European University of Lefke (EUL) Faculty of Health Sciences Nutrition and Dietetics Department Lecturer Dr. Kamil Dağcılar made statements on “The Importance of Nutrition During Breastfeeding Period” within the scope of Breastfeeding Week.
“Breast milk is a unique source of nutrients for the protection of the baby’s health and contains all the fluid, energy and nutrients necessary for the growth and development of the newborn. In addition, it is a natural food with high bioavailability and easy to digest. The fact that every living creature’s milk is unique to itself and its baby is a feature that makes breast milk a unique nutrient for its offspring. For example, the most ideal food for a preterm baby is his own mother’s milk,” said Dağcılar, because all the substances the baby needs at that moment are found only in his mother’s milk.
“The most ideal food to be given to babies in the first six months is breast milk”
Dağcılar continued his explanation as follows; The most ideal food to be given to babies in the first six months of their life is breast milk. Breast milk and breastfeeding, which is an ideal food, provide numerous benefits for the baby and the mother. Exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months helps prevent gastrointestinal infections, asthma, and the development of childhood obesity and diabetes later in life. Studies have shown that breast-fed children have a low risk of developing diseases such as respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infections and diarrhea, and prolonging the breastfeeding period is an important factor in the prevention of childhood obesity. Similarly, many studies have shown that breastfed babies have a lower risk of developing chronic diseases in later life. It can be said that breastfeeding contributes to the prevention of childhood diseases, reducing health expenditures and contributing to the reduction of workforce loss in disease treatment, thus contributing to society in socioeconomic terms. In addition, breastfed children have higher mental and cognitive ability scores than non-breastfed children.
“Drinks with high nutritional value should be preferred in addition to water during the lactation period”
Dağcılar stated that the benefits of breastfeeding are innumerable. Saying, “The lactating woman should have an adequate and balanced diet both to keep the nutrient stores in her own body in balance and to get the energy, protein, minerals and vitamins that correspond to the milk she secretes”, Dağcılar said that she should take care to take enough fluids for adequate breast milk production and to take care of the daily milk. He pointed out that taking at least 8-12 glasses of fluid would be sufficient.
Finally, the Dağcılar made some recommendations and concluded his words as follows: During the lactation period, beverages such as milk with high nutritional value, buttermilk and freshly squeezed fruit juice should be preferred in addition to water. Weight loss diet should not be done during lactation period. The application of low-calorie diets reduces milk production and negatively affects the nutritional value of milk. In addition, bad habits such as alcohol and cigarettes should be avoided during lactation.