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Nurturing Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers

Posted on February 28, 2018 | Comments Off on Nurturing Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers

Breastmilk is the only perfect food for infants and the only perfect milk for children. The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommend that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health, and should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods. Breastfeeding should also continue beyond two years.
To achieve these ideal breastfeeding goals, it is necessary for a pregnant or breastfeeding mother to strive to eat a healthy diet as this affects her health, energy and sense of well-being. If a mother is diabetic or hypertensive (has high blood pressure) or is reeling from severe cough, colds and fever, it becomes strenuous to care for her new baby. It is especially important for women at these stages of life to consume nutrient-dense meals td strengthen their immune system and be able to perform their nurturing roles. Mothering is an awesome responsibility and these are the times that you would not like to get sick at all, now that a new life depends on you.

A breastfeeding mother uses up to about 700 calories to breastfeed. She needs about 500 extra calories from a variety of nutritious foods that will also provide her with the extra protein, vitamins and minerals. The other 200 calories should come from the fat stores she has accumulated during pregnancy.

If a mother eats unhealthy foods, her body will use up her own nutritional stores to be able to produce the right quality and quantity of breastmilk. If her poor eating habits continue, she will be malnourished and prone to illnesses.This is the reason why some mothers lose their teeth or suffer from falling hair while breastfeeding. Among severely malnourished mothers, breastmilk production is still possible if her child suckles frequently but her breastmilk may contain less fats and vitamins. In cases like these, the correct intervention is not to give formula milk to the child but use available resources to nourish the mother.

Eating the right kinds of food will help you achieve your ideal pre-pregnancy weight thereby avoiding the harmful effects of obesity. One of my patients, and now our breastfeeding counselor, former beauty queen Nuriza Abeja-Bungubung, gained 73 pounds during her first pregnancy. Upon my dietary advice, she lost 75 pounds while breastfeeding her son Joaquin. During her second pregnancy, she ate sensibly and continued to follow my dietary recommendations and gained only 35 pounds.

Our daily food affects the growth of our children inside and outside the womb and well into their adulthood. For instance, there are now studies linking the development of heart disease among children of diabetics while still inside their mother’s womb. Let us remember that our preference for healthy foods will influence our children’s future favorite meals. If you want your child to be fond of-fruits and vegetables, you need to eat these on a regular basis so that your child will be able to savor their subtle flavors in your breastmilk. In our breastfeeding clinic, many mothers are surprised to find out that their children love soups with ginger and we explain to them that this is because we have encouraged them to take these soups while they were pregnant and breastfeeding.

If your children see you enjoy eating healthy foods, if you make them available inside your house instead of junk foods, children will learn how to choose foods that are appropriate for their growing mind and body.

Let Your Food Be Your Medicine
Alarmed with the increasing deaths, illnesses and disability due to noncommunicable diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, the WHO issued the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health in 2002 that calls for the following dietary guidelines:
• Increase the consumption of fruits,and vegetables, and legumes, whole grains and nuts.
• Limit energy intake from total fats and shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids.
• Limit the intake of free sugars.
• Limit salt (sodium) consumption from all sources.

In another document, WHO also reiterated this recommendation by encouraging parents to feed their children with indigenous foods.

What are Indigenous Foods?

Indigenous foods are nature’s potent medicines with many healing properties that cannot be found in imported and processed foods.These foods abound in the environment, a testimony of God’s wisdom and generosity. Nature, with its own rhythm based on the country’s climate and seasons, creates food that is appropriate for the human body. With its perfect design, it provides the suitable fuel that enhances our bodies’ tremendous capacity to nut ture, heal and regenerate.

During summer for example, nature produces succulent vegetables and fruits to provide extra water needed during that season. During rainy season, nature produces vegetables and fruits that are sour (high in Vitamin C to strengthen the immune system against cough and colds) or high in fat (to keep us warm). Leafy vegetables abound the whole year round.

These traditional crops:
• grow abundantly without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides so its cultivation is not harmful to people’s health and the environment;
• are readily available so there is also no need to use preservatives and other harmful food additives; it stays fresh longer even without refrigeration and there is no need to waste fuel to transport it;
• are very cheap and affordable that is why rich or poor, everybody can become healthy!

Breastmilk is the only perfect food for infants and the only perfect milk for children. The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommend that infants

should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health, and should receive nutritionally adequate

and safe complementary foods. Breastfeeding should also continue beyond two years.

To achieve these ideal breastfeeding goals, it is necessary for a pregnant or breastfeeding mother to strive to eat a healthy diet as this affects her

health, energy and sense of well-being. If a mother is diabetic or hypertensive (has high blood pressure) or is reeling from severe cough, colds and fever,

it becomes strenuous to care for her new baby. It is especially important for women at these stages of life to consume nutrient-dense meals td strengthen

their immune system and be able to perform their nurturing roles. Mothering is an awesome responsibility and these are the times that you would not like to

get sick at all, now that a new life depends on you.

A breastfeeding mother uses up to about 700 calories to breastfeed. She needs about 500 extra calories from a variety of nutritious foods that will also

provide her with the extra protein, vitamins and minerals. The other 200 calories should come from the fat stores she has accumulated during pregnancy.

If a mother eats unhealthy foods, her body will use up her own nutritional stores to be able to produce the right quality and quantity of breastmilk. If her

poor eating habits continue, she will be malnourished and prone to illnesses.This is the reason why some mothers lose their teeth or suffer from falling hair

while breastfeeding. Among severely malnourished mothers, breastmilk production is still possible if her child suckles frequently but her breastmilk may

contain less fats and vitamins. In cases like these, the correct intervention is not to give formula milk to the child but use available resources to nourish

the mother.

Eating the right kinds of food will help you achieve your ideal pre-pregnancy weight thereby avoiding the harmful effects of obesity. One of my patients, and

now our breastfeeding counselor, former beauty queen Nuriza Abeja-Bungubung, gained 73 pounds during her first pregnancy. Upon my dietary advice, she lost 75

pounds while breastfeeding her son Joaquin. During her second pregnancy, she ate sensibly and continued to follow my dietary recommendations and gained only

35 pounds.

Our daily food affects the growth of our children inside and outside the womb and well into their adulthood. For instance, there are now studies linking the

development of heart disease among children of diabetics while still inside their mother’s womb. Let us remember that our preference for healthy foods will

influence our children’s future favorite meals. If you want your child to be fond of-fruits and vegetables, you need to eat these on a regular basis so that

your child will be able to savor their subtle flavors in your breastmilk. In our breastfeeding clinic, many mothers are surprised to find out that their

children love soups with ginger and we explain to them that this is because we have encouraged them to take these soups while they were pregnant and

breastfeeding.

If your children see you enjoy eating healthy foods, if you make them available inside your house instead of junk foods, children will learn how to choose

foods that are appropriate for their growing mind and body.

Let Your Food Be Your Medicine
Alarmed with the increasing deaths, illnesses and disability due to noncommunicable diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, the WHO issued the

Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health in 2002 that calls for the following dietary guidelines:
• Increase the consumption of fruits,and vegetables, and legumes, whole grains and nuts.

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