We all embrace new motherhood with a lot of love and tenderness. This Indian diet plan for lactating mothers will help you in your journey. “Now you need to eat for two!”, we have often heard this statement in Indian Households after a woman gives birth. Well, a lactating mother does need to eat both for herself and her baby. This Indian diet plan for lactating mothers will help you clear the air.
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Needless to say that a mother’s body is really weak after delivery; she also needs to get extra nutrition to be able to deliver nutrients to her little one. An infant is completely dependent on the mother for all his/her needs, be it food, hygiene, sleep or attachment. The child gets all the nutrition from the mother’s milk unless the mother isn’t able to secrete milk due to a problem. The child eats whatever goes in his mummy’s tummy! Often, the child is even able to taste the food in the mother’s milk.
Important Tips for an Indian diet plan for lactating mothers:
It is true that a lactating mother needs to eat for two people as long as she’s going to be feeding the baby. The mother must get sufficient nutrition else the baby will derive nutrients from the mother’s body and she may suffer from nutritional deficiencies and many other problems.
- Lactating mothers feel hungry more often and they should eat whenever they feel so.
- When a baby doesn’t get nutritious milk, She will become unhealthy and also demand frequent feeds.
- The stress should be on getting extra nutrition and not extra calories. This is important both for the mother and the baby.
- Extra calories are only going to add on the weight and will not help with the growth of the baby nor will they give strength to the mother. Our Indian diet plan for lactating mothers will give you an insight into the right food choices you need to make.
The fear of becoming Obese in Lactating Mothers:
Many mothers fear that they will become fat and look clumsy. You must remember that your child is your first responsibility and his growth depends on you. Secondly, research has shown that mothers who breastfeed their babies are able to shed weight more easily than those who don’t. Let us now see the detailed Indian diet plan for lactating mothers.
Indian diet plan for lactating mothers:
Here is an Indian diet plan for Lactating Mothers for reference.
|Food Item||Calorie (Kcal)||Protein (Gms )||Nutri Fact|
|Early Morning : (7.00 Am)|
|Hot Milk (1 glass) with 1 tsp Shatavari powder||150||4||Milk is the best way to start your day, It will cool the acid rush down, and the calcium and protein in milk will be are absorbed better on an empty stomach|
|Soaked Almonds (6 – 10 pieces)||100||8||It is a good source of protein and omega 3 acids|
|1 tsp Flax seeds/sunflower seeds||–||–||omega 3 mix|
|2 tsp carom seeds||–||–||This will help in digestion and lactation|
|Breakfast (9.00 Am)|
|Broken wheat upama / Daliya with lots of veggies||150||4||It provides essential nutrients to the baby through breast milk. helps in healing and replenishing mother’s Vitamin stores. cashew helps in lactation.|
|Curd 1 small Bowl|
(Optional. take at room temp.)
|75||4||curd Provides calcium, protein, Vit A and D very beneficial during recovery from delivery . just make sure it is fresh and at room temperature.|
|Egg Omelet(2 No.)||160||10||Eggs are easy to make and the best sources of proteins that help in baby’s growth when you feed.|
|Toasted Brown Bread(2 slices)||100||3||–|
|Oats and apple porridge with raisin and Almonds (1 soup bowl)||250||3||Multi nutrients from apple and oats and good fiber to tackle constipation and help your bowel functions back to normal.|
|Apple Or Pomegranate (1 medium size)||40||–||These fruits help in maintaining hydration and Ph balance.|
|Coconut water / Ajwain water / herbal tea||30||–||Benefits in constipation, sluggish digestion, heartburn, and urinary tract infections.|
|Chapati / Phulka(2 no)||200||6||–|
|Red lentil / Masoor Dal with jeera||150||6||Red Lentils helps in increasing milk productions and overall lactation|
|Palak Paneer(1 small bowl)||150||6||Spinach is rich in folic acid and iron and helps in maintaining healthy lactation and increases milk secretions.|
|Steamed parval / Bottle gourd/ Ridge gourd – 1 bowl||60||Raw salads can be hard on digestion, stirred parval is helpful in changing taste and providing fiber to the new mother.|
|Chew on fennel seeds||–||–||helps in digestion and lactation|
|Ajwain water(1 glass)||40||1||Helps in hydration and heartburn|
|Milk (1 glass)||50||2||–|
|1 Mix Ladoo (coconut, almond and poppy seed )||150||4||It helps in lactation. provides calcium and other essential nutrients required for the brain development of the baby. Poppy seeds help in keeping headaches at bay. especially if you have migraine problems.|
|Mix vegetable soup (bottle gourd, beetroot, carrot, toru, 1/2 tomato)||100||1||Helps in providing Iron, required to cover up the blood loss. fluids help in increasing milk secretions. ,|
|Dry fruit chikki (made in gurr )(2 small pieces)||50||2||A good combination of iron and protein|
|Ajwain water||–||–||Helps indigestion|
|DINNER (8.00 Pm)|
|Mung/masoor dal with chopped carrots and fenugreek leaves (1 bowl)||100||4||a good combination of protein and iron for the baby’s growth and mother’s recovery|
|Toru / parwal / bottle gourd sabji (add little milk/paneer while cooking)||100||2||These veggies are easy on digestion and help in lactation|
|chew on fennel seeds||–||–||–|
|Walk for 10 – 15 mins at home||–||–||–|
|Milk(1 glass)||150||4||Along with good nutrition, a glass of warm milk at bedtime helps in getting a good night’s sleep. and helps in lactation|
|10 soaked almonds||100||8||helps in baby’s brain development and lactation|
Word of Caution –
The above-mentioned chart is a reference chart. It may or may not suit your requirements. Hence it is better to use the mentioned items in small quantities to check the suitability before you adapt it completely.
