Proper diet key to boost breast milk

Monday, August 8th, 2022 09:35 | By
A woman breastfeeding. PHOTO/Courtesy
A woman breastfeeding. PHOTO/Courtesy

Every year, the first week of August is designated as International Breastfeeding Week. This reservation aims to educate people about their part in bolstering the warm network of support for breastfeeding and solidifying breastfeeding as a component of healthy eating for babies. In Kenya, 99 per cent of infants are breastfed at some point, but only 61 per cent are exclusively breastfed during the first six months. This article aims to raise awareness about the necessity of ensuring that all newborns in Kenya are exclusively breastfed for at least six months.

Both mothers and newborns can benefit from breastfeeding in terms of health. A newborn receives the best nutrition from breast milk, promoting growth and development. Additionally, breastfeeding can assist the mother and baby ward off several ailments and infections.

Because breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for the newborn, experts consistently support it. Moreover, breastmilk transmits antibodies from the mother to the child, enabling infants to have robust immune systems. Breastmilk is the best food for the baby, not because it is readily available, unlike baby formula, but because of its wholesomeness. Breastmilk is composed of 87 per cent water, seven per cent carbohydrates, four per cent lipids, one per cent protein, and a host of other nutrients, including thiamin, riboflavin, folate, choline, iron, copper, zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iodine, selenium and vitamins B-6, B-12, C, A, D, E, K.

However, it is also worth noting that quantity and quality of the mother’s breastmilk reduce when they do not take adequate and a balanced diet. Lactating mothers should maintain regular eating to ensure they get the right amount of nutritious foods. Mothers should include items from all food groups: grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy, and protein foods like meat, poultry, seafood, nuts, eggs, or beans.

Breastfeeding mothers should target foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and folic acids. This will allow them to have enough milk to breastfeed their babies consistently as there is no best time to breastfeed a child.

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