Diet and feeding pattern:
During the early months of pregnancy the mother usually suffers from morning sickness due to hormonal and physiological changes in the body. To minimize that effect small meals at frequent intervals should be taken. Solid carbohydrate foods like biscuits, toast etc. should be taken early in the morning as well as in between meals. Avoid rich, fried, strongly flavored and highly spiced foods.
In the first trimester the mother’s nutrition need not be increased. Extra nutrient intake is of much importance in the second and the third week of pregnancy. Therefore, the frequency of feeding need to be increased (5-6 meals /day). Increased protein needs can be me by including good quality protein like milk, meat, eggs, soya, etc. Other protein sources are pulses, groundnuts, etc. To meet the additional iron needs, foodstuffs like green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, eggs, etc. should be consumed along with vitamin C sources to help absorb iron.
During pregnancy , due to foetal pressure , constipation is a common problem. Therefore foods rich in dietary fiber like fruits and vegetables, whole grains , husked pulses along with plenty of fluids needs to be consumed.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking.
Like pregnancy , adequate nutrition of the mother during lactation is also of vital importance since during the first few months of life , the infant derives the nutrition from the mother’s milk. Mother’s milk is not only nutritionally adequate but also easy to digest , particularly for the new born.The lactating mother needs additional amounts of almost all the nutrients that is energy, protein, fat, calcium, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, vitamin B12 and ascorbic acid.
Diet and feeding pattern
In order to breast feed her baby without any undue strain on her own body reserves, a nursing/lactating mother must continue to eat a well balanced diet to meet the enhanced nutritional requirements during this period.
Increase the intake of fluids before and after feeding for adequate milk production.
Fluids like juices, buttermilk, milk , milk products and plain water with little ajwain (carom seeds) added to it can be taken.
Avoid strongly flavoured vegetables like capsicum, garlic, etc.
Small meals at frequent intervals of 2-3 hours should be taken.
Homemade ‘galactogogues’ (foods which enhance the milk production) can be prepared using ajwain, methi seeds, saunth,til seeds, nuts, etc.
Avoid taking any medications without a proper prescription from your doctor.