What to Eat While Breastfeeding to Make Baby Gain Weight?

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How Can I Help My Breastfed newborn gain weight?:Indian Mom’s Guide


Wondering If you breastfed your baby weighs right or not?

How to help baby gain weight while breastfeeding?

What Foods and Ways are effective to make breastfed babies weight gain?

If even after regular breastfeeding you feel there’s something wrong with your baby’s weight, these tips and list of foods will help you improve increase in fat rich milk supply.
A breastfeeding mother’s diet is as crucial as pregnancy diet. Breastfeeding forms an important of baby nutrition care. During my breastfeeding period, I consulted Dr. Shama Kulkarni who is a Pediatrician, pediatric nutritionist and breastfeeding consultant. Dr Kulkarni explained me how to follow just the perfect combination of traditional and modern ways to improve and maintain the breastfeeding. I have put all the important tips and foods lists below from my experience and study of this topic.
Please note: The biggest culprit behind any breast milk supply related issue is your negative thinking. You must never bother about quantity of breast milk, always be happy and think positive!. Its not just a motivational statement, It’s a scientific fact that your brain will not order your body to make milk if you are not stress free.

Top 10 Foods: For Breastfeeding Moms to Make Baby Gain Weight

1. Milk

milk

Why Milk?

Dairy products are fatty but they contain the ‘good fat’. Also it is full of protein that can broaden one’s body muscle mass.

Type of Milk to Drink:

You should be drinking Non-skimmed or Full-fat to put on weight. Non-skimmed milk means the milk with Malai (milk fat).

What to do if I am Lactose Intolerant?

If you are lactose intolerant (i.e. you cannot digest milk and other dairy products easily) then you might want to drink goat’s milk. Also you should try drinking warm milk as it is easy to digest.

When to Drink?

Even non-skimmed cannot help with weight gain until you consume at least 2 glasses of milk, every day. You can drink one glass at morning and the other one at evening or night.

Fun Ways to Drink Milk:

Do you also find the fragrance of milk ‘funny’? All the haters of milk know what we mean. So for you here’s are some fun ways to drink milk-
 Mix honey in milk. Honey’s also a healthy fat.
 If you are not a big fan of honey, then mix peanut butter in it! Peanut also contains good fat.
 Kheer: Garden Cress Seeds i.e. Aliv Kheer, Suji/Samolina Kheer, Badam/Almond Kheer

2. Ghee

desi ghee

Why Ghee?

Homemade Desi Ghee i.e. clarified butter is rich in DHA, which is very important for baby’s brain development. It improves the quality of mother’s milk. Do not avoid Ghee to avoid your weight gain, remember side effect of these foods can be treated after exclusive breastfeeding and with regular exercises. Your baby’s development is dependent on you during first 6 months.

Which Type of Ghee is Healthy?

HomeMade Desi Ghee.

Fun Ways to eat Ghee:

Since ghee contains both saturated and non-saturated fat, we won’t ask you to consume it excessively. You could:
 Drizzle a spoon or two of ghee on your Kheer, Glass of Milk, Daal, Rice and Roti ,etc.
 You could eat, ‘Gazar Ka Halwa’. Carrot could also help you in gaining weight without much effort.
 If you don’t like the ghee-dripping, Gazar Ka Halwa, go for ‘Dry Fruits Ladoo’ (Dry Fruits Sweets) that are made of desi ghee.

3. Banana

one half peeled banana

Why Banana?

Banana helps baby put on weight taken through your milk. Its least allergen and contains loads of nutrients. Hence it is also best First Food for your baby.

How Many?

Eat just 2-3 bananas a day.

Fun Ways to Eat Banana:

 Drink Banana Smoothies, in place of caffeine beverages.
 Stop eating bread and jam. Instead of the jam, spread peanut butter on your bread and sandwich slices of banana in it.
 At times, you can eat the delicious ‘banana with milk’ in a bowl. In addition to banana, you could also add fruits like Papaya, Mango, and Pineapple in it.

