Q and A: What should I eat while breastfeeding?

16 Jul

mom and babyThis is a great question for health conscious mammas wanting to provide the best nutrition for their growing baby (or babies). Here is the low down: you are the food supply for your baby so ensure you are not putting anything in your body that you would not want your baby to eat as well. This means sipping a lot of H2O and indulging in plenty of clean, nutrient-dense food.

WATER WORKS. Breast milk is 88% water, so even slight dehydration can disrupt milk production and lead to fatigue and dizziness. Drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces of water every day will keep you and your baby well hydrated and happy. Basically, when baby is tippin’ it back, so should you.

NUTRIENT NOSHING. Depending on your activity level, you will want to consume 300-500 extra calories (woo hoo!) from clean and nutrient dense food sources. This includes a variety of vegetables, fruit, lean protein and healthy starches such as sweet potatoes, whole grain rice and quinoa. Now there are some healthy foods that may cause a few problems for you and your baby such as “gassy” vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel’s Sprouts and spicy foods including jalapenos and garlic. Steaming or roasting the vegetables usually takes care of the gas, but spicy foods may have to be avoided if the baby is not tolerating them well. Also, remember all of the fish you couldn’t eat during pregnancy due to mercury exposure? Well, the same holds true during nursing, so ensure you aren’t eating more than two fish-fabulous meals per week.

STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN. The best nutrition advice is the advice your body and your baby’s body is telling you through symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, constipation, running nose, asthma, dark circles under eyes, eczema, rash, fussiness, ear infections, etc. If you or your baby are experiencing these, keep track of what you are eating and try eliminating the food item for a few weeks. Then, slowly reintroduce it (one at a time if you eliminated a few) to see if the symptoms occur again. Some common food allergies or intolerances include citrus fruits (can irritate GI tract), peanuts, gluten, dairy, corn, shellfish, eggs and soy.

GET YOUR FLOW ON: Caution foods, beverages, supplements and medications that reduce breast milk  production and can affect the health of the baby include smoking, alcohol, caffeine (yes, that includes your daily coffee or chocolate fix), birth control pills, decongestants, antihistamines, sage, jasmine, tea, parsley and peppermint. Low calorie dieting can also deprive you and your baby from nutrients while reducing milk production.

If you are breastfeeding, always speak with your doctor before taking any supplements or medications.

For your personalized nutrition and fitness plan or to schedule a VIP Day, please contact me at 402-819-8970.

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2 Responses to “Q and A: What should I eat while breastfeeding?”

  1. Nutrition Tips To Lose Weight August 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    It’s awesome to visit this site and reading the views of all colleagues concerning this article, while I am also keen of getting know-how.

    • stephsbell August 5, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

      Thank you! Love learning from everyone too!

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