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A Breastfeeding Mom's Eating Guide

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Proper nutrition is as important as ever now as you heal from labor and delivery, and work to establish and maintain a healthy milk supply.

Don’t focus on dropping the baby weight 

This is not the right time to start a restrictive diet. Losing weight too quickly may jeopardize your milk supply. To keep up a plentiful milk supply, moms who want to nurse exclusively should aim to consume an additional 300-500 nutrient-dense calories per day.

Vitamins

Keep up those prenatals! Experts recommend taking your vitamin while you breastfeed to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need. Your baby will take what he/she needs, leaving you depleted if there isn't enough for both of you.

Keep hydrated 

Keep a pitcher or bottle of water handy and make it a habit to drink some every time you sit down to nurse. Establishing and maintaining your milk supply calls for plenty of fluids – and you’ll notice it too. Breastfeeding leaves you thirsty, so drink up!

Limit caffeine

As tired as you are, following the same caffeine guidelines you did throughout pregnancy is still a good rule of thumb. Drink more than a cup or two of coffee, and your little one may become antsy and fussy. 

Read more about caffeine and breastfeeding

Eat balanced meals

Breastfeeding makes you hungry. More accurately, breastfeeding makes you HANGRY. To keep yourself going all day, make sure you’re eating nutritious, well-balanced meals throughout the day. Keep healthy snacks handy, aiming to mix healthy fats and proteins (e.g. eggs, nut butter, cheese, avocado, etc.) to sustain you till bedtime. Remember, this is not the time to try cutting calories or focusing on losing weight. Healthy fats contain twice the calories per gram as proteins and carbohydrates, so you can eat less quantity and still feel satisfied longer than if you just snack on fruit or crackers. 

Good luck, and happy breastfeeding!

 

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