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World Breastfeeding Week 2021: What Should The Plate Of A Lactating Mother Look Like Amid COVID-19 Pandemic To Enhance Her Immunity?

World Breastfeeding Week 2021: A balanced diet including a variety of fruits and green vegetables along with drinking lots of fluids and performing light exercises can elevate the mood of a lactating mother, strengthen the immune system that can help her breastfeed her baby in a better way, says Dr Anita Gupta of GTB Hospital

World Breastfeeding Week 2021: What Should The Plate Of A Lactating Mother Look Like Amid COVID-19 Pandemic To Enhance Her Immunity?
Highlights
  • Make healthy food choices when you are breastfeeding: Expert
  • Maintain hygiene while preparing food for a lactating mother: Expert
  • Lactating mother must eat protein-rich food 2-3 times in a day: Expert

New Delhi: According to the phase-1 findings of the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20, the country made some progress on exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months. Although there have been improvements, experts fear that disruptions in health and nutrition services caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic might have reversed the gains made in this direction, especially in the rural areas. The fear of infection during the ongoing pandemic has also impacted breastfeeding practices, said Dr Anita Gupta, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, and trainer for Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN), when NDTV spoke to her during the ongoing World Breastfeeding Week 2021 to learn about the diet that a lactating mother should follow in order to enhance her own immunity and that of her baby through food.

Also Read: World Breastfeeding Week 2021: Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mothers and Babies

Dr Gupta stressed that a lactating mother must breastfeed her child without any fears and even if she gets infected by COVID-19, she should continue to nurse her baby while following basic safety measures like wearing mask, washing hands and sanitising the surroundings. She said,

A lactating mother is not more vulnerable than any other women for catching Covid. However, if she becomes infected, the probability of becoming severely ill is higher. So it is important for her to enhance her ability to fight the virus by improving her immunity and the food she intakes has an important role to play in this.

She further said that pregnancy and breastfeeding are the periods when nutrient needs are increased to meet physiological requirements and protect the health of the mother. She added that a breastfeeding mother should take 500-600 more calories than other women. She said,

What a lactating woman eats can affect her body and her growing baby. Even though the breastmilk will be good even if her diet is not, it is still important to eat well because it helps in replenishing the nutrients that her body loses through breastfeeding and ensures that the breastmilk is as nutritious as it can be for the baby.

Here are some of the recommendations made by Dr Gupta on what the plate of lactating mother should look in times of COVID-19:

  1. It is important to incorporate a balanced diet for breastfeeding mothers that has food items rich in Protein, Calcium, Fibre, Iron and Vitamins.
  2. Eat a mix of foods across all food groups- vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and proteins.
  3. Eat various food within each food group. For example, try including multiple coloured vegetables like spinach, tomato, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potato.
  4. Eat protein-rich foods like legumes, beans, lean meat, eggs peanut butter, two to three times in a day.
  5. Limit foods and beverages higher in saturated fats, added sugars, and sodium.
  6. The food should include essential nutrients like Iron for which doctors may recommend iron supplements depending on need but it can be taken from sources like pulses, sprouts, dry fruits, and green leafy vegetables. Foods rich in calcium like cheese, yoghurt, seeds such as Chia seeds, beans and lentils should be part of the diet. For Vitamin D, a breastfeeding mother should take egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon and foods fortified with Vitamin D. Vitamin C be taken via green and red peppers, spinach, cabbage, tomato, sweet potato and fruits such as kiwis, oranges and papayas.
  7. It is important to take lots of fluids in order to stay hydrated during breastfeeding. For this drink lots of water and add coconut water, fruit juices and buttermilk in the diet.
  8. Ensure that the food for a lactating mother is prepared in a hygienic way with clean hands using clean utensils and raw material.

Dr Gupta also emphasised the need of expanding the social protection programmes to address the needs of pregnant and lactating mothers in the times of Covid. She said that food distribution and the facility of take-home-ration and nutrition-rich food items should be done near their house. She also stressed the need of conducting awareness programmes on nutrition and hygiene for breastfeeding mothers and their families.

Also Read: What Is Important For Breastfeeding Mothers In Times Of COVID-19? Dr Shariqua Yunus Of World Food Programme Explains

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,95,44,435Cases
19,20,52,504Active
3,27,83,741Recovered
47,08,190Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,95,44,435 and 47,08,190 have died; 19,20,52,504 are active cases and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 3:49 am.

India

3,35,31,498 26,964Cases
3,01,9897,586Active
3,27,83,741 34,167Recovered
4,45,768 383Deaths
In India, there are 3,35,31,498 confirmed cases including 4,45,768 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,01,989 and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,27,629 3,131

44,269 960

63,44,744 4,021

1,38,616 70

Kerala

45,39,926 15,768

1,61,765 5,813

43,54,264 21,367

23,897 214

Karnataka

29,69,361 818

13,769 617

29,17,944 1,414

37,648 21

Tamil Nadu

26,48,688 1,647

16,993 9

25,96,316 1,619

35,379 19

Andhra Pradesh

20,40,708 1,179

13,905 483

20,12,714 1,651

14,089 11

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,693 13

194 0

16,86,612 13

22,887

West Bengal

15,62,710 537

7,741 69

15,36,291 592

18,678 14

Delhi

14,38,556 39

400 21

14,13,071 18

25,085

Odisha

10,21,216 462

4,844 103

10,08,226 560

8,146 5

Chhattisgarh

10,05,120 26

297 0

9,91,260 26

13,563

Rajasthan

9,54,275 12

99 8

9,45,222 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,751 14

133 0

8,15,536 14

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,410 8

90 6

7,81,803 14

10,517

Haryana

7,70,754 8

328 12

7,60,618 20

9,808

Bihar

7,25,907 6

60 9

7,16,188 15

9,659

Telangana

6,63,906 244

4,938 53

6,55,061 296

3,907 1

Punjab

6,01,359 36

304 3

5,84,554 37

16,501 2

Assam

5,98,864 441

5,081 97

5,87,970 338

5,813 6

Jharkhand

3,48,139 14

65 10

3,42,941 4

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,405 12

249 18

3,35,765 29

7,391 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,28,214 145

1,450 11

3,22,345 154

4,419 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,17,403 263

1,715 99

2,12,033 162

3,655 2

Goa

1,75,690 107

886 76

1,71,507 29

3,297 2

Puducherry

1,25,618 101

922 55

1,22,864 46

1,832

Manipur

1,18,870 197

2,174 9

1,14,861 203

1,835 3

Tripura

83,956 51

353 7

82,794 44

809

Mizoram

82,815 1,355

15,363 223

67,184 1,127

268 5

Meghalaya

79,817 150

1,878 18

76,558 167

1,381 1

Chandigarh

65,195 7

44 3

64,333 4

818

Arunachal Pradesh

54,190 64

413 3

53,504 60

273 1

Sikkim

31,014 43

627 27

30,007 70

380

Nagaland

30,959 52

470 3

29,832 46

657 3

Ladakh

20,743 6

144 6

20,392

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

0 0

10,666

4

Lakshadweep

10,360 1

9 1

10,300

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,607 7

17 4

7,461 3

129

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