Good and bad food during breastfeeding

Losing those pregnancy pounds might be at the front of your mind. But there’s something that's even more important for your body after your baby arrives: eating foods that give you the energy to be the best mom you can be. It is very important to maintain regular meals when breastfeeding to gain essential nutrients and also to increase breast milk levels.

  • Caffeine: While some caffeine may be OK, it’s important to know that caffeine does work its way into your breast milk. Babies’ bodies aren’t prepared to process caffeine as quickly as an adult’s body, so if you’re hoping that your baby will nap soon, wait to have your coffee until after baby is asleep. Chocolates also contain caffeine.

 

  • Low-Fat Dairy Products: Whether you prefer yogurt, milk, or cheese, dairy products are an important part of healthy breastfeeding. Milk delivers a boost of bone-strengthening vitamin D. In addition to providing protein and B vitamins, dairy products are one of the best sources of calcium. Try including at least three cups of dairy each day in your diet.

 

  • Fish: You don’t need to avoid fish entirely, but you do need to be selective about what types of seafood you’re eating. Some fish can be high in mercury, which can find its way into your milk supply. The mercury level in salmon is considered low. Some other fish, such as swordfish or mackerel, have a high amount of mercury and should be avoided altogether.

 

  • Parsley or Peppermint: Parsley is a nice garnish and peppermint makes a fabulous tea; the problem with these herbs is they both come with the risk of reducing your supply. If used in small quantities they shouldn’t cause an issue, but be aware of any dips.

 

  • Alcohol: Alcohol does get into your breast milk and can negatively affect your child. While it’s best to avoid drinking, if you choose to have a drink or two, it will take 1-2 hours for the alcohol to metabolize.

 

  • Citrus: Your baby’s GI tract is still immature, and some of the compounds in citrus fruits can be especially irritating. Citrus can cause spitting up, fussiness, or even diaper rash. If you’re craving some vitamin C, try having some pineapple or mango instead.

 

  • Garlic: If you find that your baby is occasionally reluctant to nurse, or pulls off while nursing to make faces, see if it coincides with when you last ate something laced with garlic. Babies’ palates haven’t matured enough to appreciate it yet.

 

  • Wheat: Gluten intolerance might take the blame if your baby develops bloody stools. Fussiness and a painful tummy can also point to issues with wheat. Like dairy, the best way to determine if wheat is an issue is to follow an elimination diet. Eliminate all common problem-causing foods and slowly reintroduce them one at a time. The slow reintroduction helps to pinpoint the allergy or intolerance and opens the door to keep other foods back in rotation.

 

  • Lean Beef: Boost your energy as a new mom with iron-rich foods like lean beef. A lack of iron can drain your energy levels, making it hard for you to keep up with the demands of a new born baby. Lean beef is also an excellent source for protein and vitamin B-12.

 

  • Blueberries: Breastfeeding moms should be sure to get two or more servings of fruit or juice each day. Blueberries are an excellent choice to help you meet your needs. These satisfying and yummy berries are filled with good-for-you vitaminsand minerals, and they give you a healthy dose of carbohydrates to keep your energy levels high.

 

  • Brown Rice: You might be tempted to cut back on carbs to help lose the baby Don’t. Losing weight too quickly may cause you to make less milk and leave you feeling sluggish. Mix healthy, whole-grain carbs like brown rice into your diet to keep your energy levels up. Foods like brown rice provide your body the calories it needs to make the best-quality milk for your baby.

 

  • Eggs: Eggs are a versatile way to meet your daily protein needs. Scramble a couple of eggs for breakfast, toss a hard-boiled egg or two on your lunchtime salad, or have an omelet and salad for dinner.

 

  • Water: Breastfeeding moms are especially at risk for energy-draining dehydration. To keep your energy levels and milk production up, make sure you stay well-hydrated. You can vary your options and meet some of your fluid requirements by drinking juice and milk. But be careful when it comes to caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea.

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