More Tips for the Breastfeeding Mom

Your Breastfeeding Diet
When you’re her sole source of nutrition, what you eat affects your baby’s health and development. Sometimes, nurturing a baby is done at your expense, however. According to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, breastfeeding women lacked adequate calcium; vitamins B6, D, and E; folic acid; and zinc because they did not eat right when nursing. That doesn’t need to be the case, however. You’re feeding two people, so you should focus on consuming a balanced diet while keeping the following in mind.

  • Calories: A breastfeeding mother should increase her calories by 500 in order to produce adequate amounts of milk for their babies. If you are trying to lose that pregnacy weight you still need at least 1,800 calories a day to continue breastfeeding.
  • Fat:  Nursing babies require docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA), two fats that foster brain development and peak vision. To get enough of these vital fats, include fatty fish such as salmon twice weekly, and make nuts, green leafy vegetables, soy products, and vegetable seed oils such as sunflower and canola oils a part of your daily diet.
  • Fluid:  Breastmilk is 87% water–so drink more fluid to aid in healthy milk production. Try to drink twelve 8oz glasses of water a day. Sounds like a lot, but if you pour yourself a glass of water to drink at every nursing then you should be fine. Just don’t over hydrate, but always have a drink when you feel thirsty.
  • Choline: Choline is very important to baby brain development so make sure to include eggs and beef in your diet on a regular basis. It may seem get monotaneous but try to have at least one egg every morning.
  • Supplements: Finish off your prenatal vitamin/mineral supplement, then switch to a multivitamin with iron that provides at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and 100 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for iron. Avoid herbal supplements and other botanicals. There’s no proof that they are safe for nursing babies.

Source: Family Education


2 Responses

  1. Great, informational advice for breast-feeding moms. My youngest is 17 months, so my days of breast feeding are over, but I know lots of moms will find this helpful! Great post!

  2. Another good tip, is to have a glass of water on hand when you’re feeding. Especially in the early days, while your body adjusts to it’s new task – you’ll be thirsty. Having a jug of water within hands reach will make it so much easier to stay hydrated, and relax through the feed.

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