What Breastfeeding Moms Should Eat
Nine months (or more) of prenatal vitamins. Nine months of making sure you didn’t eat unpasteurized cheese, uncooked lunch meats or raw fish (hello Sushi, where have you been all my life?) Nine months of basically making sure everything you put in your body was going to be ok for the little bean growing inside you.
So…now that baby’s on the outside, it’s cool to indulge in anything you want, right? Well, maybe not. If you’re a breastfeeding or pumping mom, you have to remember that what you eat may very well get to baby through breast milk.
That burger and fries you’ve been craving? Let’s talk about it.
Experts say that making healthy choices is key. But it’s always better to err on the side of more than fewer calories because if you aren’t getting enough, the quantity and quality of your milk supply may be adversely affected.
Some mamas follow vegetarian diets and want to continue doing so while breastfeeding. That’s totally ok, according to the Mayo Clinic. Just be sure that the food you pick are packed with nutrients necessary to maintain your milk supply.
One super cool fact is that making breastmilk burns 500 calories a day. But that doesn’t mean you should just eat whatever you feel like eating whenever you want, ummm, Milkshake anyone? Trying to eat a well-balanced diet will serve you and baby well.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia lays out a helpful daily meal plan for nursing mamas. It includes 2-3 servings of protein, veggies and fruit each as well as incorporating whole grains into your diet.
One other thing to remember is to drink some good old-fashioned H20. As a new breastfeeding mom, you’ll likely be so parched when you sit down to nurse at the beginning that it would be really hard for you to forget to drink water. But just in case you do, here’s a reminder: DRINK WATER! But — not too much. Just enough to keep you hydrated.
As a new mom, you’ll want to seek out tons of advice on so many different topics. But eventually, you’ll begin to trust yourself and your instincts. You’ll know what feels right for you. Don’t forget that there are many great resources out there. Lactation experts and pediatricians will have a lot of the answers you’re looking for and they want you to ask for help!
The information contained on this site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant.