To maintain the consistency and quality of your breast milk, you need to eat healthy, whole foods that provide your body with the nutrients it needs.
Therefore, to help your baby to stay strong and healthy, you will need a healthy breastfeeding diet.
Keep in mind, Mommy..
The physical demands of caring for an infant require that you eat well to maintain your energy levels and reduce your risk of disease.
For example, behaviors such as skipping meals, not eating the right foods, and drinking too little water can adversely affect your milk supply and your health.
Here’s what you need to know about nutrition to adopt a healthy breastfeeding diet:
Tips For A Healthy Breastfeeding Diet
1. Making Milk Requires More Energy And Calories
Breastfeeding mothers’ bodies have to work harder to produce milk! This means that you will burn more energy and calories. Yay!
Listen to your body’s hunger signals and eat whenever you feel hungry.
2. Protein Is Important For The Production Of Breast Milk
Breastfeeding women generally need almost twice as much protein as non-pregnant women who are not breastfeeding.
Plus, protein helps to maximize your breast milk supply.
Eat more protein from healthy, lean sources, such as beans, lentils, poultry, and fish.
3. What To Eat On A Healthy Breastfeeding Diet
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products are packed with valuable nutrients that are good for you and your baby.
Avoid consuming canned, processed foods while breastfeeding and increase your intake of healthy superfoods for breastfeeding.
4. Caffeine Can Make Your Baby Irritable
Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages while breastfeeding, and stick to clean drinking water instead.
Caffeine can get into breast milk and make your baby cranky and irritable!
Plus, it dehydrates your body and affects milk production.
Focus on drinking more water throughout the day to flush out waste and keep your body hydrated.
What Foods Promote Lactation?
In the majority of cases, lactation occurs a few days after childbirth. However, the mother may produce little or no milk at all.
Different factors may be involved, such as:
- Excessive loss of blood during childbirth
- Breast hypoplasia (a disease involving insufficient glandular tissue that produces milk in the breasts)
- History of breast disease/surgery
Fortunately, though, certain foods promote lactation, such as:
- Oats (rich in nutrients and easy to digest)
- Lactogenic drinks (water, tea, carbonated ginger drinks, etc.)
- Spirulina (the algae with multiple benefits)
- Alfalfa (can be consumed as herbal tea, sprouted seeds, or tablets)
- Beer yeast
- Green papaya
- Rapeseed oil
- Walnut oil
- Foods rich in protein (meat, eggs, fish, etc.)
- Green leafy vegetables (beets, kale, parsley, spinach, etc.).
Other Tips For Getting More Breast Milk
Here are various effective tips for mothers who are worried about not having enough milk for their little one:
1. Give A Massage
Massaging your back helps to facilitate the flow of milk and promotes the secretion of oxytocin, a hormone that stimulates milk production.
To do this, the masseur proceeds in circles on the mother’s spine, going down from the neck to the lower back, then up in the opposite direction.
2. Apply A Hot Water Compress
A hot water compress promotes lactation and helps unclog the breasts in case of overproduction of milk.
To do this, simply apply a cotton cloth soaked in hot water on the mother’s chest.
3. Alternate Breasts
This solution consists of breastfeeding the baby by alternating the breasts regularly.
In this way, the body secretes more oxytocin and prolactin over the days, two elements that stimulate the production of breast milk.
How To Have Good Breast Milk?
Needless to say, breast milk is the best food you can give to your little one…
Here are the tips to follow to improve its quality:
1. Fill Up On Protein
Breastfeeding takes energy and can be tiring.
It is therefore advisable to meet the protein needs to stay in shape during the breastfeeding period.
Keep in mind, though,
… doctors recommend consuming an average of 1.5 g per kilo per day.
2. Hydrate Well
Hydration is essential during breastfeeding because it promotes the production of breast milk.
Apart from water, fruit juices are also allowed, except sodas (too sweet).
3. Meet Carbohydrate Needs
Sugar plays an essential role in breastfeeding and the quality of breast milk.
However, do not consume just any sugar, as some promote weight gain, especially those found in processed products.
Slow sugars are therefore preferred to regulate the glucose level (pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.).
Talk to your OB-GYN about developing healthy, balanced meal plan to get the right nutrition for breastfeeding.
In case you don’t know,
… while breastfeeding, you burn 940 calories for every liter of milk you produce. As a result, you can lose weight slowly (around 1 kg per month) without dieting!
Dema JS is the founder of newbabysmell.com and a mother of two little kids.
Dema had her MBA from St. John’s University- NYC in dual concentrations: Executive Management and Marketing Management.