Breastfeeding Diet Tips

So many woman call us unsure as to what to eat during breastfeeding. At Quintessence we advice you to have a varied and balanced diet.

Breastfeeding diet advice 

What to eat when breastfeeding 

  • At least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Fresh and cooked. Vegetable juice is great but stay away from sugar laden fruit juices.

  • Lots of protein such as lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs and pulses

  • Fish at least twice a week including some oily fish

  • Starchy foods for extra energy such as brown bread, pasta, brown rice, kumera and pumpkin (limit potatoes).

  • Plenty of fibre found in wholegrains, pulses, fruit and vegetables.

  • Small amounts of dairy foods (only if you can tolerate dairy). Yoghurt and cottage cheese contain less lactose than milk and cheese.

 

Fluids 

  • It is very important to stay as hydrated as possible during breastfeeding to keep milk supply up.

  • Drink 1 1/2-2 litres of water daily.

  • Drink 2-3 cups of Totally Devoted Lactation Tea daily to increase milk supply.

  • Limit coffee and tea as they are dehydrating.

  • Avoid alcohol.

 

What to avoid when breastfeeding 

  • Avoid eating shark, swordfish, marlin and too much tinned tuna because of high levels of mercury in these fish.

  • Breast feed babies can react to food their mothers eat via the milk. They can suffer from colic, reflux or have skin problems. If you are unsure about what foods are affecting your baby an Allergenics Allergy Test will give you and exact idea of which foods are a problem.

 

How much do I need to eat and drink? 

Breastfeeding in general requires about 500 extra calories a day. It can be difficult to find the time to eat properly when you are looking after a newborn but try to do the following: 

  • Keep meals simple so they don't take too long to prepare, or better still have pre-prepared meals in the freezer.

  • Get your partner/mother/friend to keep the fridge full of healthy snacks.

  • Keep in a container by your side full of almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit (without preservatives) and some carob drops. This is a great protein snack and will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

  • Eating smaller frequent meals will keep your energy levels stable.

  • Drink 1 1/2-2 litres of water daily to keep hydrated. If you feel thirsty, this means you're already dehydrated. If your urine is dark and strong in smell, this is also a sign that you are not drinking enough.

  • Keep a drink bottle of water by your side at all times. Sip consistently.

 

Losing weight  

  • It is not a good idea to try to loose weight while you're breastfeeding as you need to keep your energy levels up and you need the extra nutrients for baby.

  • Remember the extra fat created during pregnancy is used to make breast milk, so breastfeeding will help you get back into shape quicker.

  • If you eat a healthy balanced diet, limit the amount of fat and sugar you eat, and are physically active, this will help you to lose any extra weight you put on during pregnancy.

  • Give yourself up to one year to lose the weight in a healthy balanced way.

Contact us for more personalised advice.