Along with this Indian diet plan for Lactating mothers, it is important to walk for 45 mins every day after the 3rd month of your pregnancy will ensure you do not put on weight. Hence don’t worry. Eat healthily and walk to keep fit.
Let us now see the list of foods that you should include and those you should avoid while lactating.
Foods to include in the Indian diet plan for lactating mothers:
When a mother is breastfeeding, she needs to include galactagogues in her diet. Galactagogues are those foods that facilitate milk production and increase it. You must eat foods that give strength and speed up the process of healing. In earlier times, the mother was made to eat khichdi more often but nowadays doctors recommend eating a normal diet after 2-3 days of delivery. Here are some foods that should be included in the Indian diet plan for lactating mothers:
The baby is in the growing stage and needs lots of proteins. Mothers must eat lots of proteins for 2 reasons. one to meet the growing baby’s requirement and for self-healing.
Protein Foods to include in a lactating mothers diet:
- Soybean, chicken, grilled fish, and egg whites can be included in less spicy and grilled form after 15 days of delivery.
- Mothers can also get proteins by drinking a glass of milk along with a spoon of protein powder recommended by the gynecologist. Take Milk 2 times a day.
- Soaked Almonds (15 pieces per day).
- Vegetarian moms can include a lot of orange masoor dal as it helps in increasing the milk supply. You can also include Mung dal, Paneer and cheese in your diet.
- Avoid Curd intake in the first 2 months after delivery. You can start eating curd from 3rd month onward.
- Consume Chickpeas and lentils in lesser quantity. Introduce these foods in the mother’s diets after 20 – 25 days of delivery.
- If you feel that lentils are hard on your digestion or your baby’s digestion. Skip it till your baby turns 3 months old. then reintroduce these foods. Lentils are gas-causing foods and a little harsh on the digestion of the newborn.
A lactating mother should drink ample liquids since it helps in milk production. Less intake can lead to dehydration and decreased supply of milk. (Read – Benefits of Beetroot Juice)
Liquid foods to include in a Lactating mother’s diet:
- Water and coconut water.
- Vegetable-based soups made out of spinach, bottle gourd, beetroot, and carrots are super beneficial.
- Ragi kanji, buttermilk (after 1 month of delivery ) and milk, etc are good options.
- Drinking a liquid half an hour prior to feeding is most beneficial.
Eat lots of whole grains and whole-grain foods since these are highly nutritious and easily digestible.
Whole-grain foods to include in lactating mothers’ diet:
- Whole wheat flour
- Oats and broken wheat daliya.
- Brown rice, quinoa, ragi, Museli, etc.
Consume Green leafy vegetables and fruits periodically in order to get lots of vitamins and minerals. They help in better milk production and a good let down effect. Vitamins are essential for the proper growth of the baby and to get the systems to function normally in a mother after delivery.
Vegetables and Green leafy foods to include in lactating mother’s diet:
- Spinach, dill, and fenugreek.
- You can include Pumpkins, bottle gourds, ridge gourds, Parval (pointed gourds ) and tinda .
- Carrots and beetroots are especially very good for the lactating mom and the growing baby.
- Beans can be included in your diet in little quantity after 20 – 25 days of delivery.
- Fruits like Apple, pomegranate, pear, and papaya are good to have.
Herbal teas or Herbal Infusions:
One can drink herbal teas prepared with ingredients that are safe to take while breastfeeding. The biggest advantage of drinking herbal tea is that it doesn’t contain caffeine. you can buy a ready herbal mix or make your own at home.
