Being a breastfeeding mother, you experience frequent hunger as you lose a lot of calories when your body is busy producing milk every second. Eating nutritious and healthy food items becomes much more crucial when your baby’s initial year of nutrient supply is attained through you.
Best Foods For Breastfeeding Moms
By eating healthy and lactogenic-friendly fruits, seeds and vegetables, you can ensure the right nutrient supply to your baby as well as strengthen your health. It also helps maintain your energy levels and reduce the exhaustion from breastfeeding.
For this, you need not prepare expensive meals or jampack your fridge. Check out this list of the top 10 items that are ideal for every breastfeeding mother’s diet!
Although vegetables are super-common, you may need to know that they contain phytoestrogens which are essential for milk production. There is a widespread misconception that green vegetables can cause gastric trouble in infants.
To be exact, it is the carbs present in them that are responsible for gas. These include broccoli, cauliflower, and other fiber-rich vegetables. Whereas spinach, avocado, sweet potato, etc. are safe and essential for breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
These are powerful sources of antioxidants, minerals, proteins, vitamins, and healthy fats. For breastfeeding mothers, the best choice in this category would be almonds.
They are also a massive supplier of calcium which would help to strengthen your bones and teeth. Sesame seeds are another great source of calcium.
During the lactation period, you require a high amount of zinc as it helps to maintain your energy levels. Plus, beef contains B Vitamins and iron which increases blood flow for increased production of milk.
Ensure to buy grass-fed beef as it is more heart-healthy and supplies you with omega 3 fatty acids.
It is known to be one of the healthiest fruits for a breastfeeding mother and her baby. With plenty of healthy fats and fibers, Avocado improves your digestive and liver health.
Moreover, this is a highly doctor-recommended fruit for mothers and babies alike due to its powerful nutritional value. Avocado plays a major role in the brain development of the infant.
Due to the abundance of protein and iron, beans improve digestive health for mothers. Here again, they are stated to be a bit gassy but you needn’t worry as the carbs don’t pass into the breastmilk.
They also reduce oxidative stress and regulate hormones. Kidney beans, black beans, etc make a great choice.
Wheat bread, cereal, oatmeal, etc, are a great addition to every mother’s diet due to the strong nutrient supply. Whole grains are found to support the hormones responsible for milk production. This helps to increase your breast milk supply.
These are said to be one of the best lactogenic-friendly foods in the market as it helps in milk production. Apricots help stimulate the hormone named prolactin for secreting breast milk.
The vitamins, potassium, and dietary fiber present in Apricot provide overall body nourishment.
Blueberries and strawberries are crucial parts of a lactating mom’s diet. Blueberries have high antioxidant properties and protect you from infections.
These fruits have a high amount of Vitamin C, strengthening your immune system and promoting bone development of the newborn.
DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega 3 fatty acid that is essential for brain development. Salmon and sardines are rich in DHA, so the reactions are quite harmful, it is a highly favored food among breastfeeding mothers. These are known to support milk production as well.
Ginger is popularly known for its ability to boost breast milk supply since it is a galactagogue. It is useful for treating morning sickness and has many other postpartum benefits.
Ginger also promotes the body’s natural healing after childbirth. But note that you use it in moderate amounts as it is quite a powerful herb.
There are quite a lot of recipes online that you can easily follow if you want to enjoy these food items in all its deliciousness and variety. But remember to keep things healthy as your baby is receiving exactly what you are eating.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you must follow an extremely strict diet plan as it would only exhaust you further. An efficient way to manage your breastfeeding diet is by keeping nutritious snacks in handy. You can also prepare smoothies instead of meals which can fulfill your hunger for a longer period.
It has a high amount of trans fat and saturated fat. This can severely affect the composition of your breast milk. It also increases the body fat of you and your baby leading to deadly overweight problems.
Caffeine and Sweet Beverages
Research shows that a certain amount of caffeine is transferred to your breast milk. It impacts the baby’s sleep cycles and takes a longer time to metabolize. Studies suggest that caffeine or sweet drinks can be safe if consumed in very little amounts.
