6 Important Nutrition Tips for Breastfeeding Moms

Breastfeeding nutrition

Breastfeeding nutrition is an essential subject for nursing moms. As a new mother, you will need extra calories (anywhere between 300 and 500) to keep up with your nutritional needs.  This post will guide you through 6 basic nutrition tips for breastfeeding moms:

  1. Protein requirements: Your body needs at least two servings of protein each day while you nurse. One serving is ideally equal to 4 ounces of meat or fish. Good sources of protein include chicken, seafood, eggs, cheese, milk, and tofu. Skip seafood and fish that are high on mercury, including shark and mackerel.
  2. Calcium and iron are important: Breastfeeding mothers should ingest approximately 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day. Calcium may come from milk, yogurt, and hard cheese. Talk to your doctor about calcium supplements. Your body also needs 9 milligrams of iron per day, especially if you are over 20 years of age. Iron can be found in meat, poultry, and dried beans. Egg yolks and certain fruits are also recommended.
  3. Don’t try extreme weight loss: Losing pregnancy weight is important, but don’t choose any fad diet or exercise plan right away. Your body needs energy to produce milk, which must come from the right sources. If you are gaining weight, do not panic. There are many reasons to gain weight during the breastfeeding period, but the process of losing weight should be gradual and planned.
  4. Eat healthy snacks: Breastfeeding can be tiring and your body will often need more than the three major meals per day. Instead of eating processed foods and ready-to-eat meals, look for healthy snacks that can help you deal with the cravings. If you are not fond of cooking, keep a few essential items that can be used to make delicious drinks and smoothies.
  5. Understand your supplements: New mothers usually need extra supplements. In addition to the basic prenatal vitamins, your doctor may prescribe a vitamin B-12 supplement. Vitamin D is also vital for the baby for absorbing calcium and phosphorus. If you don’t take enough cereals and other essential foods, you may have to take additional Vitamin D supplements.
  6. Avoid over-hydration: Hydration is important for everyone and, during your nursing months, you have to keep a check on water and fluid intake. However, do not increase your water consumption suddenly after childbirth. Research shows that over-hydration may impact milk production, in the same way as dehydration. To know if you are drinking enough water, check your urine. If it is light yellow or transparent, you are drinking enough. If it is dark yellow or orange, you may be dehydrated.

Finally, try to avoid, or at least decrease, alcohol and caffeine consumption. Do not drink more than two cups of caffeinated drinks per day, as it may impact on your baby’s sleep pattern. As mentioned above, seafood is a good source of many nutrients, but you must skip fish high in mercury content, which is not recommended for either pregnant or breastfeeding women.

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