Tips for Nursing Mother

Tips for Nursing MotherBreast milk is the only nourishment for a new born. Exclusive breast feeding is advised in initial months of new born. Exclusive breastfeeding, based on the WHO definition, refers to the practice of feeding only breast milk which allows the baby to receive vitamins, minerals or medicine and water, breast milk substitutes, other liquids and solid foods are excluded.

As mother′s nutritional status is not only important during pregnancy time but also during nursing period. Since mother′s milk is the only food for baby, it is of prime importance to consume balance diet.

Tips for Nursing Mother's to enhance breastfeeding:

  • Keep yourself hydrated - Drink lot of water during whole day. Vegetable soups, broths, green tea, juices, milk, soy milk etc must be included in the diet to keep you hydrated.
  • Eat green leafy vegetables - Green leafy vegetables are good source of vitamins and minerals. Every day one must include one green leafy vegetable in the diet.
  • Eat fruits - Add enough amounts of fruits in daily diet to improve immunity of mother and new born. Fresh fruits also provide vitamins which can be supplied to infant.
  • Eat dryfruits - Include walnut, almonds, olive oil etc to provide essential fatty acids.
  • Drink milk - Milk is very important for mother and child. New mother’s must take 2-3 servings of milk in a day. It provides calcium, protein to mother.
  • Eat high protein diet - High quality protein must be included in the diet. Try to avoid consumption of fish as there are chances of high amounts of mercury in sea food.
  • Do not drink alcohol - Minimize your intake of caffeinated drinks, aerated drinks and alcohol. These things are passed on to infant through breast milk.
  • Include fenugreek seeds (3-7 gm/d), fennel seeds, and sesame seeds; coriander, licorice etc. it helps in increasing breast milk secretion.
  • Do not worry about your weight - Lose weight gradually during nursing period. Do light and regular exercise to shed the weight gradually.
  • Be comfortable while feeding - In initial time try to adopt comfortable feeding position to facilitate feeding. It must be comfortable to you and baby.

Get a Diet Plan for Nursing Mother

The recommended dietary allowance for Indian mothers is as follows: (Given by ICMR).

  • 0 - 6 months - 550 Kcal / day (additional to BMR)
  • 7 - 12 months - 400 Kcal / day (additional to BMR)

Check your BMR - Body Mass Ratio

A balanced vegetarian diet for a nursing mother doing sedentary work

S.No. Food Group Quantity in g
1   Cereal and millets 330
2   Pulses 90
3   Milk (ml) 500
4   Roots and Tubers 100
5   Green leafy vegetables 150
6   Other vegetables 100
7   Fruits 200
8   Sugar 20
9   Fats and Oils 30

For Non-veg substitute 30 g of pulse with 50 g of meat / fish / chicken / egg.

Source: Dietary Guidelines for Indians - A manual, National Institute of Nutrition, ICMR, Hyderabad, India, 1999.

Consult our dietitians for a personalized diet for nursing mothers, child care or any other query.