Eating Healthy while Breastfeeding

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Hello all! Now that I’m done talking about the HUGE topic of breastfeeding, I hope to move through my other posts a little more quickly. Thanks for sticking with me this far in this Preparing to be a New Mom series!

Eating Healthy while Breastfeeding

The Body Definitely Takes Time to Heal

No matter what form of labor and birth you experienced, your body definitely needs time to heal. I was a little surprised at how easily I would get tired just from standing and holding the baby, or walking up steps in those early days and weeks.

With my son, it was a vaginal birth and a small episiotomy. I think the episiotomy is why the stairs and walking were hard to do. During the first week and a half I camped out in one central location during the day so I wouldn’t have to walk around a lot. My husband was home to take the baby upstairs for a diaper changed whenever he needed it. My husband brought to me everything I needed (food, water, My Brest Friend, etc.). It was wonderful. It wasn’t until week 4 that I felt like I turned a corner and had more energy.

Great Foods to Eat while Breastfeeding

Just like with pregnancy, make what you eat count! Eat foods that are rich with nutrients, and you will notice that your calories go a long way. You will feel fuller longer, and will have that get-up-and-go energy you need for those 3 a.m. feedings. Try these foods:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Lean protein, like fish, beef, and soy foods
  • Dairy (milk, yogurt)
  • Leafy greens
  • Oatmeal
  • Iron, especially if you suffer from postpartum symptoms.
  • Vitamin C, which can help with wound healing for mothers who delivered via C-section. Find this in oranges, tomatoes, and natural fruit juices.
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Why?

Studies have shown that what a mother eats affects the flavor of her breast milk. In turn, then, this affects whether or not the baby likes or dislikes the taste. Eating a variety of foods while breastfeeding will help your child have a developed pallet in the future and they will be more likely to appreciate a variety of foods. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Increasing Milk Supply

Great foods for increasing mother’s milk supple are:

Foods to Have on Hand

If someone is coming over to visit you in the early weeks and asks if you needed anything, take them up on the offer. Look through this list and see what you need (this is a compilation of what I mentioned above plus a few extra!):

Produce

  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Leafy Greens
  • Apricots
  • Green Beans
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Apples

Dairy

  • Plain Greek yogurt (maybe with granola or berries on top)

Breakfast

  • Eggs (or an already made egg dish!)
  • Whole grain cereal with wheat germ on top!
  • Hardboiled Egg
  • Oatmeal

Snacks

  • Toasted Almonds (or chocolate covered Almonds)
  • Whole grain crackers with hummus
  • Walnuts or Pecans
  • Peanut butter on an apple

Drinks

  • Milk
  • Juice
  • Lots of water bottles!

Other Staples to have on hand

  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Garlic Bread
  • Ingredients for a Salad (lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, salad dressing)