Ingredients to use for Homemade Herbal Infusions:
- Ajwain or Gondh katira – Ajwain infused water is beneficial in correcting the digestion issues and getting the entire digestive system to work right after the baby’s birth. It helps the mother shed some fat and clear the blood clots with easy.
- Mint leaves and some Cloves or sounf / fennel seeds – This drink increases the milk secretions and thus facilitates lactation.
- Lemongrass and Ginger – Ginger helps a lot in healing and as a pain reliever in women after delivery.
Iron and Calcium:
A lot of women stop taking their Iron and calcium medicines after delivery. If you do so, Eat foods that are rich in iron and calcium. The mother loses lots of blood during delivery and needs to renew her iron stores. Calcium is needed for the healthy bones and teeth of the baby. It is also needed to replenish the lost calcium from his mother’s body.
Sources of Iron food in lactating Mothers diet:
- Non-vegetarian mom can include liver and organ meat of chicken and duck.
- Meats like pork, lamb, and beef.
- Seafood like oysters, sardines, mussels, and shellfish.
- Vegetarian moms can include dry beans, black-eyed peas, and green peas.
- Cabbage, broccoli, kale, and turnip greens.
- Foods cooked in iron vessels with tomatoes will also provide some iron.
- Pressed rice (Poha ) and Puffed rice are good sources too.
- Replacing Sugar with Jaggery can help too.
Sources of Calcium food in lactating Mothers diet:
- Milk and milk products like curd, cheese, and paneer.
- Fishes with soft bones like salmon, anchovies, and sardines.
- Leafy vegetables like kale, mustard greens, and turnip tops.
- Ragi, sesame and Rajgeera.
Galactagogues are an essential part of a lactating mother’s meals. They help to increase the milk supply and meet the growing needs of the baby. These can be easily incorporated in our day to recipes and given to the mother. We have incorporated these Galactogogues in our Indian diet plan for lactating mothers
Galactagogues foods that can be included in a lactating mother’s diet:
- Shatavari, fenugreek and fennel seeds.
- Orange Masoor dal,
- Sesame and poppy seeds, and
- Ragi kanji also help in increasing milk secretions.
Foods to avoid in Indian diet plan for lactating mothers:
A lactating mother needs to eat carefully. She cannot eat certain types of foods yet since some foods are difficult to digest and some foods are not good for the baby. Here are some foods that are better avoided Indian diet plan for lactating mothers.
Your child does get a taste of everything you eat so it is better to avoid spicy and strongly flavored foods. If your child drinks spicy milk, he/she might not like to take a feed again.
Avoid having too many fried and oily foods. Oily foods are heavy and hard to digest. Ghee and oil should be used in moderation while cooking food for a breastfeeding mother since she doesn’t have much activity and this can lead to weight gain.
Vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and asparagus are cruciferous. Avoid them. These are difficult to digest and can cause infant colic and gas. Legumes like rajma, chana and soya beans should also be avoided for the first 2-3 months after.
No aerated drinks:
Try not to rely on aerated drinks to quench your thirst as they only contain artificial sugar and calories. Packaged juices are fattening too. Hence it is better to have homemade fresh juices instead of buying packaged juices.
Caffeine is best avoided as it is a diuretic and will only make you rush to the washroom more often. They also cause heartburn and nausea. If you really want to have tea, try herbal tea.
Cigarette smoking can affect the growth of the baby. Hence it should be avoided.
Alcohol contains nicotine and toxins which can prove to be harmful to the baby, thus it is better to avoid drinking while you’re breastfeeding. It can pass on from the blood into your breast milk and thus it can affect the baby adversely.
It is very important to not give up. There will be instances where you will feel or others in the family will make you feel that your milk is not sufficient for your baby. The baby will become cranky or demand more often for feeds. But these are all phases. According to the baby sciences, every baby gets cranky and more demanding once in a month or 45 days on account of the sudden growth spurt. Deal with it. Be patient and don’t give up on breastfeeding. These are the times when you get desperate and seek help and support. Our Indian diet plan for lactating mothers is planned in such a way that it will pacify you through such situations with ease.
How to increase breast milk production?
check our post on home remedies to increase breast milk
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The mother should eat something every few hours and also include some moderate exercise in her routine. Each child is different and some need to be fed more often than others. If the mother is unable to digest any food or if the child cries excessively, it is better to consult your gynecologist and pediatrician for advice. I hope our Indian diet plan for lactating mothers be of help to you. Happy Breastfeeding!