To breastfeed or not to breastfeed, what will you choose? Today, the benefits of breastfeeding are widely known, and many new mothers will opt to do this. In fact, if you are breastfeeding your baby, you do not have to worry so much about how to lose weight after pregnancy. Breastfeeding will naturally burn a lot of calories. What food should you eat while breastfeeding? In this guide, you learn about the breastfeeding diet for nursing moms.
Importance of Diet to Breastfeeding
In your pre-pregnancy diet, you are choosing foods with low calories because your concern is weight loss. In contrast to weight loss, the after-pregnancy diet requires you to choose foods that will add to your calories but with good nutritional value.
Your breastfeeding diet must give you sufficient nourishment for your milk production. Your body will lose most of its energy to milk production. When you breastfeed, make sure to have a hands-free breast pump or wearable breast pump on your side for a better milk supply. You will produce 23 to 27 ounces of milk per day, and this will require at least 500 calories per day. In order to sustain this, you will need to increase your calorie intake by 200 to 500 calories each day.
If your worry is how to lose the extra calories, you should not because you can burn these calories when you breastfeed, and this will naturally lead to pregnancy weight loss. If you can take in just enough calories to sustain milk production and breastfeeding, you do not have to think of a plan for how to lose weight after pregnancy.
Breastfeeding Diet for You and Your Baby
Breastfeeding is a special event in a mother’s life, and every breastfeeding mother is well aware of its importance. However, a lot of mothers tend to overlook their health and wellbeing while breastfeeding. Therefore, it is important that you know about the best breastfeeding diet so you don’t experience weakness, excess weight loss or other health problems. More importantly, you want your baby to acquire the best nutritional requirements to ensure sustained growth and development.
Why is A Proper Breastfeeding Diet required?
Well, breastfeeding mothers have unique nutrition requirements, which must be fulfilled for their health and their baby’s health. A mother should consume enough essential minerals and vitamins from her food in order to maintain a healthy balance. The majority of mothers tend to go on a strict to mild diet in an attempt to shed weight and look slimmer. However, it is not a good idea to go on a diet during breastfeeding tenure because the milk needs nourishment, and for that, a mother has to eat a balanced diet.
Moreover, breast milk also requires lots of potassium, magnesium, calcium and several other minerals and vitamins (all this is taken from the mother’s body). Therefore, a mother has to keep her diet good to provide appropriate nourishment to her child. Even if you are consuming less than required, your body absorbs the most for breast milk preparation; however, this damages your health! So, taking an appropriate breastfeeding diet is very crucial.
Basic breastfeeding diet tips:
- A breastfeeding mother should maximize her fluid intake – drink lots of water, milk, fresh juices etc.
- Sushi is usually avoided during the pregnancy period; however, during breastfeeding time, you can have it once in a while.
- Peanut butter can be a nice snack time food item, as it has enough fats and proteins.
- Also, go for whole-grain bread and avocados (avocados are great for your skin and increase the breast milk density as well).
- Go for the enriched Greek Yoghurt. Also, consume broccoli, grapefruit, kale and orange juice (fresh).
- You may also have vitamin supplements that are prescribed by your doctor.
Breastfeeding Diet Tips
A breastfeeding mother needs at least 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day in her diet. You can spread the calorie intake over five to six meals in a day with the meals consisting of low-fat dairy products, whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats. Notice that the kinds of food that you should eat are also similar to those of your weight loss plan before pregnancy. The following are a few of the most important breastfeeding dietary tips:
Consume organic food:
Try to consume the most natural foods! Salads that have healthy dressings, cooked meat, veggies, high protein dishes, eggs, yogurt and rice are great dietary components for a healthy breastfeeding period.
Take plenty of water:
Water is essential in milk production, and nursing mothers can dehydrate from the loss of water. Before sitting down for breastfeeding, grab a glass of water and while feeding the baby, you can sip water to make sure you have an adequate supply of milk. Another benefit of drinking plenty of water is that you will always feel full. You will lose your appetite for snacks; hence you will avoid eating too many sweets and unhealthy snacks that give you calories without nutritional value.
Cut down caffeinated drinks:
Cut down the caffeinated drinks and avoid alcoholic beverages! You can go for occasional coffee breaks and take a dietary break for yourself once in a while. However, don’t neglect your health and your baby’s health.
Take calcium and iron:
Continue taking supplements for calcium, zinc and folic acid that you needed during pregnancy. Studies show that these three nutrients are often lacking in women’s pregnancy diets. Pregnant and nursing women need 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day and 15 to 20 milligrams of zinc per day. The folic acid recommended daily allowance for lactating mothers is 500 mcg, but you should discuss with your doctor the right dosage for these supplements.
Calcium and iron are the next vital elements in your diet. Calcium will help the baby to develop strong bones and teeth. Iron instead will build red blood cells for your baby, and iron deficiency will lead to anemia. You can found calcium in low-fat dairy products and yogurt, while iron can be found in food such as red meat.
Carbohydrate is important:
Carbohydrate is important especially in giving energy to mother and baby throughout the pregnancy period. You need to take incorrect carbohydrate amounts, and it can be found in brown rice and bread. How to balance your carbohydrate? The tips are to consume vegetables and fruit between your meals.