Breastfeeding – What You Eat Matters

Breastfeeding is the best choice for you and your baby. While many moms lose more weight while breastfeeding, than those who bottle feed, it is definitely not a time for you to restrict your diet in an attempt to lose weight. Weight is lost naturally because you burn a lot of calories when breastfeeding. Consequently, breastfeeding moms need a lot of calories for sufficient milk production; but you also need to eat a variety of foods to provide your baby with the right nutrients. Most doctors recommend that a breastfeeding mother add 500 calories per day to her regular diet.

For any mom, but especially one that breastfeeds, good nutrition is important. Eating healthy foods makes you stronger, gives you more energy and aids your bodys healing process. For the most part everything a breastfeeding mom eats gets to baby through breast milk. Breast milk contains all the vital nutrients necessary to help develop babys digestive system and to nourish baby properly; and the body relies on what mom eats to increase the nutrients in breast milk.

Foods recommended while breastfeeding include: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat proteins and fats. Eating complex carbohydrates like from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, instead of simple ones like sweets and white breads, will help moms lose weight while maintaining optimum milk production.

All diets should include plenty of proteins and fat; and that of a breastfeeding mother is no exception. Eating good fats, mono- and poly- saturated instead of saturated and Trans fats are healthier. At least 30% of your total calories should come from fat. A lactating mom should also eat plenty of dairy products to insure she is getting enough calcium. Calcium is also found in broccoli, salmon and tofu.

What you drink matters too. You should get plenty of liquids including water and juice; but should avoid drinks with caffeine, large amounts of sodium and alcohol. Those chemicals will be passed on to baby through breast milk. Simply eating a healthy diet with plenty of calories from whole foods will insure your baby gets the nutrients he needs.

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