With so many things on parents’ minds upon the arrival of a new baby (especially first time parents), what a breastfeeding mother should or should not eat often gets overlooked. There’s no need to go on a special diet while you’re breastfeeding; just make healthy choices and choose foods that are rich in iron, protein and calcium.
What to Eat While Breastfeeding
Good sources of iron: dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit. To help your body absorb iron, eat iron-rich foods in combination with foods high in Vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, sweet bell peppers or tomatoes.
Good sources of protein: consider eggs and dairy products or plant sources, such as soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Good sources of calcium: dairy products and dark green vegetables are great calcium sources. Other options include calcium-enriched and -fortified products, such as juices, cereals, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu. Sometimes too much dairy can cause baby to have gas, which is very uncomfortable for baby and his or her parents.
What to Avoid While Breastfeeding:
Whatever mama eats, baby eats as well. So here are a few foods/beverages to avoid:
Alcohol: having more than one drink increases your blood alcohol level to the point that the alcohol gets into your milk. If you plan on having more than one drink at a time, wait two hours per drink before resuming nursing (or nurse, then have your glass of wine). Moderate or heavy drinking is definitely not recommended while breastfeeding.
Caffeine: Avoid drinking more than 2 to 3 cups (16 to 24 ounces) of caffeinated drinks a day.
Fish (due to Mercury): limit your baby’s exposure to mercury while breastfeeding, choose seafood that’s low in mercury, such as shrimp, salmon, canned light tuna and catfish. Avoid seafood that’s high in mercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.
Every baby is different so just keep an eye out for eczema, fussiness, rash, diarrhea or congestion soon after nursing and consult your baby’s doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. These signs could indicate a food allergy. If you suspect an allergy, keep a food diary. If you think that something you’re eating is causing problems for your baby, it’s usually something you’ve eaten two to six hours before feeding. List everything you eat and drink, along with notes about how your baby seems to react – if at all.
A few common food allergies include:
- Cow’s milk
- Tree nuts
These tips came from my personal experience and these resources:
Guest post by Nicole Zoellner from NizoWear.com
Nizo Wear is the first nursing bra to have a unique, patented pocket in the pull-down flap that can hold a heating or cooling pack helping bring moms relief and healing faster while being extremely comfortable and super chic.
Nizo Wear nursing bras were inspired by the real-life experience of the company’s founder, Nicole Zoellner. When Nicole became pregnant with her son, she eagerly read all the materials her doctor had given her about the benefits of breastfeeding. She happily anticipated the feelings of serenity and bonding that nursing promises mother and infant.
So, Nicole set out to do for other nursing moms what no-one had been able to do for her: provide a practical, comfortable way to get relief from the soreness breastfeeding mothers often experience. Her design was patented, and Nizo Wear was born. Visit www.nizowear.com.
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