Dear Doctors, I am breastfeeding my 4 month old son and have lost weight. I am naturally thin, but my sister thinks my baby is not getting the nutrients he needs. The pediatrician says my son is doing great, but I am worried. Should I switch to the formula?
Dear Reader, When a new mother is healthy and has a balanced and balanced diet, her breast milk contains everything a baby needs to grow and thrive. Breast milk not only contains fat, protein and carbohydrates, but it provides the infant with vitamins and minerals, as well as water for hydration. It is also a source of a range of important bioactive compounds that help shape and strengthen a baby’s developing immune system and support brain development. Breast milk is easily digested and absorbed, two important factors for an infant’s brand new digestive system. And the act of breastfeeding can be an important part of bonding between mother and child.
Your pediatrician says your baby is doing well and is following general growth guidelines for his age. This means that your breast milk is doing its job. Unless your pediatrician suggests it, there is no need to switch to formula. The recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics is, when possible, to breastfeed exclusively until the baby is 4 to 6 months old. At this point, switch to a mix of breastfeeding and appropriate solid foods.
When it comes to your own weight loss while breastfeeding, this is not unusual. Breastfeeding women burn an additional 500-700 calories per day, which can lead to weight loss. Since you are already thin and continue to lose weight, be sure to adjust your diet to compensate for the calories your body uses to produce milk. (When you start adding solid foods to your son’s diet at 6 months of age, you can adjust your own diet to reflect the decrease in the amount of breast milk you are producing.) Offset the calories you are producing. spending will help with your energy levels and with continued milk supply.
When focusing on high calorie foods and meals, make sure you stay within the parameters of healthy eating. Your baby eats what you eat. Include plenty of high-quality protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, and healthy oils. Choose high-value snacks like nuts, seeds, yogurt, and nut butters. Occasional “cheats” are okay, but try not to incorporate highly processed foods into your diet on a regular basis. And don’t forget to hydrate. If you maintain an increased calorie intake and continue to lose weight while breastfeeding, you should see your obstetrician.
A new baby to care for is already a challenge. It is not helpful for a family member to give opinions that affect your comfort and your self-confidence. You might consider bringing your sister the next time your baby visits the pediatrician. You can talk about your weight and the baby’s nutritional needs, and hopefully the doctor can give you both relief.
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