While there are moms who are working on how to stop breastfeeding, I also have a friend who is much concerned about proper diet while breastfeeding. She’s a first time parent and decided she would breastfeed her infant until two years old. But she is worried that what she is eating might badly affect her baby.
A mom’s diet can make a big difference in the nutritious quality of her breast milk. If a breastfeeding mom does not eat the right foods, it can also affect the growth and development of the baby. It is important for moms to know which foods to consume and foods to avoid while breastfeeding.
Foods to avoid during breastfeeding include processed foods in the citrus family such as oranges and lemons because they can irritate your baby’s intestinal system. Consumption of caffeinated drinks, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, garlic, and foods that are high in fiber should also be reduced because they are known to cause upset stomach on babies. King mackerel, swordfish and shark must be totally avoided because they may have high mercury content that can pass on to your infant and affect its normal brain development. Furthermore, you should carefully observe how your baby would react after consuming shellfish, corn products and nuts because some babies develop sensitivity to them.
While there are foods you should avoid or limit in consumption, there are also foods you need to consume to boost your baby’s health. Avoid foods that are low in carbohydrate content and go for foods that are high in complex carbohydrates. For vegetables, these include cauliflower, beans, squash and broccoli. For fruits, berries, apples, oranges, plums, peaches and melons are the best source of complex carbohydrates. The same is true with whole grain products such as brown rice, rye bread and whole wheat bread. Aside from the nutritional benefits that your baby can get from complex carb consumption, it could also help moms lose extra pounds without compromising the quality of their milk.
In addition, moms should also include enough amounts of healthy fats and protein in their diet. The ideal fat consumption is one ounce per day of fats which could be from butter, vegetable oil or mayonnaise. Doing so allows a mom to produce more satisfying hind milk for the baby.
There are also important nutrients that moms need while breastfeeding. One of them is calcium with a minimum daily requirement of 1,000 mg. Foods that are high in calcium include dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. There are also non-dairy sources such as sesame seeds, salmon, tofu, broccoli and kale.
Adequate amounts of water and other healthy juices are also important while breastfeeding. You need them to stay hydrated at all times and be able to produce quality milk for your baby.
Fortunately, there are many useful resources online that can guide you on what to eat and what not to eat during breastfeeding. My friend found some of the most useful materials online which I would like to share to other women seeking for some tips on breastfeeding diet.