Diet Consideration While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding provides a great start for your baby and at the same time gives many health benefits to the mother as well. This milk is best for your baby’s growth and development plus it also has a variety of protective compounds that saves baby from infections, illnesses and builds a strong immune system that helps later in life. not surprisingly, it takes a lot of calories, energy and vital nutrients from your body to produce breast milk. You need an additional 400-500 calories a day to stay healthy and active but it doesn’t mean having junk food like burgers, fries or sweets.

One of the best ways to increase these calories is to introduce two to three healthy snacks along with three main meals of the day. You can have fruits, nuts and seeds and even lactating cookies which are made from oats and other milk boosting ingredients that are safe and nutrient dense.

A mother must also focus on their daily meals which must consist of protein rich foods such as lean meat, eggs, beans, lentils and seafood that is low in mercury. Also consume whole grains like oats, barley, wheat but avoid all kinds of refined flours. Your meal must also have some part of vegetables in the form of salad or even in cooked form too. Dairy is also important to be consumed throughout the day along with lots of water.  

Your diet is an important consideration while nursing your baby because it not only affects your milk but to your health too. Let's see what foods to focus on and avoid too, while a mother is feeding his/her child.

1-Your fluid intake while breastfeeding

Breast Milk is composed of 87% of water and its consistency is liquid, so we need plenty of water to meet this requirement. There’s no fixed way of measuring how much water and fluid intake you must increase while breastfeeding because it depends on what type of diet you are consuming, your body weight and other things too. However, you need to focus on your fluid intake because it’s deficiency could lead to decrease in milk supply, tiredness and sometimes dizziness too.

Your dark and smelly urine is a big sign that your water intake is less and may feel thirstier as well. The main reason behind this is that when you nurse your baby, oxytocin levels increase which causes milk to start flowing. This actually stimulates thirst and you feel like drinking water while nursing your baby.

2-Choose nutrient dense foods

Breastfeeding is demanding on the body, just to produce it you need energy, which comes from your diet. In addition, breast milk extracts all the healthy nutrients from your body to make it a complete meal for your baby, and it’s done naturally.

The need for specific nutrients includes, iron, vitamin A, B, C, D, E, selenium, zinc, folate, calcium, magnesium. So try to have all food groups in a day with the right proportion and weightage which covers all the macro and micro nutrients, you and your little one requires. 

Sometimes mothers experience a dip in milk supply, and for this they can have lactating cookies which can increase milk supply and can provide some healthy extra calories too. just remember to avoid all kinds of processed, canned and junk foods which are not at all healthy, instead may lead to health problems in near future.

3-Take supplements as well

Although the first recommended choice to cover your nutrition is through your diet, sometimes many lactating mothers are unable to meet their demand and hence face deficiency, resulting in weak health and low energy levels.

As the demand of certain nutrients increases while breastfeeding, therefore, it’s not possible to cover it through diet and so you need to introduce some good postpartum supplements advised by your doctor and health practitioner. Iron, folate and choline are specifically important for lactating mothers and vegan people need supplements more essentially because of their diet choices.

4-What foods to avoid in your diet

As there are diet specifications for nursing mothers that’ll improve their milk quality and quantity, there are certain foods that could be dangerous for the baby because what we eat is fueling our breast milk.

You need to avoid seafood that is high in mercury, all types of wine and alcohol because it transfers into breast milk, a lot of caffeine intake can also make your baby hyper and over active too. so try to consume chocolates, teas, coffees and your brownies in a limited amount. You also have to notice if you’re or your baby allergic to any food like peanuts, dairy or gassy foods.

Summing up

Breast milk is made up of what we eat and drink, along with how good our body is equipped with healthy and vital nutrients. So, we all must be super conscious during our pregnancy and after delivering our child to consume healthy, as it will not only affect the baby but is equally important for the mother too.