As we’ll be discussing about the healthy diet tips for breastfeeding moms, let’s ask you one question – Is there a mother alive who hasn’t been bothered by the weight she has put on following her pregnancy? Returning home with a newborn can be a blurry whirlwind. While you are already overwhelmed by those extra pounds; the comfort-food casseroles brought by the family makes it miserable.
Even though losing those pregnancy pounds might be the priority, there’s something even more important to be considered i.e. maintaining a proper diet plan for nursing moms. Since your baby is completely dependent on you, the diet you follow becomes crucial in maintaining your health and the quality of your breast milk as well.
A routine healthy diet will surely rebuild the energy you lost during labour. The stereotypical thinking is, no matter what you chose to add in your diet, the quality of your breast milk remains the same, but then there’s a catch — If your diet is not providing sufficient nutrition then just as the baby used to draw nutrition from your body during pregnancy, in the same way your body will start transferring nutrition to the milk from your own stores.
This way you will not only quickly get exhausted but easily succumb to the postpartum stress.
Before we jump into the breastfeeding diet plan, here a re some basic rules to follow –
- As per the author of Feed Your Family Right, Elisa Zied, R.D., New York City, Nursing mothers should aim for consuming 1800-2000 calories regularly and if they work out then their intake should be around 2400 calories per day. You need not have to go on counting calories but maintain the required quantity and you’ll be on your way.
- Take care of your hunger cues. You should not munch on anything only because you are feeling hungry.
- The thumb rule is to always consume smaller meals at regular intervals i.e. you should have something every 2-3 hours. In this way you can maintain your energy as well as blood-sugar levels.
- Don’t be in a rush. Instead, follow the idiom – “Slow and steady wins the race”. Aim to drop 1 kg in a week, as drastic weight loss can affect your milk supply.
Here’s a simple, effortless way to follow our breastfeeding diet tips –
All you need is to save this diet chart somewhere on your system or take a printout and keep a close track if you’re covering each food group listed below. By sticking to this chart, you will also feel less to binge on those junky stuff. It’s quite obvious to easily get tempted by delicacies being offered to you by your family and relatives following your motherhood celebration. This breastfeeding diet plan will give you less room for calorie-stuffed foods.
|”At every meal, make sure to include three food groups. For every snack, include two food groups.” ~ Melinda Johnson, R.D. a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association in Chandler, Arizona|
- Fruit – 3 servings
Each serving should include 1 medium whole fruit or 1/2 cup of juice
- Veggies – 4 servings
Each serving should include 1 cup leafy green vegetables or 1/2 cup of cooked veggies, for instance spinach soup
- Dairy – 3 servings
Each serving should include 1 cup milk or curd (if you’re not into milk)
- Whole Grains – 4 servings
Each serving should include 1 slice bread or roti
- Lean Protein – 3 servings
Each serving should include a small handful of nuts, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, a 4-ounce (palm-size) portion of meat or fish, or 1/2 cup beans for those who are vegetarians
- You can treat yourself – 1 serving of your favorite food every two or three days.
And not to mention…
How could we ignore the smarter fats i.e. the brain-boosting fat DHA? This omega-3 fatty acid is a vital nutrient for the baby’ brain development.
Add DHA to your diet
To ensure that babies get enough nutrients for the development of their brains, it is important that breastfeeding mothers get enough DHA in their diets. Rich sources of DHA include fish, walnut, soy products and flaxseed.
Nutrition Tips :
- Eat small meals frequently. At every meal, fill half your plate with a variety of colourful fruits and/or vegetables.
- Make at least half the grains you eat whole grains, such as whole-wheat rotis, whole-grain cereals, and brown rice.
- Choose healthy protein sources, such as lean meats, eggs and poultry, seafood, beans and peas, nuts and seeds.
- Eat a variety of foods to get all nutrients
- Eat fresh foods with the minimum of processing.
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables whenever possible. If you need to cook them, use as little water as possible because many nutrients are destroyed by heat or boiled water.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids and water – at least 3 litres per day
Hope you found this post on diet tips for breastfeeding useful!