Breast-feeding nutrition: Tips for moms
Its is true that Breast-feeding nutrition is for some mum's very confusing. Understanding just how much they need to eat? What types of foods they should not be eating? How does their diet affect their baby? Here we suggest that you follow these important nutrition tips.
We must understand that when you are breast-feeding or using breast pumped milk you are providing your child with the required nutrients that assists in promoting their growth and development. We always get a lot of question on what mum's should eat and how that effects their breast milk especially when using breast pumps.
Our role is to ensure that New Mum's do understand the basics of nutrition when it comes to breast-feeding
Extra calories while breast-feeding?
It is true that you might need to eat a little more - we suggest about an additional 400 to 500 calories a day - this ensures that you will maintain your energy levels
When choosing to take on extra calories you should opt for the nutrient rich foods such as a slice of whole-grain bread with a tablespoon (about 16 grams) of peanut butter or an alternative would be a banana or apple or even take on some yoghurt about 8 ounces would be enough
What types of foods should I eat?
We find that there should be no real need to go on a special diet while breast-feeding your baby. It is easier simply to make the healthy choices to help fuel your milk production.
Again taking the option of eating a variety of whole grains in conjunction with or instead of fruits and vegetables. Ensure that everything you eat that is grown is washed and clean prior to eating. This avoids the pesticides and other chemicals that are often sprayed to reduce pests.
Remember that what you eat does to some degree change the taste of the breast milk and this is not a bad thing as it provides change for your child and allows him or her to taste a range of flavours and may make the transition to solid foods easier at a later date.
Dependant on your health choices your medical staff may recommend that you take or continue to take a daily prenatal vitamin until your child is of the breast or bottle, this may also be more important for both if you are using breast pumps and return to work.
What level of fluids do I need to take daily
It goes without saying that you are required to stay well hydrated to ensure that you have sufficient fluids on board for both yourself and the milk that you produce. Remember that the key is to check your urine levels and that they remain clear, and that being thirsty
Always have water on hand to drink while you are breast-feeding your baby, and remember that the same applies when you are using the breast pumps.
The same rules apply with regard to the sugary drink after birth as they did during your pregnancy. avoid them at all times and this helps to reduce pregnancy weight levels and avoids additional fats.
One of the key elements to avoid is caffeine. Too much tea, coffee, coke and the like are not good for you or the milk that you produce so limit yourself to one or two cups per day and avoid the coke etc.
Remember if caffeine affects the adults, what does it do to the child.
A vegetarian diet and breast-feeding?
We know as vegetarians the importance of choosing foods that provide the higher levels of nutrient, this does not change, just remember we are eating them for two and not one
Choosing foods rich in protein, calcium and iron
You need to make an extra effort to ensure that your diet includes plenty of these nutrients.
It is well established that good sources of iron include dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit.
Taking these in combination with foods that are high in vitamin C will assist their absorption into the body. This may mean eating foods like Citrus foods, strawberries, peppers or tomatoes
Protein types are eggs and dairy products or plant sources, such as soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
We need to ensure that we use good sources of calcium that are included in dairy products, dark green vegetables, juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu.
What foods and drinks should I limit or avoid while breast-feeding?
There are certain foods and fluids we should or need to avoid when pregnant and especially when breast-feeding or when using a breast pump. For example:
It should be clear to you that there is no level of alcohol that is good for the child that you are breast-feeding. If you are going to drink alcohol then you should not be breast-feeding.
If you skip a feeding due to drinking then you should through the use of breast pumps prior to drinking provide milk for your child. Remembering to ensure that should you continue to breast-feed that it takes 2 - 3 days for the alcohol to clear your system.
As it seems that most seafood these days contain mercury, We suggest that you be fully aware of the types of seafood that you eat and what you do eat may well affect your breast milk and ultimately your breast milk and then your child's nervous system
To limit this type of exposure to mercury while breast-feeding, choose seafood that's low in mercury, such as shrimp, salmon, canned light tuna and catfish.
If you are eating foods caught local to you check the levels with the various local fisheries departments and ensure that they are in fact low levels, or reduce the amount that you eat to 6 ounces (170 grams) a week and don't eat other fish that week.
Does what I eat cause an allergic reaction with my child?
Certain foods or drinks in your diet could cause your baby to become irritable or have an allergic reaction.
Be aware that should your child become fussy, or develop a rash or spots, then you need to consult your medical staff and inform them of what you have been eating, keeping a record of what you eat helps.
If you get to the point where you think that what you are eating may be creating irritation or making the child fussy, avoid the food or drink for up to a week to see if it makes a difference in your baby's behavior.
Often it may be simpler to avoid some of the dairy products known to create an allergic reaction in babies such as
• Cow's milk
• Tree nuts
Some mothers tend to avoid foods with spice and rich content to avoid irritating the child - but this hasn't been proved through research.
If avoiding a specific food or drink from your diet has no impact on your baby's fussiness, add it back to your diet and have a look at your diary and check other possible culprits, often it is a process of elimination
You do not need to have a special diet unless instructed to do so by your medical practitioner, what you need to do is be aware of the foods that you eat and consider the effect on your milk production, especially when considering using Breast pumps and allowing another member of the family to feed your child.
You may be aware of what you have eaten they will not be!