4. Whole Wheat and Grains

whole grain Whole Grains

Why Whole Wheat and Grains?

They are high calorie and carbohydrate-packed food. They are ideal for a healthy wealth gain, the Indian way. They are fiber rich.

What to Eat?

• Wheat,
• Oats,
• Ragi
• Bajara/Jowar

Best Way to Take Whole Grains for Breastfeeding.

Here comes our Indian traditional way of lactation-foods in to picture.
The porridges!
Yes, Why Indians belive porridge are best for lactating mothers?
1. Its easy to digest.
2. Way to making porridges for Lactating mothers
Make sprouted grain flour. Roast the flour dry on heat for 5 minutes, add desi ghee and fry it for 5 minutes without burning it. This is our base material ready, now either add Dates/Almonds and make Kheer or add cumin seeds and garlic and make a tasty soup.

Same flour is used for making dosa, thalipith, roti.

5. Nuts and Dry Fruits

almonds for baby

Why Nuts and Dry Fruits?

Your baby can put on weight if you would take in, nuts and dry fruits. They are completely filled with calories. They lower bad cholesterols in the body and provide immense energy to it.

What to Eat?

• Soaked Almond
• Walnuts
• Dates (Use them instead of Sugar/Jaggery)
• Apricots
• Pistachios
• Raisins
• Dried Figs (Anjeer)

Fun Ways to Eat Nuts and Dry Fruits:

 Give yourself a treat! By eating Anjeer Sweets, Dry Fruit Ladoos, Dates Sweets etc.
 You can make yourself ‘Dry Fruit Mix’.
 Drop some pieces of nuts on your daily glass of milk with honey/banana and make yourself homemade muesli.
 Or you could simply all the desired dry fruits in your daily glass of full-fat milk.
 You can also give rich taste to your Pulao, by adding dry fruits and nuts in it.

6. Green Vegetables

fenugreek leaves

Why Green Vegetables?

Since you will be eating all kinds of fat-rich food, the green vegetables will help in easing its digestion. If not digested, how the fat would get instilled in your breast milk, then?

What to Eat?

• Fenugreek Leaves (Methi)(Best Galactogogue)
• Dill Leaves
Moringa Leaves (Drumsticks leaves)
• Spinach
• Green Beans
Bottle Gourd (Galactogogue)
• Pointed Gourd
• Teasel Gourd
• Green Yard Long Beans

7. Galactogogues: Foods to Boost Breast Milk Production

seeds in spoons

What are Galactogogues?

Galactogogues (Galact-o-gogues) are foods that boost up the process of breast milk product in mammary glands.

What and How to eat?


• Fenugreek Seeds Sprouts
• Seeds: White Sesame, Cumin, GardenCress (Aliv/Halim), poppy seeds
• Bottle Gourd
Shatawari (Not needed during first 3-4 months of Breastfeeding)
• Garlic
• Coconut

And some edibles are there on the list, [Foods to Increase Breastmilk].

Fun ways to eat Galactogogues:
 You can eat ‘Bottle Gourd Kheer’.
 Kheer and Porridges.
 Add ‘tadka’ of garlic in your Daal/Sabzi.
o

8. Seeds

fenugreek seeds

Why Seeds?

They are densely packed with nutrients and best known Galactogougue.

What to eat?


Fenugreek Seeds
• Fennel Seeds
• Chia Seeds (Sabja Seeds/Kukumrai)
• Poppy Seeds (KhusKhus)
• Cumin Seeds
• Black Sesame Seeds
• Garden Cress Seeds
• Flax Seeds

How and How Much to Eat?

We think you will get all your answer, in this mini and detailed posts of ours, 7 seeds that do wonders for breastfeeding mothers.
Some indirect ways to eat these seeds can be seen below.

