What you eat as a breastfeeding mother matter a lot. Firstly, your baby gets everything necessary for proper growth from your breast milk, hence the need for good nutrition. It will also help you increase your milk supply and provide you with more energy to adequately breastfeed your baby.
Food is generally important for our overall well-being and growth but when it comes to breastfeeding, some food is far better than others. That is why I have taken time out to compile some beneficial food for lactating moms and easy ways these foods can be incorporated into daily consumption. Let’s go
1) Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green is low in calories meaning you can eat them as much as you want. They are highly rich in Vitamin A, C, E, and K, antioxidants and minerals. they include Lettuce, spinach, African basil leaf, waterleaf, ugu, moringa, etc. They can be added to meals fresh or steamed, cook soup, or make smoothies.
Recent research has shown that eggs will not increase your cholesterol. It’s a quick and easy meal that can be boiled, fried, or added to snacks. Eggs are rich in protein, choline, lutein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate which made them a perfect food for breastfeeding mothers.
3) Nuts and Seeds
It is advisable for breastfeeding mothers to have 1,000 mg of calcium daily. This is because your milk is high in calcium, and if you are not getting enough, it may negatively impact your bones and teeth. Almond and sesame seeds are packed with calcium. Adding nuts and seeds to your diet will help you a lot as they contain protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Dates can increase your prolactin level. prolactin is the hormone that tells your body to produce milk. Dates are calcium-rich, high in fiber, and naturally sweet.
5) Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are very rich in vitamin A which is necessary for vision, bone growth, immune function, and cell specialization. Your baby is dependent on your dietary intake to get the vitamin A required for growth and development.
At least one medium size of sweet potato should be consumed daily.
Breastfeeding moms have a common complaint often being hungry due to the increased caloric demands of nursing, and the inadequate time to prep and eat meals. Avocados are also a good source of B vitamins, vitamin K, folate, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It is a nutritional powerhouse for nursing mothers. Avocados help maintain a feeling of fullness in addition to providing your body with heart-healthy fats
Other good food includes grass-fed beef, salmon, sardines, whole grain, legumes, beans, yogurt.
Basically, the food to avoid during breastfeeding is similar to those that were avoided during pregnancy. They include the following:
- Raw/undercooked meat and seafood
- Fish with high levels of mercury
- Beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup
You may chat about your diet and your baby with your doctor.