Ask A Mum : Can my Vegetarian diet affect my Milk Supply?
Q: I am having a hard time generating enough breast milk for my infant. Some of my relatives are blaming my strict vegetarian diet and pressuring me to eat meat. What are my options so I can produce enough milk?
A: Wangui Wachira, 31 years, Vegetarian mother of one replies:
As a breastfeeding vegetarian mum you must work just a little bit harder to ensure that you get all the balanced nutrients you require to maintain baby and you.
A kitchen must-have, pointed out to me by a fellow mum is the blender.
It has been a lifesaver. You can have nutrient-packed meals and snacks in the form of soups, smoothies and vegetable juices in record time and you do not need any advanced cooking skills. I play around with the vegetables I have with me at any given time and I have stumbled across some great finds. Soups such as Butternut, Pea soup, Mushroom, Leek and potato, Celery and Carrot and ginger are all great, tasty options.
Protein rich sources include fresh beans, chick peas, njahi, other legumes and lentils will ensure your child gets enough protein for his growth. Complex carbohydrates are important for proper protein synthesis. Examples are brown rice, whole grain bread, oat or millet porridge and wholegrain pasta. If you can do dairy products then milk, yoghurt and eggs are all good. Keep the kienyeji greens like managu (solanum) and terere (amaranth)very close by as well as other greens like sukuma wiki, broccoli and spinach.
To ensure baby gets enough Omega-3s and other essential nutrients for brain development and function, use the grinder attachment to your blender to crush some fresh flax seeds daily and sprinkle onto your meals. Add sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and nuts to your salads or as a convenient healthy snack.