Fun Ways to Eat:

 While cooking ghee-cooked white rice, you can add cumin in it.
 All other seeds can be roasted and powdered, Keep it handy, add to your milk (Kheer), soups and porridges.

9. Chicken

meat chicken

Why Chicken?

For muscle building, all the gym freaks love to eat chicken. Chicken skin contains high protein, calories and yes fat too. Hence, don’t go for skinless chicken.

Best Ways to Eat Chicken:

 Roasted Chickens are easy to make. Instead of marinating them overnight, you could simply cook the chicken in a frying pan. Add garlic, rosemary and lemon! That’s it. Flavorful and healthy.
 Avoid eating fried chickens.
 Remember: Don’t eat the spicy and masala-loaded chicken curries.

10. Eggs

eggs for baby

Why Eggs?

Eggs are a must have food among athletes. They eat to gain weight so that they could improve their athletic ability.

Brown Eggs [OR] White Eggs?

Go for whole white eggs.

Best Way to Eat Eggs:

2 Boiled eggs in breakfast.

Lack of Breast Milk Supply

If you think that your breast milk is not nutritive….
Then firstly you must know is, there’s no such thing as ‘quality breast milk’. Your breast milk is always rich with nutrients. If you don’t eat healthy foods, your body makes the milk from your reservoir. Hence, you should not worry about the ‘quality’ nor ‘quantity’ of your milk supply.

Tips for Healthy Breastfeeding

“Frequent Breastfeeding-Keys to increase lactation and baby’s weight”
o Milk is produced by the mammary glands of our breasts.
o After each feed, the milk gets emptied in our milk ducts and hence the glands start producing milk for the next round of feed.
o The more often your empty your mammary glands, the faster would be the milk production. Also higher fat content would be present in the milk then.
o Unemptied milk ducts will be able to produce less milk. Remember you cannot pour extra water into a glass, which is already filled with water.

Some other ways to increase your lactation capacity are:

o Feed your baby equally from both of the breasts.
o Massage your breasts every day, so that your milk storage capacity also increases.
o And eat the foods that we mentioned above- i.e. Galactogogues and certain seeds.
o Magic of mother’s touch

“Relation between Mothers touch and your baby’s weight”

hands mom and baby
Close skin-to-skin touch between a mother and a baby is essential.
 During breastfeeding, a baby’s touch stimulates milk ducts. This is body’ natural way to increase milk supply. It works as a signal to your brain to make more milk.
 A baby feels secure and comforted under his mother’s arms. This way, his psychological and physiological (i.e. developments of brain and body) both are positive.

Things every new mother should do daily with her baby:

 Bathe her regularly: only mothers touch make her feel safe!
 Give her a body massage: She enjoys it.
 Talk to her: she is listening!
 Sing him lullabies: She loves it.
 Let him play on your lap: needed for bonding
 Try to make him asleep on your shoulders.
Hence we can conclude that the time that you spend with your baby, is as important as food diet plan made for his baby’ weight gain.

When is baby weight loss Expected?

Your baby must have been weighed by the doctors immediately after birth. It is quite natural for babies to lose birth weight after that. So for how long should you consider it ‘normal’? : [2-3 days only]
After completion of this period, they would start gaining back their birth weight (excluding water weight) in:
[3-4 weeks approximately] So all together you WON’T have to worry about your baby’s weight, for up to: [1 month after birth.]

How the food you eat affects your baby’ weight?

Till you breastfed him, your health and your baby’s health are intertwined with each other. Here’s how: The type of food we eat (like sweet, sour, spicy, or salty etc.) they subtly change the flavor of breast milk. Not entirely, but in a negligible way. This is an imperative indication that the nutrients of our choice of food, passes into our babies through breast milk.

Reasons of Low Weight in Babies

For an infants the sole, rich source of nutrition is the mother’s breast milk. Loss of baby’s weight could be due to multiple reasons, but….
Two of the most common reasons behind babies’ weight loss are:
1. Lack of calorie intake in Mother’s diet.
2. Lack of breast milk supply.
And we are concentrating on both of them in our article.

