Eating healthy can be overwhelming for most people. There’s even more pressure when you’re nursing a baby. Even if you went crazy during your pregnancy and ate ice cream sundaes every night and ditched the vegetables because they turned your stomach (this was me), it’s not too late to make some simple changes to fuel your milk supply.
Balanced nutrition is what’s important and here’s why. What you eat impacts the quality and composition of your breast milk. This is especially important during the first six months or so when your breast milk is the baby’s sole source of fats, protein, antibodies, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, etc. You can still eat those sundaes but it’s important that get the greens in too! What you eat can also affect the amount of breast milk you produce. Since breastfeeding demands additional calories a day, it’s important that your intake is increased and maintained in order to produce enough milk to grow your baby. In other words, this is not the right time to start a diet. Lastly, being a new mom is exhausting (the lack of sleep, physicality of holding baby, worrying, maintaining a household etc). It’s important that your meals are balanced so you can stay healthy, avoid becoming run down or sick, and maintain a positive mental state.
Here are some simple tips to ensure you and baby are getting what you need:
- Dont skip meals. Try eating smaller meals every few hours. Keeping your stomach fueled will maintain your milk supply and will help you avoid overeating. For example, apples and peanut butter, greek yogurt with granola, and turkey, cheese, and lettuce rollups are all good options.
- Try to eat whole foods. The less ingredients the better. The trick is to shop around the parameter of the grocery store to avoid the processed packaged foods in the middle.
- Up your protein intake. Instead of eating a bagel in the morning, try a couple of hard boiled eggs and some oatmeal.
- Up your veggie intake to meet your fiber needs and to ensure you are getting your daily vitamins. Maybe add a small green salad to your lunch or cooked veggies tossed into some scrambled eggs in the morning.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink to thirst. But believe me you will be thirsty a lot. So have a water bottle handy and close by at all times.
Don’t drive yourself crazy stressing about losing the baby weight. It will happen and moderation is key. Making simple small changes can make all the difference. Focus on that precious baby and keep in mind…..you are feeding another human being with your own amazing body.