Breastmilk has everything your baby would need for the next six months or even more suggests WHO. At times like these and otherwise, it’s important to have a healthy breastfeeding diet to keep yourself and the newborn healthy.
Despite breastmilk’s composition, it solely depends on what you intake and in what quantity & quality. There’s no special, out-of-box demand for your breastfeeding diet. Go for an all-natural, quality whole food, breastfeeding snacks full of all the nutrients that your body wants from you.
Breastfeeding would increase your demand for food, nutrients, and energy. This doesn’t count for eating double the capacity of yours. Eat as much as you wish but do not ever force yourself into eating. Your appetite will make you eat enough.
If you see a drop in your appetite, meet your doctor ASAP. Loss in appetite can lead to many unhealthy issues!
Breastfeeding Diet: What To Eat?
As I mentioned, there are no necessary changes required in your meal plan during breastfeeding or otherwise. The normal healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, fluids, carbs, fiber, protein, and more would be just enough. Of course, we will be discussing these nutrients intake in detail ahead.
Foods To Eat While breastfeeding–
- VEGETABLES: Spinach, Tomato, Kale, Broccoli, Cabbage, green leaf based vegetables! These vegetables provide us with many nutrients like potassium, folate, Vitamin A, C, Dietary fibers and much more!
- FRUITS: Apples, Bananas, Berries, oranges. All these fruits are a great source of Vitamins like Vitamin A, B, fibers. In respect to that, many fruits have anti-oxidant properties that help your body get rid of radicals.
- MEAT: Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Pork. Meat is a great source of protein and some extra vitamins and minerals. Also, meat is enriched with B12 and many extra vitamins required in order to meet your body’s health demands. Red meat is a great source of iron.
- SEAFOOD & FISH: Sardines, Fishes, Salmon, Seaweed. Fish including meat provide our body with the nine essential Amino acids that our body cannot manufacture on its own. With that said, Fish also provides your body with essential fish oils!
- WHOLE GRAIN: Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Wheat Bread. Though fruits can cover your carbohydrate demand. Whole grains are a lot denser in calories and carbohydrates than fruits.
- NUTS & HEALTHY FATS: Nuts are a great source of Omega-3, essential oils, Omega-6 and many oxidants. Don’t overdo these nuts though. Intake must be done in a moderate amount.
Breastmilk has two sets of supplements. The first set of nutrients demand must be fulfilled by your dietary intake. While the other set can secrete the nutrients from your body, regardless of the dietary intake or your health status.
1. Set I: Dietary Intake Required!
One that you need to add in your dietary intake in order to fulfill breastmilk’s nutrients demands. VITAMIN A, B1, B2, B6, B12, D, iodine, choline, selenium. All these can be easily found in day-to-today grocery, vegetables, and fruits!
- Vitamin A: Eggs, Green vegetables, liver oil, oranges, papaya, etc.
- Next, Vitamin B1: Oats, Beef, nuts, liver, pork, eggs, rice, bread, etc.
- Vitamin B2: fortified cereals, milk, dark meat chicken, etc.
- Next, Vitamin B6: Poultry, Eggs, Pork, Vegetables, Oatmeal, Brown rice, etc.
- Vitamin B12: fish, meat, poultry, milk products
- Iodine: SeaFood, Fish, Dairy Products, Iodised salt
- Choline: Liver, peanuts, eggs,
2. Set II: Self Secreting
The other half is taken directly from your body irrespective of outer source dietary intake. But always remember, your body can get deficient of these nutrients if not included in your diet!
Make sure you add these in your diet, too! These nutrients are Zinc, Iron, Folate.
- Zinc: Whole grain, Dairy products, poultry, red meat, cashew.
- Folate: lentils, beans, leafy vegetables, banana, melons,
- Iron: Spinach, Organ meat, Lentils
Fluids & Water
It’s evident, breastmilk is water mostly. In fact, Breastmilk is 88% water. We can only conclude how important water and fluids intake is in our body while breastfeeding or otherwise. Don’t forget to drink water often and do not skip drinking water all day long.
If you get bored, try fresh home-made juice(Not processed. Avoid processed food!) Less intake of water can lead to low milk supply and many other problems. DRINK! Then, DRINK a little more! & DRINK some more!
Some Extra advisory on breastfeeding that might come handy to you:
- 7 BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIALS
- BREASTFEEDING CLOTHES-WHAT TO WEAR WHILE NURSING TO THE BABY?
- HOW LONG IT CAN TAKE TO SIT OUT BREAST MILK
- HOW TO PUMP YOUR BREAST MILK LIKE A PRO
We concluded all the important dietary intake details! Next up, read about, Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding. You can also dive into this easy lactational Smoothie for your mama appetite! And much more.
Do let me know in the comment section what you need to know about breastfeeding, I’d be more than glad to answer all of them! Until then,