Dietary Guidelines During Breastfeeding
After the baby is born, the mother enters the breastfeeding period. This period is critical for both baby and mother. The nutrition your baby needs after birth is obtained from your breast milk. Making healthy food choices while breastfeeding will help you and your baby get the nutrients you both need. While following a healthy diet, ask your doctor if you need to take a daily supplement (such as a multivitamin) to get enough nutrients.
Healthy Eating During Breastfeeding
1. Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of nutritious foods and beverages.
Get the nutrients you need while breastfeeding from these foods, which you can mix and match freely. But be careful to choose foods and beverages with less added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium (salt).
fresh fruit - such as apples, berries, oranges, mangoes and bananas
Vegetables – such as broccoli, sweet potatoes, beets, okra, spinach, peppers, and jicama
Whole grains - such as brown rice, millet, oatmeal, bulgur, and whole-wheat bread
Protein - such as lean meats and chicken, eggs, seafood, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, and tofu
Low-fat or fat-free dairy products—such as milk, yogurt, cheese, lactose-free dairy products, and fortified soy beverages (soymilk) or soy yogurt
Oils - such as vegetable oils, olive oil and oils from foods such as seafood, avocados and nuts
2. Get the right amount of calories as recommended by your doctor.
Breastfeeding mothers often need more calories to meet nutritional needs while breastfeeding. Well-nourished breastfeeding mothers are advised to consume an additional 330 to 400 kilocalories (kcal) per day compared to their pre-pregnancy intake. Every mother's body is different and you need to consult and follow your doctor's advice.
3.Drink plenty of fluids.
When you're breastfeeding, your body needs extra fluids to stay hydrated. Try drinking a glass of water or another healthy drink (unsweetened) every time you breastfeed.
4. Fish and shellfish contain healthy fats that are good for you and your baby. You can choose to eat properly. But some fish are high in mercury, a metal that can harm your baby's development.
Avoid Certain Foods
In general, women do not need to restrict or avoid specific foods while breastfeeding. Mothers should be encouraged to eat a healthy and varied diet.
1. Avoid eating too much seafood.
While fish remains an excellent source of protein and contains essential vitamins and minerals, breastfeeding women must be cautious when deciding the amount and type of seafood to consume. Most fish contain some amount of mercury, which can harm your baby.
Before you drink caffeinated and added sugar beverages, ask your doctor if caffeine is safe for you. When you're breastfeeding, it's generally safe to consume up to 300 mg of caffeine per day (about the amount in 3 cups of coffee)—but your doctor may advise you to reduce your intake.
3. Consider avoiding alcohol.
Avoiding alcohol is the safest option for both mother and baby while breastfeeding. If you want to drink alcohol while breastfeeding, talk to your doctor first.
If you're drinking a drink, drink it right after breastfeeding or pumping, not before. Wait at least 2 hours to breastfeed or pump after drinking alcohol. This gives your body time to break down the alcohol, thereby reducing the alcohol content in breast milk.
Eat Healthy While Breastfeeding: Quick Tips