Many breastfeeding mothers are concerned about how the meals they consume will influence their breast milk. You may have pondered whether it is necessary to avoid certain foods in order to prevent stomach problems or allergies in your kid. Perhaps you’re wondering if you need to eat certain meals in order to produce the appropriate volume or quality of milk for your baby.
The good news is that regardless of what you consume, your milk will most likely be adequate for your baby. Your body understands exactly what nourishment your kid requires at each stage of growth.
To help you plan your diet, consider the following suggestions.
What to eat when breastfeeding
- Protein foods such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, and seeds should be consumed 2-3 times a day.
- Consume three servings of veggies per day, particularly dark green and yellow vegetables.
- Consume two servings of fruit each day.
- Include whole grains in your regular diet, such as whole wheat breads, pasta, cereal, and oatmeal.
- To quench your thirst, drink some water. Many breastfeeding mothers experience thirst; nevertheless, forcing yourself to drink fluids will not boost your supply.
- Breastfeeding mothers are not subject to pregnancy dietary restrictions.
- Breastfeeding and vegetarian diets can coexist. If you skip meat, make sure to eat iron and zinc-rich foods such dried beans, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and dairy. If you follow a vegan diet, you will need to take a B12 supplement to ensure that your baby does not have a B12 deficit.
How much to eat when breastfeeding
Breastfeeding necessitates an increase in calories. If you still have baby weight from your pregnancy, these extra calories will be utilised for milk production. If you’ve lost all of your baby weight, you may need to eat 500-600 more calories per day. After your kid starts eating solid foods at 6 months, you will produce less milk and will be able to reduce your calorie consumption.
Alcohol and caffeine
If you want to drink alcohol, wait 2-3 hours between servings (12 oz. beer, 6 oz. wine, 1.5 oz. liquor) before breastfeeding or pumping. Alcohol does not linger in milk. As your blood alcohol levels decrease, it is eliminated. When you are sober, the alcohol in your milk is gone. If you are experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms and your breasts are full, you may need to “pump and dump.”
Caffeine is transferred into your milk, but most babies aren’t harmed by it. However, if your baby isn’t sleeping well or is cranky, you should limit or avoid caffeine. Newborns may be more susceptible to caffeine than older babies.
Sharing with baby through milk
DocasaHexanenoic Acid (DHA) is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that newborns require for brain development. Eat fish 2-3 times per week to increase the DHA in your milk. Salmon, bluefish, bass, trout, flounder, and tuna are the finest sources of DHA. Eat no tile fish, swordfish, shark, or king mackerel. They have elevated mercury levels.
The colors of the things you eat, including naturally occurring pigments in vegetables and herbal supplements or food dyes added to foods, may cause your milk to become a different color.
The flavors in your diet will be reflected in your milk. Your infant will even appreciate garlic-flavored milk!
Most babies can tolerate spicy and gas-producing foods. If your infant is frequently gassy or colicky and has increased diarrhea after eating a specific item, consider eliminating that food for several weeks and see if the symptoms improve. Then reintroduce the food to see whether you still need to avoid it.
Allergies in babies
A breastfeeding baby may acquire a food allergy to foods consumed by the mother in rare situations. Green, mucus-like, and blood-specked stools are the most common symptoms. Food allergies are not frequently the cause of colic or reflux.
Dairy, soy, wheat, and eggs are the most prevalent foods that trigger allergies. Fish, almonds, peanuts, and corn are some of the less common foods that trigger allergies. Any food you eat could cause a baby to acquire an allergy.
Keeping a food journal of your symptoms as well as what you eat may help you determine which items are causing the problem. The allergy will not cause long-term difficulties as long as your kid is gaining weight and not anemic. You are not required to discontinue breastfeeding.
Removing the suspicious items from your diet and carefully reading all food labels should address the problem, but the infant’s symptoms may take 4-6 weeks to resolve. A consultation with a qualified dietitian who is familiar with food sensitivities may help you plan your diet.
Other Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers’ Diet
Now that you’ve seen all the necessary things you need to remember when planning your diet as a breastfeeding mother, here are some extra tips we’d like to share for you:
First off, keep in mind that breastfeeding is not a weight-loss diet. That said, this does not mean you cannot lose your baby weight postpartum! Just remember that breastfeeding and dieting are COMPLETELY different things. So if you’re following a healthy diet, but still struggle with your weight, it’s time to get some professional help from an in-person nutritionist or a registered dietitian (like these 5 delish ones—but make sure to do your research beforehand).
Second, it is important to remember that it is okay to feel bad at times. Breastfeeding mothers are often times told to feel proud if they lose their baby weight. It is not okay to be proud of yourself if you are eating a diet that doesn’t support your health. On the other hand, it is also important to be realistic with your expectations going into pregnancy, especially in regards to weight gain and loss. If you notice that you have gained more weight than you would like at any point during your pregnancy (or even after), speak with a healthcare provider first.
Lastly, the classic advice, always keep in mind that there is no better substitute to breastmilk.