Healthy Eating While Breastfeeding

Healthy Eating While Breastfeeding

We understand that every mom’s breastfeeding journey is unique, and sometimes you may need a little extra support. Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience, but it can also be demanding. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or exhausted at times. It is important to remember, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your little one. As a breastfeeding mom, it’s essential to nourish your body with the right nutrients to ensure a healthy and plentiful milk supply for your little one. Healthy eating while breastfeeding is also crucial for the mother during the breastfeeding phase. It plays a vital role in ensuring that moms have the necessary energy to nurture and care for their little ones.


Well-Balanced Diet

By following a well-balanced diet, moms can provide their bodies with the essential nutrients needed to support their overall health and well-being. Furthermore, this healthy eating pattern directly benefits the baby as well, as these important nutrients are passed on through breast milk.


Nutrients and Calories

Creating breast milk is demanding on the body. Mothers will need more of certain nutrients and also extra calories to keep themselves and their baby healthy. During breastfeeding, it is estimated that a mother’s energy needs increase by about 500 calories per day. The need for other nutrients increases as well. These include protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, B1, selenium, and zinc. Choosing foods rich in the above nutrients ensures that mothers and their little ones get all the macro- and micronutrients they need.


Nutritious Food Choices

When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet while breastfeeding, it’s crucial to incorporate a variety of nutrient-rich foods into your meals. Some of these foods include:

  • Fish and seafood: salmon, seaweed, shellfish, sardines
  • Meat and poultry: chicken, beef, lamb, pork, organ meats (such as liver)
  • Fruits and vegetables: berries, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, kale, garlic, broccoli
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds
  • Healthy fats: avocados, olive oil, coconut, eggs, full-fat yogurt
  • Fiber-rich starches: potatoes, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, oats, quinoa, buckwheat
  • Other foods: tofu, dark chocolate, kimchi, sauerkraut


Allergens and Breast Milk

It’s possible for babies to develop allergies to foods that you are eating while you are breastfeeding. If you have allergies on either side of the family, it may be beneficial to avoid the foods you or your baby’s father are sensitive to, while you are breastfeeding. Common food allergens include cow’s milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, wheat, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. If your baby develops bloody stools, vomiting, colic, eczema, constipation, and poor growth, they may have a food allergy. If this happens, try cutting these items out of your diet one at a time, and see if your baby’s health improves. If their health doesn’t improve, bring your baby in for a checkup. You’ll want to rule out any other causes for her symptoms.


Drink Plenty of Fluids

While breastfeeding, moms may feel thirstier as well. A woman’s oxytocin levels increase when her baby latches onto her breast. This causes milk to start flowing which stimulates thirst. Therefore, it’s important to stay properly hydrated while feeding. If mothers find themselves tired or faint, or if their milk production is decreasing, they may need to consume more water.


Be Patient with Yourself

Most of all, be patient with your body. Breastfeeding is hard work! The work you are doing right now is the most important and challenging task that any human can undertake. You are nurturing and shaping a precious life during its most delicate phase. There is nothing more important than that. So, take one day at a time, and don’t forget to remind yourself how amazing you are!


Help is Available

If you ever feel unsure or discouraged, don’t hesitate to reach out. CCMH is committed to being a source of support and encouragement for you on your breastfeeding journey. You’re doing an incredible job, and we’re here to cheer you on every step of the way! Learn about CCMH’s breastfeeding support provided to moms and babies through our baby-friendly” designation.





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