Breastfeeding is a special and intimate experience between a mother and her baby. It not only provides your baby with essential nutrients but also helps establish a strong bond between the two of you.
Your breast milk is tailored to meet the unique needs of your baby, providing the perfect balance of nutrients and antibodies to support their growth and development. What you eat and drink can have a significant impact on the quality and quantity of breast milk.
As a breastfeeding mother, it’s important to nourish yourself to ensure that your breast milk is rich. It has all the nutrients your baby needs. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best foods to eat while breastfeeding to help support a healthy milk supply. It will provide your baby with the nourishment they need.
Breastmilk is the best food for your newborn, but as a mother who provides this breastmilk, you require optimal nutrition too. This is crucial because you may have depleted your nutritional sources through pregnancy and birth.
You should eat around 1800 calories daily in addition to essential vitamins and nutrients. Breast milk provides about 60 to 75 calories per 3.4 ounces. The content in the breastmilk is watery at the beginning but becomes thicker and contains two to three times faster than at the start of feeding.
Nutrition during breastfeeding
You should consume an additional 500 calories per day if you are breastfeeding your baby. This should especially include protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, B12, selenium, and zinc intake. Few nutritious foods during lactation are natural foods rich in iron, protein, carbohydrate, and calcium; these are best for your breast milk.
Nine essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body but are found in lean proteins. They are such as chicken, fish, eggs, and nuts like almonds, walnut, peanut, seeds, and soy. Fish should be an essential component of your meal, especially oily fish.
Make sure to consume about 140gm daily. It includes such as fresh mackerel, sardines, trout, and salmon, which contain omega – 3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, essential for growth if you are breast feeding.
Calcium-rich sources of food like milk, cheese, yogurt, or calcium supplements are necessary. It is recommended that a breastfeeding mother get about 1,000 mg of calcium a day.
Whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, pasta, bread, fortified unsweetened breakfast cereals, and muesli. Other wholegrain cereals are great sources of carbohydrates. Sources of iron-rich food are lentils, enriched cereals, leafy green vegetables, peas, and dried fruit, such as raisins.
Citrus fruits help the body absorb iron. Walnuts, almonds, eggs, and avocados are healthy sources of fat, providing nutrients like vitamin E, omega-3, omega-6, and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables offer vitamins like B1, B2, B6, and vitamin C, which are essential for milk production; must add in your diet. Your breast milk has low levels of Vitamin D, so supplementation is necessary. Hence you should consume foods like milk, fish, shellfish, and egg yolks. Also, remember to walk in the sun daily.
A daily supplement containing 10 mcg of vitamin D and 400 mcg a day of folic acid (vitamin B9, which includes) beans, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and grains is also needed. If you are a vegetarian, make sure you additionally consume vitamin B12 supplements.
Foods to Avoid During Breastfeeding
First, of the foods, avoid having excessive coffee. If taken more than two cups or 300 mg daily, caffeine may interfere with your baby’s sleep. Secondly, you should avoid seafood high in mercury, including swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, marlin, and bigeye tuna, as it can hamper nervous system development.
Thirdly, avoid drinking alcohol at least 2 hours before a breast feeding procedure. It will keep your breasts safe.
If you are a mother of the newborn who breastfeeds and has started to think about your nutrition and the health of your baby, there is nothing to be worried about. Your body needs a healthy and balanced diet. It is rich in nutrients that should work miraculously of breast milk for lactating mothers.
Simple interventions like quitting alcohol and caffeine during this period prove to be useful. It is advised to seek medical help in case of insufficient production of your milk in the breast. It can be an indication of underlying medical issues.
Mamahood’s content is written by practicing physicians and healthcare professionals who rely on evidence-based resources, the latest research, and their experience to ensure our users get credible and updated information they can trust.