As a breastfeeding mama, your nutrition plays a very large role in your nursing.
It affects your supply, energy levels, and so much more.
It’s recommended that nursing mothers eat around an extra 450 calories per day!
That shows just how physically taxing breastfeeding can be. So mama, here are some general guidelines for giving your body what it needs so that you can best care for yourself and your little one. What you eat during breastfeeding is not just important to have a good supply but also to help you recover from birth, get the energy you need to care for your new baby, and nourish your milk with the nutrients your baby needs!
Important nutrients for breastfeeding
Whole, protein-rich foods are key while breastfeeding, as they provide many of the nutrients that you need during this stage.
You’ll want to pay special attention to protein, calcium, and iron, as these help to fuel your body and produce milk. Ample vitamin intake is also key, as many nutrients found in breast milk come directly from the mother’s diet (Vitamins A, D, B12, choline, etc.).
How your diet affects your milk supply
What you eat can strongly affect your milk levels. Skipping meals and going hungry will deplete your supply and lower the nutritional value of your milk.
On the other hand, if you’re getting all of the nutrients you need, eating when you’re hungry, hydrating, and feeling good, the quality of your milk will most likely reflect that!
What to eat + what to avoid when breastfeeding
As mentioned above, reaching for whole foods is going to be the best and easiest way to keep your vitamins in check. But, some foods make great options because they provide even more nutrients than usual!
Whole grains, bananas, nuts, chia seeds, oats, chickpeas, flaxseeds, and dark leafy greens are the holy grail of a breastfeeding diet because they’re so jam-packed with beneficial minerals. For an extra kick in nutrients to specifically benefit your supply, a protein supplement like Majka’s Lactation Powder or Lactation Bites is a fantastic option.
It’s recommended that breastfeeding mothers keep alcohol, coffee, and fish to a minimum and be sure that these are out of your system before feeding time.
You’ve learned about complex vs. simple carbs, thrown any fear of fat out the window and are piling on protein. But, back to the most important question, what do you actually eat? How do you put complex carbs, fats and proteins all together in the optimal ratios?