Breastfeeding is a healthy and fulfilling activity that will give your newborn the necessary nutrients while bringing the two of you closer together.
Whether you're a new mom or you have already gone through a birth before, knowing what to eat to keep your baby healthy while breastfeeding is crucial for your own good and for your baby's health.
Raising a newborn is a wonderful and draining experience. You will feel energized by all of the good feelings that come with the territory, but emotions alone are not enough to keep you on your feet for the following months.
A balanced diet will help you and your baby grow together and enjoy the most of each other.
Here are the best dietary habits while you are breastfeeding:
- Respect all of the normal dietary requirements: Make sure your diet consists of proteins, vegetable fats and carbs in the proper proportions; eat enough fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
- Drink plenty of water: Eight cups of liquid or two liters per day will keep you hydrated and the milk supply going; there is no need for extra water - your body will balance the milk output. Make sure you are not dehydrated.
- Coffee: If you used to drink coffee, phase it in again, at a maximum of two cups a day, preferably after feeding; keep the coffee light, since caffeine can get from your bloodstream to your milk.
- Teas: You may drink common herbal teas, although you should stay away from medicinal herbs and treatments.
- Alcohol: If you want to start drinking alcohol again, do it in small amounts (half a glass of wine or half a pint of beer), twice a week at most; drink only after feeding, so there is some time to consume the alcohol before the next feeding; it takes two to three hours to metabolize it, depending on your weight, age, metabolism and whether or not you ate before consumption.
- Allergies: If there are known allergies in your family, be careful about certain kinds of foods, but don't stress over this matter; try consuming small amounts of the potential foods and look out for any effects on the behavior or on the digestive outputs of your baby.
- Timeline: Breastfeed your newborn exclusively for at least six months to help develop your infant's immune system; after six months, you may begin to add other sources of liquid food and partly solid foods.
- Vitamins: While breastfeeding, take vitamin D and calcium supplements if you're not getting enough from your diet. Your milk contains vitamin D that helps the calcium set in the growing bones. As an alternative to vitamin D supplements, add dairy products to your diet, especially low-fat (not fat-free) yogurt or milk.
Following these habits will allow you to grow a healthy and happy baby. Take care of your diet and enjoy your life with a new member of the family!