Breastfeeding Diet: Good Nutrition for You Means Good Nutrition for Your Baby

22 September 2012 / 2 comments

If you are like any other mom you want to get back to your “pre-baby” body weight and shape as quickly as possible. One of the best ways that you can utitlize is to breast feed your baby. This act alone can burn up to 500 calories as your body produces up to 30 ounces of milk every day. Another aspect of losing that “baby fat” is through a healthy, nutritious diet. The quantity of the milk you produce can be affected by the foods you eat.

The food that is ingested by the mother will not only give her continued strength as she goes without sleep, takes on extra work by caring for the baby, and breasfeeds, but it will also be a major factor in the production of that milk. A mom who does not take a hard look at the nutritional value of the food they take in will find it hard to produce the quantity of milk necessary for a healthy baby. Of course, after giving birth your body is depleted of many needed minerals and vitamins. Restoring those minerals, as well as giving the ability to produce enough milk, is dependent on your diet.

Keep A Semi High Calorie Diet

Moms who are actively breastfeeding their newborn baby will need at least 1800 calories a day. If you do not eat enough calories then your body will be too tired to produce the milk needed. These extra calories are also important for giving you the energy to get through each day without being too tired.

Keep A Balanced Diet

In keeping up with a medium high calorie diet you must eat a balanced plate of food. This means a diet rich in whole grains, eggs, lean protein, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. If possible you should take in a little more protein than you normally do to provide for the protein your baby needs to grow and get stronger.

Spread Food Over Several Meals a Day

The tendency of most people is to eat as much food as possible for the main meals. However, this will not be distributed throughout the day. The best rule of thumb for breastfeeding moms is to eat five to six smaller “meals” a day that. This way your body is constantly energized and producing high quality milk.

Drink Lots of Water

Water is necessary to assimilate the food you are eating into your body. A nursing mom should drink up to 3 quarts of water a day. The extra water that you are drinking will go into milk production and give your baby the hydration they need. The problem with this is that some moms will say that more is better. The problem with that is too much water will reduce milk. Stay within the 2.5 to 3 quarts per day.

Do Not Take Any Supplements or Meds Without Consulting Dr. First

There are plenty of supplements that a woman can take to fill in some of the gaps from their diet. However, as a mom you should be very careful about anything extra that you take into your body. Most of the antibiotics, sulfa drugs, chemical laxatives, and all products containing iodine are contraindicated while you are breast-feeding. These are found in supplements and some vitamins. Consult your doctor before taking anything.

Breastfeeding is such a wonderful time in the life of you and your baby. Take the extra effort to eat the right foods, keep a healthy diet, and drink lots of water to ensure not only quality, nutritious milk, but enough to feed your baby each day.

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Written by Stefanie Prinkles

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