minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper and iron can also be found in almonds. Additionally, omega-3 in nuts is a great help in baby’s brain development and can lower the risk of heart disease.
You’ll need a lot of energy during the confinement period to recover quickly and be ready to care for you baby. You should consume more lean meat because it is high in iron that you need after giving birth. Iron deficiency might drain your vitality and make it difficult for you to meet your baby’s needs. Lean meat like pork with the fat removed and skinless chicken are excellent for weight loss. Lean meats are frequently used to cook confinement soup to help mothers recuperate more quickly while consuming fewer calories.
Whole-wheat bread is nutritious for new mothers and it’s lightweight but filling. It contains a lot of vital elements, such as vitamins and fiber that helps in intestinal health and prevent constipation. Additionally, whole-wheat bread helps to reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke. You’ll be relieved to know that you can count your calories pleasantly if you are concerned about obesity.
It’s crucial to consume a healthy diet not only to help your baby grow well, but also to help your body to heal. In a sense, the mother’s diet affects the baby’s health because nutrients of these foods are delivered to the baby through breast milk. You can also replenish your energy and recuperate more quickly and enable you to take better care of your baby.