Healthy Breastfeeding Diet
We all know that nutrition is important, and this is especially true for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Nutrition while breastfeeding can be confusing for some new mothers. How many calories do I need? What foods are good and bad for my baby? These are some of the common questions new mothers might have about nutrition while breastfeeding.
Here are some important questions answered about nutrition while breastfeeding:
You will probably need to eat an additional 400 to 500 calories daily for breastfeeding. Introduce them through healthy foods high in essential nutrients, such as wholemeal bread or fruit.
What Should I Eat?
The key to good nutrition while breastfeeding is eating a balanced diet. Some new mothers think that they need to eat a special diet while breastfeeding, but all you need to do is eat the required amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins and minerals. It is sometimes advised to continue taking a daily prenatal vitamin until you begin to wean your baby to ensure mother and baby are getting all the vitamins they need. Make sure to get enough fluids also, limiting the amount of caffeine and sugar.
What do I Need to be Aware of if I am a Vegetarian?
A vegetarian diet while breastfeeding needs to be varied. Eat plenty of iron, protein and calcium rich foods, such as dark leafy greens, dried fruit and wholegrain products. Consider eating eggs, dairy and plant sources for protein. You should think about taking a vitamin B12 supplement as this vitamin is mostly found in animal products.
What Foods Should I Limit or Cut Out?
Reduce your alcohol intake to about one regular sized drink at a time and try only to drink directly after feeding, thus giving the alcohol time to exit your system before your next feed. Breastfeeding mothers should also reduce their caffeine intake. Pay attention to the mercury content of fish, and cut out fish that has a high content, such as mackerel.
Is My Diet Affecting My Baby’s Mood?
It is possible that something you are eating is causing your baby to be agitated or irritable. If you suspect something is causing this, try cutting out certain suspect foods for a time and see if it improves.
Always remember that if you are concerned about your baby’s health or your own diet and health, consult your health care professional.