Nutritional Tips and Healthy Diet For Breastfeeding Mothers
After delivery, many women tend to try to restrict their food intake to lose the baby weight. However, your body still needs calories to make milk. If you are exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months, then you will need higher calories to produce enough nutritious milk for the baby.
Overall, a lactating mother will need around 200 calories more than a pregnant woman. A pregnant woman is advised to consume about 300 to 400 calories more than a regular woman. For a breastfeeding woman, the requirement becomes 500 to 600 calories more.
If you put on a significant amount of weight during your pregnancy, some of it will be used to produce milk if you limit your calorie intake. However, if you have lost all your baby weight, you need to consume more calories.
Keep reading to know the micro and macronutrients that should be included in a diet for breastfeeding mothers.
What to Include in Diet for Breastfeeding Mothers
There are many ways to get the additional calories needed for breastfeeding nutrition. The best way to approach a diet for lactating mothers is by focussing on including nutritious foods that ensure an ample supply of protein, calcium, iron, and other nutrients.
You should aim for two to three servings of protein in a day, with each serving being three to four ounces of protein. Meat, dried beans, eggs, dairy products, chicken, seafood, etc., are excellent choices. You can also try including protein powder for pregnant women to supplement protein consumption.
Your body needs 1300 mg of calcium every day. You can ensure the supply by including milk, yoghurt, cheese, dark green vegetables, and calcium-fortified beverages in your diet.
Breastfeeding mothers need 9 mg of iron in their diet. Some excellent sources of iron are meat, dried beans, seafood, egg yolks, poultry, etc.
The good news is that many of the calcium, protein and iron sources are the same. For example, if you consume enough meat or chicken in a day, you can meet your protein and iron requirements. In addition to the above, you must ensure that you consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Aim to include at least three servings of vegetables and two to three servings of fruits in the diet for breastfeeding moms.
What to Restrict in Diet for Breastfeeding Moms
While you may have followed a strict diet plan during pregnancy, the same does not apply when breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers can consume all foods. That said, it is advisable to limit the consumption of the following.
Caffeine can be passed into the milk and to the baby. It tends to make the baby irritable and overstimulate them. If you notice that your baby is agitated, limit your caffeine consumption to see if it was the cause.
Alcohol stays in your milk for two to three hours or until you feel sober. If you consume alcohol and your breasts are full, pump and dump the milk before feeding your baby.
3. Sugary Drinks
While sugar is not harmful to the baby, consuming sugary drinks can increase the number of calories you consume and sabotage your efforts to lose weight.
Complete Nutrition for Lactating Mothers
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can do wonders for your body and your baby. Handling a baby and maintaining a healthy diet can seem complicated and many lactating women fail to get enough nutrition.
A health drink for pregnant women such as Prohance Mom is an excellent way to ensure that you get all the essential nutrients and meet your protein requirements. Prohance Mom is a specially formulated protein powder for pregnant women that can ensure complete nutrition. It includes iron, calcium, zinc, DHA, folic acid, and various other micronutrients in addition to protein.
Disclaimer: This blog/publication/editorial/article is meant for awareness/educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation of any products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication, or exercise.