Nutrition, Lactation, and Breastfeeding
CONGRATULATIONS! Expecting or having a new baby is a surreal feeling I will admit, and I believe you will like to give your baby the very best food available. Well, for the first six months of life outside your belly, ONLY breast milk is best for your baby. Breast milk is so amazing that even when your baby is sick, it changes! Oh yes, it becomes fully armed with soldiers (higher concentration of lactoferrin and secretory immunoglobulin A) that attack the bad agents like pathogens and bacteria responsible for making your baby sick or causing an infection. This means, you do not have to give infant antibiotics, local herbs, or any syrups except it is prescribed by your doctor. Breast milk is made up of a lot of water so your baby does not need water either until after 6 months of life.
What then happens to mummies who are finding it difficult to lactate? (Lactate means to produce milk) It is important to discuss with a dietitian about lactation and things that may enhance it. Just like your body knows when to produce saliva, sweat, urine, and other body fluids without having to do anything special, breast milk should be produced naturally as a result of certain hormones your pregnancy activates. However, several factors contribute to inadequate lactation, including stress, anxiety, depression, medical conditions, etc. it is very important to seek medical advice before embarking on any diet therapy including drinking pap or teas, or eating special biscuits. They may help to provide milk for the baby but they may contain some ingredients that are not the best for mummy. A Dietitian is the only nutrition expert, trained to give you the correct advice on your food choices.
Breastfeeding your baby in the correct position also matters a lot. To a large extent, it determines your baby’s attitude towards food. Some babies get tired and exhausted from trying to latch on or stay latched to the breast, while some others may feel uncomfortable and become uninterested in mealtimes. Ensure you get proper education on how to breastfeed even before your baby arrives. Breastfeeding is not force-feeding but is essential feeding. For a meal plan tailored to suit your needs, please speak to one of our registered dietitians.