Breastfeeding is something that is no less important than pregnancy. During breastfeeding, the mother still has the role of giving food through the milk she gives to the child. Just like pregnancy, what mothers eat when breastfeeding mothers also affect children, so paying attention to maternal intake when nursing mothers is also very important. Eating foods with complete nutrition while breastfeeding also helps fulfill the nutrients needed by the child. However, what foods should breastfeeding mothers avoid?
Effect of maternal food on ASI quality
Research shows that maternal food quality has little effect on the quality of breast milk. Poor nutritional intake in nursing mothers will be more influential to the mother than to the baby. The mother's body will take the nutrients needed from the mother to produce milk. If the nutrients eaten by the mother do not meet the needs of the production of breast milk, then the mother's body will take the reserve of nutrients in the body of the mother so that later those who will lack are mothers, not babies. Lactose, minerals, and electrolyte concentrations do not appear to be affected by maternal intake.
However, on the other hand, there are several nutritional compositions in breast milk that are influenced by maternal intake. As the concentration of fatty acids, fat-soluble substances, and vitamins that are water-soluble in breast milk, are significantly affected by the nutrients eaten by the mother. Protein concentrations are also influenced by several conditions, although the magnitude of the effect is relatively limited (Lonnerdal, 1986).
The effect of maternal nutritional intake on the composition of breast milk varies between nutrients. Therefore, it would be better if the mother continued to pay attention to her complete nutritional intake so that the nutritional needs of the mother and baby were met. Mothers can eat all kinds of food to meet their needs and their babies, but there are some foods that breastfeeding mothers should avoid.
Foods that should be avoided by nursing mothers
Nursing mothers should not limit themselves to eating certain types of food because moderate breastfeeding mothers need many calories from various types of food for their milk production. However, there are several types of food that mothers should avoid when breastfeeding, namely:
- Caffeinated foods , such as coffee, tea and chocolate. We recommend that you limit your drink to caffeine containing no more than 2 or 3 glasses a day. Caffeine in breast milk can interfere with baby's sleep.
- Alcohol . Alcohol is not good in breast milk because it can affect the development of the baby's nerves and brain. It is better to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. If the mother drinks alcohol, it's best not to give milk to the baby until the alcohol content in the body and breast milk is completely gone. Pumping the milk out does not help the alcohol content in the milk disappear quickly.
- High-mercury fish . Fish or seafood is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids for the body. However, some seafood contains mercury that is not good for the body. Seafood containing high mercury includes fish of king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish. Tuna also has a mercury content but is not very high and you should limit your consumption of tuna no more than 2 times per week. The high mercury content in these fish can contaminate breast milk and risk the development of the baby's brain.
- Different types of foods that make you allergic. Foods that usually cause allergies are eggs, beans, soybeans, corn, and milk. However, if the mother does not have allergies to various types of food, these foods should not be avoided by the mother. If something happens to the baby after breastfeeding, it is usually caused by something the mother eats 2 to 6 hours before the mother gives milk to the baby.
What is also important to know for breastfeeding mothers is that mothers should continue to consume a lot of food more than the amount that mothers usually eat. This is because the number of calories that a mother eats contributes to calories for a baby through breastfeeding that she gives. Mothers need extra calories from food to produce their milk. The food that mothers eat must also be diverse so that the mother's milk given to the baby is rich in nutrients.
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