It is not mandatory to remove alcohol completely from your lifestyle but you must of course limit the usage. Alcohol is easily passed to your breastmilk and when consumed by your baby causes sleep disruption.
It is not a good idea to breastfeed after drinking and if you doing so, wait at least 2 hours before nursing.
Not all babies are allergic to cow’s milk, but the reactions are quite harmful in situations when they do. The results are vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, rashes, baby colic, etc.
Consult a pediatrician immediately in such scenarios. Avoid cow’s milk from your diet completely in these cases.
Always check the reactions of your baby after nursing to see any sensitivity or irritation. Incorporate food into your diet that can not only benefit but are also safe for your little one.
While watching hours of cooking tutorials can cost extra time and effort in the midst of breastfeeding, getting all the delicious healthy recipes in a single package can ease the process of following a new diet. This is why here are some of the most popular recipe books for nursing moms!
1. Eating For Breastfeeding Cookbook
2. A Mother’s Breastfeeding Recipe Book
3. Eat To Feed
4. Boost Your Breast Milk
5. Mother Food
Although you may feel like getting your diet in control, it is better to take slow steps. Your body is undergoing self-healing after childbirth and your baby needs a consistent supply of breast milk to fulfill their hunger.
As I have mentioned at the beginning of this article, you experience a greater appetite due to the intense loss of calories for milk secretion. Thereby, when you start limiting your food items, the breast milk production slows down and your energy levels drop significantly. This is why it is advised to not go for weight loss during the initial months after childbirth.
However, other options are available. You can make your diet healthier and perform regular exercise to stay fit. Proper sleep can also be helpful to naturally induce weight loss. So make sure to eat your meals on time, enjoy snacks and give your body a bit of movement to maintain a healthy weight.
Make it a point to intake the necessary calories for proper milk production. Mothers who naturally have a lesser bodyweight must consume more calories for adequate milk secretion.
This is a common question among the majority of new mothers, especially those who find it difficult to naturally increase their nutrient supply. There can be various reasons for this and intaking lactation supplements can sometimes be the only option.
Although such protein and collagen supplements can boost milk production, you may want to be careful about unexpected side effects. Most of the lactation supplements are made using added chemical substances and plants that can be a potential threat to you as well as your baby.
The best way to choose the safest lactation supplement is to thoroughly study the ingredients and discuss them with your doctor. Verify the quality of the brand you choose and take necessary precautions to be extra safe.
Following a proper diet for your baby while breastfeeding might sound a bit terrifying at first because what you eat is consumed by your newborn as well. But the same factor can help you be more cautious of the food you intake. It will help you to follow a nutrient-rich diet and take special care of your health.
Choose flavors that can be enjoyable for your baby as well and if it doesn’t, simply modify your diet. Whatever meals or snacks you decide for the day, always eat them on time and drink enough water.
Make sure that you give your body enough nutrients and try out different recipes if you can. With the right steps, following a healthy lactogenic diet can be pretty fun!
What snacks should breastfeeding mothers eat?
Berries, apricots, sweet potatoes, dates, etc. are all great snacks for nursing moms. These are 100% healthy snacks that can boost the milk supply. Junk food is a big no.
What are the best teas for breastfeeding mothers?
Fenugreek, alfalfa, fennel, coriander, marshmallow root, red raspberry leaf are some of the commonly used herbs to make tea for nursing moms. However, you need to be careful regarding the quality and watch out for any sensitive reactions whether you are preparing it on your own or buying from popular brands.
How many glasses of water should a breastfeeding mother drink?
Based on expert advice, it is required to drink at least 128 ounces of water every day. And the best way you can ensure this is by drinking water every time after feeding. This would maintain a consistent breast milk supply as well as keep you and your baby 100% hydrated.
Is it safe to use lactation cookies and bars?
Although some delicious lactation cookies are becoming widely popular, there is not much expert clarification on whether it is safe. It is better to discuss with your doctor the product that you chose and check through the ingredients as well.
How to achieve body goals after childbirth?
Even though getting into complete shape can be different for every mother, there are a number of simple body movements that can keep you healthy and fit as well. If you had experienced complications during delivery, it would be best to discuss with your specialist for more personalized advice.