You’ve heard that breastfeeding is beneficial to your baby’s health, but did you know that it offers health benefits for you too? Let’s talk about dietplan for breastfeeding mothers.
Breastfeeding may help you avoid certain medical disorders later in life, such as heart disease and diabetes. It may also help you feel more connected to your new baby.
Breast milk also contains various nutrients and protective chemicals essential for your baby’s development. Breast milk is often known as the “liquid gold” since it is the “gold standard” for baby nutrition. In other hands, following a good dietplan for breastfeeding can increase more nutritional value of mothers milk.
Not unexpectedly, it takes a lot of energy to make this liquid gold, and your need for numerous nutrients increases to satisfy these demands.
To increase breast milk production, it’s critical to eat nutrient-dense, nourishing meals. Furthermore, eating healthy foods postpartum will help you feel better both psychologically and physically.
How many calories do you need when you’re breastfeeding?
Depending whether you’re nursing exclusively or not, your body burns 300 to 500 calories each day. If you are, it is often between 450 and 500.
When you don’t need to be overly concerned with calorie tracking or increasing your intake, you should be aware of your additional nutritional requirements while breastfeeding. You shouldn’t need to eat anything more or less if you ate within your doctor’s suggested weight increase throughout pregnancy, but consult your practitioner if you’re unsure. Following a good diet plan for breastfeeding is very crucial for mothers.
What to eat when you’re breastfeeding?
Human milk’s fat-protein-carbohydrate ratio isn’t affected by the foods and beverages you consume. Even malnourished mothers can feed their newborns well because the body uses its nutrient resources to fuel milk production.
Merely because you can produce milk on a poor diet does not mean you should. When you’re nursing, you should never try to exhaust your body’s nutritional reserves. That’s too dangerous for your short- and long-term health, and it’ll deprive you of much-needed energy and perhaps disrupt your milk supply.
Here are some nutritious and delicious dietplan for breastfeeding:
- Fish and seafood: salmon, seaweed, shellfish, sardines
- Meat and poultry: chicken, beef, lamb, pork, organ meats (such as liver)
- Fruits and vegetables: berries, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, kale, garlic, broccoli
- Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds
- Healthy fats: avocados, olive oil, coconut, eggs, full-fat yogurt
- Fiber-rich starches: potatoes, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, oats, quinoa, buckwheat
- Other foods: tofu, dark chocolate, kimchi, sauerkraut
Adjust your breastfeeding diet for both nutrient groups
The nutrients in breast milk can be classified into two groups based on how much they get secreted into your milk.
If you are deficient in any group 1 nutrients, they will not secrete as readily into your breast milk. So, supplementing with these nutrients can increase the concentration in breast milk and thus improve your baby’s health.
However, the concentration of group 2 nutrients in breast milk is unaffected by how much mom consumes, so supplementing will not increase your breast milk nutrient concentration. Nonetheless, replenishing nutrient stores can improve maternal health.
The bottom line is that getting enough group 1 nutrients is necessary for you and your baby, whereas getting enough group 2 nutrients is primarily necessary for the mother.
Group 1 nutrients
Here are the group 1 nutrients and how to find them in some food sources:
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): fish, pork, seeds, nuts, beans
- B2 (Riboflavin): cheese, almonds, nuts, red meat, oily fish, eggs
- B6: chickpeas, nuts, fish, poultry, potatoes, bananas, dried fruit
- B12: shellfish, liver, yogurt, oily fish, nutritional yeast, eggs, crab, shrimp
- Choline: eggs, beef liver, chicken liver, fish, peanuts
- Vitamin A: sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, organ meats, eggs
- Vitamin D: cod liver oil, oily fish, some mushrooms, fortified foods
- Selenium: Brazil nuts, seafood, turkey, whole wheat, seeds
- Iodine: dried seaweed, cod, milk, iodized salt
Group 2 nutrients
Here are the group 2 nutrients and some food sources:
- Folate: beans, lentils, leafy greens, asparagus, avocados
- Calcium: milk, yogurt, cheese, leafy greens, legumes
- Iron: red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, green vegetables, dried fruit
- Copper: shellfish, whole grains, nuts, beans, organ meats, potatoes
- Zinc: oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, dairy
Foods to Avoid during breastfeeding
- Fish High In Mercury
Acute exposure to high levels of mercury can permanently damage your infant’s central nervous system. As a result, they may experience delays or impairments:
- fine motor skills
- speech and language development
- visual-spatial awareness
Such high-mercury fish that should be avoided are:
- big-eye tuna
- king mackerel
- orange roughy
- Some herbal supplements
Because most herbal supplements haven’t been studied for their safety during breastfeeding, it’s best to consult with your doctor before using any supplements or herbal teas.
Breastfeeding mothers should limit their alcohol consumption to one drink per day or less and wait at least two hours after drinking before breastfeeding. Excessive alcohol consumption can reduce milk production and have serious consequences for your baby.
Caffeine consumption should be limited to 300 mg per day or less while breastfeeding to avoid distress and affected sleep cycles in your infant.
- Highly processed foods
Since, processed foods are generally limited in essential nutrients and may influence your child’s food preferences later in life, breastfeeding mothers also should limit their intake of foods high in added sugars and processed fats.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Breastfeeding provides your growing baby with essential nutrients. Therefore it is important to follow a good dietplan for breastfeeding.
While most foods that were off-limits during pregnancy are now available, there are some foods and beverages that your baby may or may not tolerate and might have a negative effect on.
While it is recommended to avoid high-mercury fish and some herbal supplements, foods such as alcohol, caffeine, and highly processed products can be consumed in moderation.
If your baby has eczema or bloody stools, it could be caused by something in your diet. Before making any drastic dietary changes, discuss your concerns with your pediatrician.