There are a lot of things to think about while breastfeeding. One of the most important of them is your diet, as a nursing mother. Why is it so essential, you may ask. Well, if you already decided that your milk is going to be your baby’s main source of all nutrients, you should give your best to justify that decision. We are going to introduce you to the main rules of the breastfeeding diet plan in order to maintain the quality and the amount of your milk. You’ll also find out what is the best breastfeeding food for you!
What is your perfect daily intake of calories?
If you are a healthy breastfeeding mother, you need to take in 1800-2200 calories per day to maintain your milk supply. If your daily intake drops below 1500 calories, then your milk supply is at risk. In addition, there are a few things to consider to count the number of calories you need:
- Are you exclusively breastfeeding mother? – Assuming that you breastfeed exclusively, your calorie requirements will be proportionally greater.
- Do you nurse younger or older child? – The older children are getting less milk since they are eating solid food as primary meals.
- What is your BMI (body mass index)? – If your BMI is under 19.8, then you’ll need to take in more calories during the nursing
- How active are you? – More active mothers need more calorie intake
- How much weight did you gain during the pregnancy? – If you need to change your breastfeeding diet plan, since you overgained during the pregnancy, Maybe you should visit your dietician to make your diet blanced.
The best breastfeeding food
You need to think about the key nutrients that your body needs while breastfeeding and to incorporate them into your diet. This is how you can be sure that your milk is rich in them.
Here are the main nutrients you’ll need:
- Calcium – Since you will lose 3-5% of your bone mass during the breastfeeding period, you’ll need to take in 1,000mg of calcium per day. If you eat enough broccoli, tofu, or salmon, be sure you are on the right path.
- Protein – The easiest way to ensure your needs in protein is to add some at every meal. Lentils, milk, and eggs are a great source of this essential nutrient.
- Folic acid – You are well aware of how this vitamin is important for your child since you were pregnant. When you breastfeed, you aim for 500 micrograms of folic acid per day. If you like to eat kale, spinach, or maybe sesame seeds, it will be easy for you to maintain your daily intake.
- Iron – Red meat is a great way to get enough of iron. It is important to ask your dietitian for some advice, to know for sure what are your needs.
The key principle of healthy breastfeeding diet plan is to make a good balance. Nevertheless, there is some breastfeeding food that increases production of your milk, called galactagogues.
Here are some of them that you should incorporate into your breastfeeding diet plan:
- Carrots are enriched with potassium and beta-Carotene which are required during the lactation period. A glass of carrot juice will be enough for your daily intake.
- Oats are great breastfeeding food, rich in carbs, which make them a good source of energy. They also contain magnesium, Vitamin B, Zinc, and Iron.
- Salmon – This meat is full of essential and omega 3 fatty acids , which are highly nutritious for your milk
- Apricots – Rich in calcium and fiber, this fruit contains certain chemicals that help you reach the hormone balance you lost during the pregnancy
- Spinach – This great food contains a lot of iron, calcium, and folic acid. If you are not a fan of it, try to mix it in a smoothie with some ingredients that you like.
- Liquid – Drinking a lot of water, milk, and juices are about to boost your milk production which is one of the most important parts of your breastfeeding diet plan.
On the other side, there are some breastfeeding food that you should avoid in your diet.
- Caffeine – does pass into your milk, so you should limit your daily intake. Hence, you can have your first coffee in the morning to embrace the day to come, but don’t take too much of it.
- Alcohol – This liquid will certainly enter the milk your child gets. This is why you should avoid it entirely, or be aware that it needs 1-2 hours to metabolize. So, you should wait and then nurse your baby.
- Citrus – This fruit can be irritating for your baby’s gastrointestinal system. It may cause vomiting or diaper rash.
- Foods that make your baby gassy – Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, peas, beans can cause gases in your baby’s stomach, so try to avoid them in your breastfeeding diet.
- Milk and milk products can cause it, too. Moreover, these ingredients accompanied by eggs, fish, and nuts can cause severe allergic reactions, so you should monitor your baby after every breastfeeding. Symptoms like rash, vomiting, or eczema can be caused by these allergens. So, you should be careful with this food and eat it in fewer
If you notice that something bothers your baby, you should eliminate one food at the time.
It is essential to make a plan of your diet while breastfeeding. It affects both you and your baby, so take your time planning it. Yes, you should let nature take its course, but do whatever you can to improve your health by eating healthy and wise.
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