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TIPS FOR FAST RECOVERY ON POST C-SECTION  Regardless of the method of baby delivery, the diet of a mother is extremely crucial not only for breastfeeding, but to accelerate the recovery. As post C-section can be painful, it may bring stress both physically and mentally to the mother. Therefore, to speed up the recovery should not be delayed. Good nutrition along with proper rest will nourish the body and assist in fast recovery of the abdominal wall and the uterus which are split during the C-section.  Here are the general tips for mothers after a C-section without any complication once you are allowed to eat solid food. Note: For mothers with postoperative complications, please consult your attended doctor and dietitian for more information.  Protein - It is very important especially after operation to accelerate the healing process by repairing the damaged body tissues and strengthening the immune system to fight against the infections! Good food sources include lean meat, poultry, eggs, fish and seafoods, beans and legumes as well as dairy and dairy products. Beware of the cooking methods like deep fried as it will promote inflammation in the body, delaying the healing process. Anti-inflammatory - Food that has anti-inflammatory properties will help

NO PEANUT AFTER SURGERY/ C- SECTION: MYTH OR FACT Do you have to avoid certain foods like peanuts after the surgery? Well, there is actually little to no evidence stating peanut will cause harm to mothers (example: wound infection) who consume peanuts post-surgery.  Instead, peanuts are loaded with protein, fiber, monounsaturated fat, also known as the good fat as well as important vitamins (niacin, folate, thiamine, vitamin E etc.) and minerals (copper, manganese, iron, magnesium etc.) to maintain good health including wound healing! As you can see, peanuts are rich in multiple nutrients, this has made peanuts a good source of nutrient dense food- a great alternative for healthy snacks! However, in our country, aside from consuming roast peanuts alone, they are usually made into peanut snacks, for instance, crispy peanut snacks (Rempeyek), peanut brittle candy, commercial coated peanut and sambal peanut anchovies are among the favorite.  Now, what you have to be aware of, is all these products which are high in saturated fat, trans- fat and refined sugar. Saturated fat and trans- fat, both famously known as the bad fat along with refined sugar are what will delay the wound healing progress and even cause inflammation in the body after your

WHAT IS POSTPARTUM ANEMIA? Postpartum anemia is anemia after delivery of a baby. Anemia is a condition where the body has a lower number of red blood cells. Iron intake is essential to prevent anemia regardless pre or post pregnancy/ delivery.    CAUSES One of the major causes of postpartum anemia includes the excessive blood loss during the delivery process. On top of that, mothers with iron deficiency prior to pregnancy and delivery will usually develop post- partum anemia too. That is why doctors most likely will advise pregnant mothers to have iron level to be tested.   SIGNS OF LOW IRON Sometimes, mothers will not experience any symptoms during pregnancy, but do notice after delivery, like fatigue, low energy, pale irritability, and dizziness or headache.   HOW TO INCREASE IRON LEVEL? According to RNI Malaysia, the iron requirement during the first trimester remains, however during the second and third trimester, the needs increase. For lactating mothers, the iron requirement is about 10-15mg/day. As for lactating mothers with menstruation, the requirement will be higher, around 20-30mg/day.   Iron level can be increased by consuming iron rich foods. There are two types of iron- the haem iron and non-haem iron. Haem iron is derived primarily from animal sources (meats, fish, and poultry). Whilst

ALCOHOL. CAN I? Often, we heard questions from mothers, ‘can I consume alcohol after my delivery?’ Is it really safe to consume alcohol while lactating? No. Not drinking alcohol is the safest option for lactating mothers. However, if a mother would like to consume for several purposes (Chinese would usually use Chinese wine to get the body warm and increase the vitality), it is advised not to consume more than one standard drink per day. One "standard" drink (or one alcoholic drink equivalent) contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:  12 ounces (350ml) of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol.  5 ounces of wine (150ml), which is typically about 12% alcohol.  1.5 ounces (44ml) of distilled spirits, which is about 40% alcohol.   Why is it not advisable to consume alcohol during lactating period? Alcohol can pass through breast milk, and the levels are usually highest 30-60 minutes after consumption. It can stay in the breast milk for around 2-3 hours if mothers consume one standard drink, and it stays even longer when the mothers consume more.  Although one standard drink per day is not known to be harmful to the baby, especially if the mothers waits at least 2 hours before breastfeeding, over time, excessive

Can I have caffeinated beverage while breastfeeding? Have you ever wondered if you are allowed to drink caffeinated beverages while breastfeeding? Is it safe for your baby? Does your baby get the effect from the caffeine too? While caffeinated beverages may boost our sleep- deprived mothers, drinking too much may bring harm to the baby. Here is what you need to know about caffeine while breastfeeding. Caffeine is basically a compound that is found in certain plants. The main role of caffeine is to stimulate the central nervous system, thus improve one’s alertness and reduce tiredness.   Does caffeine pass through breastmilk? Yes, according to researchers, approximately 1% of the total amount of caffeine you consume could pass through to your breast milk. The caffeine in breast milk usually peaks about 1 hour after a dose. Since baby and infant’s liver and kidneys are not completely developed, they cannot process caffeine as quickly as adults.    Does that mean it is dangerous to consume while breastfeeding? According to researchers, although babies cannot process caffeine as efficient and fast as adults, it is still considered safe for breastfeeding mothers to consume in moderate amounts (~300mg), which is approximately two cups of coffee per day.  However, if mothers consume more

