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Saturday, 02 May 2020 Posted under Breast Feeding

5 Reasons why one should consume citric fruits during Breastfeeding and Lactation

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural phenomena but it doesnt come free of doubts and speculations, especially when it comes to the breastfeeding diet.
It is a known fact that whatever the mother consumes mostly does or can affect her breast milk composition. Therefore in order for the baby to get balanced nutrition, the mother must have a balanced diet. This should cover all the food groups such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals as well as fats. A major point of contention is the restriction of consumption of certain foods such as citric fruits. Nursing mothers have been hearing for ages that citric fruits can cause diaper rashes and sensitivity in the baby's tummy. But is that true? Is it advisable for the nursing mother to eliminate citric fruits from the diet? The answer is NO! Unless advised otherwise by her Doctor she must ensure that she is taking in enough citric fruits. Some of the reasons for doing so are as follows:

1) We are currently facing extremely unprecedented times with the spread of COVID 19. At the moment it has no cure or vaccine. The best we can do is keep our immunity high and take as much care of our young ones as possible. Coronavirus is like the common flu in terms of symptoms. Vitamin C is known to provide immunity and protection against colds and coughs. Therefore in times like these, the breastfeeding mother must take extra care to consume lots of citric fruits and juices in order to help keep her immunity and in turn her baby's immunity high.

2) Citric fruits are a rich natural source of vitamin C which is essential for a nursing mother. Sometimes mothers are put on to Vitamin C tablets by her doctor, but if she consumes ample natural sources of vitamin C, she may not need to take the supplements. Nothing like going the natural way!

3) The Vitamin C in oranges and other citric fruits help the mother's body to absorb calcium from food much better.

4) The reason why mothers are asked to avoid citric fruits is because the acidic nature of these fruits may have an effect on the baby's gastrointestinal system. In other words the baby may show signs of sensitivity. But this is extremely rare. And it is not advisable for one to practice the method of elimination with the anticipation of problems. Babies can show signs of sensitivity towards anything. So unless advised otherwise by the doctor, one needs to practice trial and error. Which means only eliminate something when you feel the baby is showing signs of sensitivity and not with the anticipation. Also when eliminating, keep in mind the nutrient value and replace it with other sources of vitamin C and monitor the baby.

5) It is said that whatever the mother consumes, affects the taste of the breast milk, so consuming citric fruits and make the taste of the breast milk too strong. It is true that breast milk alters in colour and taste depending on the mother's diet. But this change in taste is quite subtle and generally the varied diet affects the infant positively.