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The saying “you are what you eat” becomes doubly true when spoken of a breastfeeding mother. Basically, whatever a mother eats will become her breast milk – and whatever breast milk her baby consumes determines how well that child will grow and develop.
So watching what you eat while you’re breastfeeding should be your main priority. Aside from avoiding certain foods, it’s also essential that lactating mothers choose foods that will help improve their milk supply.
So the next time you visit the supermarket, be sure to toss these items into your shopping cart!
These Are The Food You Need To Eat While Breastfeeding
We all know that water is always good for one’s health. So, without a doubt, this is the most important thing you should consume more of when you’re lactating. It helps to ensure you have a steady supply of fluid that you can turn into breast milk.
As there are a lot of hormonal and bodily changes involved in the production of milk, your body needs to have enough water for all of these adjustments to be successful.
Also, your body converts your water content to milk. If you do not consume enough water, your body will have to cut back on lactation to meet your system’s needs for survival.
Reduced milk production could lead to supply deficiency, making it difficult for your baby to meet their daily dietary requirements. This could then result in malnutrition and dehydration in your little one.
As a general rule, lactating mothers should always make sure to consume more water than the usually required intake. The magic number? Around 2,400ml of water a day.
But it is important to take in based on what you feel your body needs. If you’ve developed a dehydrating medical condition or enjoy getting active by working out in the gym, it would be best to make sure you consume even more water to make up for the losses.
2) Grains, Oats, and Fibre
Did you know, breastfeeding mothers who consumed more calories in a day are able to produce more milk?
These mothers also have more nutritious output compared to mums who count calories. Because the process of producing milk requires your body to perform more functions than it usually would, you should expect an increase in demand in energy-giving calories.
Experts recommend that mothers take in up to 500 calories more than their usual diet before they started lactating, so that could land you anywhere around 2,000 calories a day.
If you are struggling to meet this magic number, one tip is to consume food with more calories. This includes grains, oats, and fibre like rice, bread, and pasta.
Try to incorporate three servings of rice dishes, pasta, bread, and other starchy foods into your diet or have several servings of oatmeal throughout the day to keep you feeling full.
Although the health benefits of moringa for breastfeeding have yet to be fully established, there are countless generations of women who swear by its benefits. Also called ‘malunggay’, moringa is a drought-resistant tree that can be found in many areas of the globe.
Even though it has been said that breastfeeding mothers should avoid green, leafy vegetables when lactating, the deep green leaves of the moringa plant can prove to be highly beneficial to breastfeeding mothers.
Studies conducted on moringa have shown promising results regarding its ability to increase milk supply and improve milk quality.
While moringa can be a very healthy milk supply enhancer for mums, it can be quite difficult to source. It can come in the form of capsules, teas, and powders. Mostly, these products can be purchased online or through specialty herbal stores.
Of course, the fresh unprocessed moringa leaves are still most beneficial.
Preparing natural moringa leaves is as simple as plucking the leaves off of the stalks and washing them thoroughly before adding them into your meal. This can be included in soups and salads as a garnish without altering the taste of the dish or boiled together with stews for maximum flavor infusion.
Jam-packed with omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, and other vitamins and minerals, salmon is a milking-mommy diet staple that no lactating mother should be without.
Because newborn babies can be very frail and weak, the slightest infections can cause serious health complications.
Salmon contains a particular protein source that has been noted to increase immunoglobulin-A – a powerful immunity booster necessary for newborns to keep them protected from common health threats. This is essential for the first few months of life especially because your child has yet to receive any boosters or vaccinations.
By taking in more salmon right before giving birth and for several months after your baby is born, you can strengthen his or her immunity against health threats and prevent any illness from developing in your child.
What’s more, the nutrients and vitamins in salmon are easily and readily absorbed by the body. After a few minutes of eating a serving, mothers can expect their milk to be packed with vital nutrients for optimal baby development and growth.
Often, you’ll hear experts and specialists suggesting that mothers should steer clear of green leafy vegetables while lactating.
This is because green leafy vegetables can cause gassiness, fussiness, and stomach irritation in babies. Since most vegetables come in this form, it can be hard for mothers to find the right options to supplement their diet.
So, what then should you eat? Well, the answer is – carrots.
Aside from helping with breast milk production, carrots are a prime source of beta-carotene which is an essential chemical in the production of milk. Even snacking on raw carrots will help increase supply for a steady and sufficient flow of breast milk.
Another benefit of eating carrots is that it’s easily absorbed into breast milk. Did you know that a diet with more carrots gives the milk a slight orange tinge?
Based on studies conducted on mothers who took in more carrots, babies who consumed their milk were observed to develop a yellowish skin tone. Don’t worry! This is a harmless and reversible side-effect of the increased carrot consumption. It proves that carrots are readily transported through the milk.
The findings of the same research showed that the babies who had more carrot-infused breast milk were more accepting of solid foods. This is ideal for mums who want to get their children accustomed to solids without starting them off too early.
In A Nutshell…
Breastfeeding is a major challenge for any mother – new or otherwise.
But often, the troubles any lactating mother faces during the process of breastfeeding can be addressed with nothing more than an adjusted diet.
Make sure to give your baby nothing but nutritious, healthy, and beneficial breast milk for optimum growth and development. Keep these 5 essential foods in mind and improve your milk supply and quality with an optimized diet perfect for you and your baby’s needs.