WHAT IS NEW-BORN JAUNDICE? New-born jaundice is a yellowing of a baby’s skin and eyes. This is very common and it occurs when babies have a high level of bilirubin - a yellow pigment produced in the body during normal breakdown of red blood cells. Fortunately, mothers do not need to worry much because new-born jaundice goes away on its own as the baby’s liver starts to develop as well as feeding is introduced. In most cases, jaundice will disappear within 2 to 3 weeks.  SYMPTOMS Yellowing of the skin, eyes, palms of the hands or soles of the feet Dark, yellow urine (should be colourless) Pale-coloured poo (should be yellow or orange) Sleepy Do not want to feed/ not feed as well as usual CAN NEWBORN JAUNDICE BE PREVENTED? Unfortunately, there’s no real way to prevent new-born jaundice. Mothers should have blood type tested and once the baby is born, the blood type should be tested as well, mainly to rule out the possibility of blood type incompatibility that can lead to new-born jaundice.  If your baby does have jaundice, there are still ways to prevent it from becoming more severe. Make sure your baby is getting enough nutrition through breastmilk, otherwise suitable formula milk. Feed your baby at least 8

What is Calcium? Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Almost 99% of calcium is stored in the skeleton (bone). The remaining calcium can be found in the teeth (0.6%), body’s soft tissues (0.6%), plasma (0.03%) and extracellular fluid (0.06%). Calcium is vital in providing the rigidity to the skeleton.  It is an essential element that is only available to the body through dietary sources. How does breastfeeding relate to bone health?  Breastfeeding causes changes in the mother's body, including the bone. They produce lesser oestrogen, which is the hormone that protects the bones. Aside from that, human breast milk is the sole dietary source of calcium to the baby and most of the calcium present in milk was derived from the mother’s bone. It means that, during breastfeeding, calcium will be drawn from the mother's bone to support the baby’s need. The needs will increase as the baby is growing. Therefore, getting enough calcium is very important, especially for the mother’s bone health to prevent osteopenia or osteoporosis.     How much calcium should a breastfeeding mother consume? So, how much calcium is needed for a breastfeeding mother? According to the Ministry of Health Malaysia, the recommended calcium intake for lactating mothers (20-49 years

BREASTFEEDING MOMS: DRINKING FOR TWO? Based on Malaysian Dietary Guideline 2010, breastfeeding mothers need to increase water intake up to at least an extra 2 glasses (500ml) of water daily. The key recommendation of water intake for normal adult women is 8 glasses of water per day, therefore, breastfeeding moms are suggested to drink around 10 glasses of water per day instead of double up the usual water intake portion. Why is water so important for breastfeeding moms? Water is the principal chemical constituent of the body. Maintaining adequate fluid intake is one of the most essential aspects for mothers even after delivery. This is because breastmilk is produced using maternal body water (Breast milk is mainly composed of water which is around 87%). Dehydration would directly reduce the milk supply. Therefore, mothers need to compensate for the production of milk by drinking enough water. Mothers also need water to meet their own needs. For instance, water is crucial in maintaining body temperature and blood volume. It also serves as a medium to transport nutrients to body cells. It also helps in detoxification. Daily water intake should balance with water losses in urine, stool and sweat in order to maintain total body water and

Do breastfeeding moms need to consume extra? Often, we heard about this statement, saying that lactating mothers should eat more than their usual portion in order to breastfeed the baby. But how true is that? Yes, the production of breast milk does demand extra calories. According to Recommended Nutrients Intake (RNI) for Malaysia 2017, energy needs for mother during breastfeeding for the first 6 months increase by about 500 kilocalories per day.  The addition of this 500kcal can be either from a complete meal or snacks. For a complete meal, eating a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods is vital for mother’s and baby’s health. As an example, a complete meal consisting approximately two scoops (flat) of plain rice/ bihun/pasta, a serving of lean meat/ fish/ eggs/ dairy/ beans/ lentils, half plate of leafy vegetables and one serving of fruit provides around 500kcal (with minimal fat is used).  However, if a mother finds it is tough to achieve this additional energy by adding a complete meal into her daily diet, it will be more practical to achieve this requirement through snacking. Frequent snacking (2-3 times per day) may help mother to achieve this 500kcal easily in a day. For example, healthy snacking with ~100 -

WHY CHOOSE ENERGY RICE BAR? Do you know? According to Malaysia RNI 2017, a lactating/ nursing mother requires an addition of approximately 500kcal daily during the lactation period. In other words, without adequate energy and nutrients intake, breastmilk production will be affected in terms of quality and quantity. Thus, in order for mothers to achieve this extra energy intake daily, try consuming lactation cookies, because they are packed with energy as well as nutrients! Let us discuss a little bit more on the benefits of the ingredients for a nursing mother.     BROWN BUBBLE/ PUFFED RICE Thanks to the array of antioxidants, minerals and nutrients, puffed rice is an option to boost the immune system. Mother’s body gets stronger to fight against infections, whilst antioxidants playing the role to enhance milk quality, therefore improving baby’s health!   Also, packed with fibre, puffed rice is pivotal for relieving constipation. It prevents the faeces from sticking to the intestinal walls and thereby allowing smooth faecal passage through peristalsis movement.   PEANUT   Peanuts are reportedly used in Africa and Asia as a galactagogue. Peanuts provide energy and healthy fat for lactating mothers, which helps in promoting production of breastmilk.    *Note: the early introduction of peanut in high risk infants is current the measure of

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