When deciding to breastfeed your newborn baby, you also have to consider your breasfeeding diet. Generally speaking, most of the nutritional guidelines you have followed throughout your pregnancy will also continue while breastfeeding. The breastfeeding diet is similar to the Pregnancy Diet with a few exceptions.
Important Features of a Healthy Breastfeeding Diet
Eating a healthy diet is important for your body at any time. When the body is also supporting the life system of a small infant, it is particularly sensitive to transgression. While breastfeeding, you should consume approximately 500 additional calories a day. This is slightly higher than the recommended 300 calories that most obstetricians recommend during pregnancy. These additional calories must be particularly nutrient-dense as your breastfeeding diet will need to include 20-50% more of most required vitamins and minerals.
Fat consumption is a key component of a healthy breastfeeding diet. The growing baby relies on a variety of fats to be strong and vigorous. Breast milk is particularly high in fats retrieved from your diet. The goal is to consume 30% of your calories in the form of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. The best sources can be easily found in canola, olive and other vegetable oils along with cow's milk and dairy foods. Meat is also significant, but for your own health reasons, try to avoid excessive greasy, red meat.
Whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables and lean meat are all excellent choices in your breastfeeding diet. Variety is truly the best approach. Take the time to get outside on a nice day to build up your vitamin D reserves. If concerned, feel free to select a regular multivitamin that offers 50% to 100% of RDA. Avoid consuming large amounts of extra vitamins, as potential harm to your infant is possible. Also, try to eat a variety of food flavors as these transmit directly into your breast milk. Even though garlic milk may not sound appetizing, research has shown that breastfed babies are extra receptive to a variety of tastes as they grow; whereas formula fed babies who eat the same flavors daily tend to resist new foods.
Water is also imperative for your body and milk supply. Keep a measured cup or bottle with you and drink when your baby does. Make sure you consume at least eight cups of fluid every day.
What to Avoid in your Breastfeeding Diet
Similar to a pregnant woman, most substances consumed by a breastfeeding mom will eventually lead to the baby's system. Therefore, seriously consider every item placed in your food and evaluate its impact on a young body. Alcohol, publicized in the past as encouraging the milk let-down reflex, transmits directly into the baby's system at the same concentration as in the mother's blood. Think this through; do you really want your baby drinking a beer? Caffeine is another typical component that can lead to agitation and sleep problems in a young baby. Food additives such as chemicals, nitrates, coloring agents, artificial sweeteners, trans fatty acids and MSG have been shown to cause problems in a baby's system and should be avoided completely.
Toxic elements are found in our lives through the water we drink and foods we eat. Lead is of particular importance to the breastfeeding woman as it wrecks havoc in a young child's brain. Have your water tested or drink filtered water. Mercury and PCBs are prevalent in our food intake, and breastfeeding women need to be particularly careful in their consumption of wild fish for this reason. While fish in general are excellent for supplying necessary fats to a nursing mom, they must be eaten in moderation and some varieties avoided all together. The best source for information is the State Fish Advisory Board in your area.
Potential Dietary Problems
Thrush - If thrush has formed in your baby's mouth or on your nipples, prime culprits are the carbohydrates you consume. Thrush is a yeast that thrives on simple sugars and can be passed back and forth from mom to baby. Many times the only solution is to avoid most sugars in the mom's diet until the condition clears.
Colic and/or excessive gas - Many breastfeeding moms have cured this condition by simply changing their diet. Prime ingredients to watch out for are chocolate, garlic, onions, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
Food Allergies - As peanut allergies continue to be on the rise, many pediatricians now recommend that breastfeeding moms avoid all peanut-containing foods. For some babies, cow's milk, dairy products and soy products ingested by their nursing mothers can lead to allergy symptoms. Try cutting these typical triggers out of your diet if your baby demonstrates unexplained rashes, eczema, gas, and unusual bowel movements, sleep problems or excessive fussiness.
Diaper Rash - Consuming very spicy foods by mom before breastfeeding can cause a flare up of diaper rash. While flavorful foods are great for your baby, try to avoid extremely hot spices.