BY VISION REPORTER
Breastfeeding mothers need good nutrition. Alex Mukori a population nutrition specialist working with the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance project2 says: â€œA balanced diet determines the quality of breast milk and affects how quickly the body rebounds from childbirth,â€ affirms Mukori.
â€œA balanced diet does not mean carbohydrates, but vitamins, proteins, minerals and iron as wellâ€ he adds, urging mothers to take fruits and vegetables in addition to energy-giving foods.
A breastfeeding motherâ€™s diet
Florence Nalubowa, a nurse working with the lactation unit Mulago Hospital, encourages breastfeeding mothers to eat a well-balanced diet to ensure the baby gets a complete meal.
Nalubowa adds that fruits and vegetables are the best source of vitamins. Fruits like pineapple, oranges, mangoes and pawpaws provide vitamin A, B and C, which contain micro-nutrients that boost the babyâ€™s immunity. And without the micro-nutrients the proteins, may not be well-absorbed. Vegetables like nakati, bugga and eggplants provide iron and vitamins. Broccoli is a good source of both vitamin A and C.
In addition, Josephine Nalugo, a lactation expert, recommends that breastfeeding mothers get first-class proteins from beef, poultry, fish and eggs. Vegetarian mothers can benefit from legumes like beans, peas, groundnuts and cereals like maize.
Oils and fats added to other foods provide extra energy. A daily intake of roast simsim, offals, margarine, ghee or butter is advisable. Besides, breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to take milk and other dairy products daily, which are good sources of calcium and phosphate. Calcium is important for the development of healthy bones.
In addition, milk is also a good source of vitamins B2 and B12. If a mother does not take milk, she can get calcium from other sources like calcium-enriched soya milk.
Babara Tembo a nutritionist with International Baby Food Action Network, an NGO that advocates exclusive breastfeeding notes that a high intake of fluids will enable a mother to produce enough breast milk and prevent dehydration. Tembo recommends taking eight glasses or 1.5 litres of fluids a day. A mother can take any fluid from water, milk, tea, porridge, juice to soup.