The nursing mom’s eating handbook

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Throughout your pregnancy journey, you’ve likely watched every morsel of food on your fork to ensure the safest and healthiest start for your baby. But just because your nine-month wait is over and your little one is in your arms, doesn’t mean you can throw your good eating habits to the wayside. Proper nutrition is as important as ever as you heal from labor and delivery – and work to establish a healthy milk supply.

Don’t focus on weight loss

While it’s true that you’ll lose weight simply by delivering your baby, placenta, and much of the fluids associated with birth, losing weight too quickly may jeopardize your milk supply – and make nursing an uphill battle. To keep up a plentiful milk supply, exclusively nursing moms should aim to consume an additional 300-500 nutrient-dense calories.

Keep up your prenatal vitamins

If you were eager to dump your multivitamin come baby’s birthdate, we have bad news: Experts recommend taking your vitamin while you breastfeed to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need.

Read more: 5 ways breastfeeding trumps formula every time

Keep hydrated 

Keep a pitcher of water in your baby’s nursery and make it a habit to pour yourself a glass every time you sit down to nurse. Establishing and maintaining your milk supply calls for plenty of fluids – and you’ll notice it too. Miss a glass of water and you’ll likely be spending that whole nursing session face-palming because of it. In short, breastfeeding leaves you thirsty, so drink up.

Skip the coffee

 Speaking of drinking, you’ll want to limit the amount of caffeine you take in daily. A good rule of thumb is to follow the same caffeine guidelines you did throughout pregnancy. Drink more than a cup or two of coffee, and you may find your little one angsty and fussy a few hours later.

Read more: 4 tips to ensure breastfeeding success

Eat balanced meals

If you thought pregnancy made you hungry, wait until you start breastfeeding. To keep yourself running all day long, make sure you’re eating nutritious, well-balanced meals throughout the day. Don’t focus on calorie counting right now. Aim to mix healthy fats and proteins (e.g. eggs, peanut butter, cheese, avocado, etc.) to sustain you till bedtime.

Are you a new nursing mom? What advice would you share with women just starting out on their breastfeeding journey? Share your tips and experiences in the comments below! 

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