Every mom is thinking about breastfeeding. Will it hurt? How it will affect my breasts? Do I have to lead different diet? While talking about diet, you will not need to make any major changes to what you eat or drink when you are nursing, though there are a few important advices to keep in mind:
Slow and steady weight loss
Best plan to get in shape after pregnancy is to lose your pregnancy weight gradually. Plan, that it should take about a year. Do not try to lose weight by dieting until at least two months after delivery. Also, be sure to stay hydrated – sometimes dieters cut back on water when they eat less food. A sudden, large drop in your calorie intake can affect your milk supply, so do not go on a crash diet to lose weight quickly.
Well-balanced diet for your health
One of the wonders of breast milk is that it can meet your baby's nutritional needs even when you are not eating perfectly. Just because your baby will not be harmed by your occasional dietary lapses, it does not mean that you will not suffer. When you do not get the nutrients you need from your diet, your body draws on its reserves, which can eventually become expended. Many breastfeeding moms feel extra hungry, which totally makes sense. Your body is working extra shift to make breast milk for your baby.
Variety and balance is the key to a healthy diet. Complexing carbs like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables not only provide more nutrition than processed starches and sugars, they provide longer-lasting energy. So try to eat something today that you did not eat yesterday.
No counting of calories
There is no correct answer to how many calories a nursing mom needs. But in general, most women who are breastfeeding need about 500 calories more than usual. It is about 2000-2500 calories per day. Little advice, do not worry about the calories, just follow your hunger as a guide.
While nursing, it is important to get protein from a variety of sources, and fish is included. Some fish also contain DHA and EPA, omega-3 fats, which are important in the brain and eye development that continues during your baby's first year. Also, not only does DHA help your child, but it helps for you too. Eat most types of fish and seafood, like salmon, shrimp, tuna, tilapia, catfish, crab, scallops and even more. In case you do not like seafood, try an omega-3 supplement.
Be careful with alcohol
A rare drink probably will not harm your breastfeeding baby, but just to be sure you might want to hold off on drinking alcohol while you are nursing. Babies consume less milk in the four hours after you have an alcohol in your body. Also, you little one may become heavy and fall asleep more quickly after you have a drink, but he will also sleep for a shorter amount of time. So if eventually you will have an alcoholic drink, wait at least two hours before breastfeeding your child.
Water, water, water
When you are breastfeeding, your body needs plenty of fluids. Anyhow, best guideline to follow is drink to satisfy thirst. Just drink whenever you feel the need. Speaking of fluids, it is okay to have your morning cup of coffee while breastfeeding if you like, but you should not overdo it. Nursing moms should limit their consumption of caffeine to no more than 300 mg per day. That is about three small cups of coffee.
Yes to the vitamins
It is a great idea to continue taking your prenatal vitamin while you are breastfeeding. After you will finish them, you can switch to a regular multivitamin and mineral supplement. A supplement does not take the place of a well-balanced diet, but it can provide some extra insurance on those days when taking care of your new baby keeps you from eating as well as you would like.
Just follow these few simple tips and you can be sure that your diet is well-balanced. The best part about it is, that it is important not only for your baby, it is also very important for you too. While caring for your newborn you might forget about your own health, that is why we made this list. To make sure that you both would be healthy and happy.