1.] Lack of Calorie Intake

Even after regular feeding, your baby’s weight is not increasing. Then maybe you eat less calorie foods in your daily diet. We understand you want to lose your postpartum weight ASAP but….
You should have calorie rich foods so that your baby gets calories. As unused calories only turn into fat. And subsequently fat would increase your baby’s weight. Also if you balance the diet with fiber rich greens, you will not put on the unnecessary weight.
This is why fat-rich foods are necessary for breastfeeding mothers.
But aren’t fats bad for the body?
No not really, there are two types of fats:
• Good Fat
• Bad Fat
Here, we are going to tell you about all the good fat containing healthy foods.
What does good fat means?
It means the body essential fats, which remove the bad fats and bad cholesterols from our body.
For instance: Dark Chocolate contains good fat. Simple Chocolates contains bad fat.
If right after the birth only, your baby’s weight is low than the average, in that case also you should eat foods filled with good calories.
On growing up underweight babiescan get afflicted with diabetes, obesity and poor brain development. If you are a mother of such baby, our only advice for you is that don’t overdo things in worry, okay. If you will overeat, you baby will too, feels its effect. Remember, what passes through you, goes into him. So eat these weight increasing foods in a balanced way.

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About Author

Sapana

Software professional - now work at home mom

12 Comments

  1. My mother-in-law gave me a lot of porridges and gruels when I was breastfeeding my baby. It really helps. Also you can just gallop it. increased fluid intake…

  2. My baby is drinking milk..he is 4 month and he playful while I’m feeding him..now he doesn’t gain weight..what to do.?

    • My baby is not drinking milk..he is 4 month and he playful while I’m feeding him..now he doesn’t gain weight..what to do.?

      • Sapana

        Hi Abhirame,
        First of please do not think negatively, as negative thinking and stress are the biggest culprit affecting breastfeeding mom’s health.
        Do not force the baby for feedings. You must talk to his pediatrician. Sometime small health issues which go unnoticed are reason behind the baby refusing feeds.
        e.g. mouth ulcer, constipation etc.

  3. My baby is 8 months now n is still breastfeeding but i did not take any calcium protein r iron rich food !!! I focused on weight loss n took jst 5 chapattis n a glass of milk in my diet
    Now wht should i do
    My baby is 7 kgs
    N i think i could
    My bones n back start aching toward the end of d day
    N i feel tired easily

    Plzz recommended me a diet to increase my n my babys calcium level

    • Sapana

      Hi Lubna,
      I assume you have already started the solid foods for your baby? I remember my doctor told me, if you dont have enough calcium in your food during the breastfeeding then the calcium for your storage is used in milk and hence it mostly affects you.
      1. For Baby: Give your baby all healthy baby foods. You should still continue breastfeeding as the animal milk is not good before baby turns 1yr old. For Calcium through solid foods: Finger Millets, Almonds, Fish and Spinach are very good and safe sources of calcium. Yogurt is safe for babies but dont feed sour yogurt and start in small amount to make sure the baby digests it easily. Do not feed these calcium rich foods before baby turns 1 year old: Cow Milk/Sesame seeds/Soya/Tofu as they are common allergens.
      2. For you, Just milk isn’t enough, as you must have read the Vit D is needed for absorption of calcium. Weight loss diet doesn’t mean eat less, it means eat more greens and fibrous foods. Anyways now rather than weight loss, I think you should focus on energy foods, Eat dates n almonds every day. Take Protein rich diet like bean sprouts, meat, whole wheat. Sunlight and Mushrooms for Vit D. Spinach kind of greens as your protein intake needs to get digested.

  4. Woww..such an awesome article..as i was so worried about many things..but after reading this im very satisfied.my whole problems are solved through this article..thanks a lot

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