Tuesday, November 08 2016, 08:03:29
  • fatasstic
  • fatasstic
  • She Says

Jayati Godhawat

JWB Blogger

Dr. Medhavi Gautam Kickstarts Nutrition Week With Wholesome Tips

  • JWB Post
  •  September 1, 2016


National Nutrition Week has started from today, i.e. Sept 1 and the theme for 2016 focuses on the importance of breastfeeding.

JWB met Dr. Medhavi Gautam, Head of Dietetics and Nutrition Department, Santokba Durlabhiji Hospital, Jaipur and learned more about the health of breastfeeding mothers, their diet, and much more.


Medhavi emphasized that a child must be only breastfed for 6 months after birth.

“Our government is running so many campaigns to highlight the importance of breastfeeding in the first six months of childbirth. Because, in our country, new born babies are given the “ghutti” right after birth and just after 2-3 months, their families’ start feeding the infant with cow milk, dal ka paani, etc.”

“They don’t understand the negative consequences it might have on a child’s liver and intestine which might also hamper his/her proper growth. A child should only be given his/her mother’s milk for at least six months. They shouldn’t even be given water as mother’s feed is a wholesome meal for a new born,” she said.

She explained further, “One must understand that for nine months, a baby has taken nutrition from her mother in the womb and so, it’s the mother’s milk that will help in the child’s nourishment and growth.”

Medhavi also pointed out that in most cases, the mothers don’t feed their initial thick milk to the new born believing it’s impure.“But the fact is that it is the best milk to be fed, and we highly recommend it,” she said.

Health and Diet of Lactating Mothers

Medhavi shared with us that most of the lactating mothers don’t take care of their health which in turn leads to the poor health of their newborns.

“During pregnancy, the woman, and her family will take extra care of her food and health. In fact, they’ll overfeed her during the nine months. But, as soon as she delivers, the whole focus shifts to the child. No one understands the simple concept that it’s the mother’s well-being that will ensure a healthy baby,” she said.

“New mothers need more calories and higher intake of nutrition during lactation than during pregnancy. They need a high amount of protein, calcium, and iron as the child.”

Medhavi also highlighted the issues regarding breastfeeding that they are facing nowadays.

“New mothers come to me the next day of the delivery and will say that they want to get back into the shape. They ask me to give them a diet plan to lose weight. I want to say that every new mother should bear in mind that her child’s growth is dependent on only herself and if she is not eating anything then how will the child get enough nutrition?”

“Yes, staying fit and in shape is what today’s women are looking for, but, not at the cost of your child’s health. I always suggest that give six months to your baby and then you can work on your body.”

She also busted a few myths.

Medhavi with her daughter Navdha

“There’s this myth that breastfeeding will lead to out-of-shape and sagging boobs. One cannot be more wrong. During pregnancy and lactation period, a woman’s mammary glands increase due to which the breast size increases. But, after the lactation period, they’ll get back to their usual size. Also, breastfeeding helps you lose weight. It’s a fact which seldom know of.”

“Another myth is that a pregnant woman should not eat papaya as it may lead to abortion or cause abnormalities in the baby. I have two children, and my son is just eight-months-old. I have eaten papaya in both my pregnancies. Constipation is very normal during pregnancy and papaya is one of the best sources to regularize bowel movements. One should just bear in mind that un-ripe papaya shouldn’t be consumed during pregnancy.”

She also listed a few Don’ts for the lactating mothers which include Smoking or any form of tobacco, Alcohol consumption, and spicy food.

“Remember that whatever you eat is being fed to your child, too.”

“I also tell the mothers to avoid excessive ghee after childbirth as it just deposits as a layer of fat and is of no use. So, don’t believe the myth that ghee will grease your bones for later years,” Gautam said.

And on being asked one thing that should top the must-have’s list she said,

“Milk! You should have 3-4 glasses of milk or equivalent milk-products during lactation.”

“But, coffee is a no-no as it increases calcium excretion and decreases its absorption,” she added.

Childhood Obesity

We further discussed the health of children and the growing rate of obesity amongst them.

“We conducted a campaign in Jaipur schools like SMS, Sophia, amongst many others to study the obesity percentage amongst children. We measured height, weight, and BMI of all students Of Class 6th to 8th and the findings were alarming. 50% of the students were either obese or pre-obese.”

“In India, childhood obesity is not considered a disease and is ignored which is why Child Obesity is becoming an epidemic.”

“One needs to understand that it can be treated and cured through proper counseling, diet management, and exercise. Also, a child must not be demoralized and made to avoid their ‘happy’ foods totally. He/she must be guided in a right direction, and the balanced diet must be encouraged.”


As much as child obesity is an alarming reality, there’s also a dangerous increase in the cases of Anorexic teenagers, in India.

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia is plaguing the teenage girls all over our country which can also prove life-threatening,” sighed Medhavi.

“While Bulimia, i.e. binge-eating and then vomiting it out, is still treatable, Anorexia is a severe mental disorder which is challenging and difficult to treat.”

“It can happen at any age, but, nowadays, we are seeing a lot of teenagers, especially girls who are becoming anorexic. And, this is all because they are so influenced by the glamour world that they want to look like those magazine cover models or actresses,” she continued, “It starts with a crash diet, then they’ll stop eating food altogether. For them, any food is just a number of calories. They become severely anemic and look just like a skeleton. Unfortunately, they take it as a compliment.”

For treatment Medhavi suggested, “Help from a psychiatrist should be undertaken, and proper monitoring of the condition should be done.”

Message to all Women

“You are the heart of the family and your health and well-being is paramount. You need more energy than anyone else in the family. So, eat healthy and nutritious food and only then you can take care of your family in the long run.”



Contact us for your story


Leave a Comment

  • JWB along with the brand Jewel Saga bring you a selfie contest inspired by the campaign AidToMaid.