Diet during breastfeeding
Post-partum mothers need more energy and nutrition than during pregnancy in order to produce breastmilk. During this period, the mother may suffer from poor sleep because she is taking care of her baby and may keep irregular hours.
Under these conditions, mothers tend to neglect their diets. Be sure to maintain a balanced diet for your sake and that of your baby.
Give yourself 6 months to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy and return to a standard weight. Don’t try to restrict your diet excessively so that you can lose weight faster, as this may affect not just your health, but also the health of the baby drinking your breastmilk.
Chance to increase the mother's bone mass
A mother's bone mass decreases substantially during pregnancy and breast-feeding. But women have a chance to increase bone mass during the 6 months to one year after their periods restart following pregnancy. During this time, it’s almost as if there is a skilled carpenter inside their bodies building stronger bones.
If you supply the building blocks of bones - calcium and vitamin D - then stronger bones will be produced. Take this opportunity to build stronger bones. Dairy products, small fish, beans, seaweed and wheat are all rich in calcium. Dairy products, eggs and mushrooms (cloud ear and dried shiitake) are rich in vitamin D.
The effects of drinking and smoking
Frequent drinking during pregnancy increases the possibility of fetal alcohol syndrome, which can mean congenital abnormalities, mental handicaps, and development disorders. You will probably also be offered celebratory drinks after your baby is born. Maybe you’re tempted because you’ve abstained for so long. But please wait a little longer, for the sake of your baby. As much as 2% of any alcohol you drink will find its way into your breastmilk. Drinking and smoking can also decrease the amount of milk secretion and inhibit the growth of your baby. Your baby's ability to rid the body of alcohol is poorly formed, and a very little can have an incomparably greater effect than on adults.
Mothers who smoke produce less breastmilk than who don’t smoke. It has also been reported that nicotine has direct effect on babies, including causing vomiting, diarrhea, an increased pulse rate and restlessness. The whole family should take the opportunity afforded by pregnancy to give up smoking.
The effects of caffeine
It is said that when mothers drink beverages, such as green tea and coffee, that contain caffeine, the caffeine is excreted in the breastmilk *1. Limit as much as possible your intake of products that contain caffeine, since breastmilk that contains caffeine can cause sleeping disorders in your baby. *2.
*1 Source:Berlin, C., et al.: Disposition of dietary caffeine in milk, saliva, and plasma of lactating women, Pediatrics, p. 73, p. 59-63, 1984
*2 Source:Supplements & Health Support Food Data Base Ver. 1, National Institute of Health Sciences, p. 144, 2007