Breastfeeding is of utmost importance to both mom and baby. It has various benefits and not surprisingly it is important to maintain a healthy diet. Breast milk consists of multiple nutrients that are essential for the growth of the baby. In addition to vitamin D, breast milk also contains other nutrients that are important for a baby’s development during the first six months of life. But you don’t have to follow any particular diet during this period. Your body makes breast milk just the right way it needs to be for your baby. However, traces of what you eat and drink can get into breast milk. If your baby is sensitive to particular food it may affect the baby. Following are foods that could help you maintain a balanced diet during this period.
Leafy green vegetables
leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are a good source of vitamin A, which is good for you and your baby. They are also a good source of calcium and vitamin C. This could be helpful especially if baby or mom is allergic to dairy products. Leafy vegetables are low in calories and are filled with heart-healthy antioxidants.
Whole grain cereals
They are a great source of energy and could be of help to sleepless moms. Many kinds of cold cereal are fortified with vitamins and nutrients that help you meet your energy requirement. Start your day with a healthy breakfast of oatmeal in skim milk.
Fruits are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Fruits like guava, black currant and kiwi contains vitamin C that helps in healing wound and is thus important for moms who had a C section. Also, fruits like apple helps you increase your energy level to remain healthy.
Low-fat dairy products
Your diet during breastfeeding must include low-fat dairy products like milk and yoghurt. Dairy products are without a doubt one of the best sources of calcium. Calcium is very important for baby’s bone structure development. Soy milk is an ideal alternative if you or the baby is lactose intolerant. Vegan moms can also adhere to soy milk.
Garlic has been used for ages by lactating mothers to enhance the milk production in their body. Adding garlic to your food not only makes it healthy but also strengthens your immune system. It has antimicrobial properties that can help battle infection.
Yes, you heard it again, it’s the good old saying “drink plenty of water”. Breastfeeding mothers are at a risk of energy draining dehydration. Many other fluids are also good but we have to ensure low caffeine and alcohol content. To keep milk production and energy levels up breastfeeding mothers should stay hydrated.
While the above-mentioned food can help you maintain a healthy and balanced diet, it is essential to avoid consumption of food that can have a negative impact on your baby’s health.
Alcohol consumption is not ideal during this period since alcohol level in your blood resembles that of breast milk and a baby’s metabolism is slower than that of an adult. It’s always best to be cautious. Caffeine intake can cause irritation or insomnia to babies. Also one has to keep in mind that the above are just suggestions and are best to be avoided if you are allergic. The diet should be planned with equal importance to mother’s health. Enjoy motherhood!