The Do’s and Don’ts of Proper Nutrition for Breastfeeding

 

Help! I’m a new mom and not sure what I should and shouldn’t be eating and drinking to produce great milk and nourish my baby properly? If you’re feeling this way and not sure of the do’s and don’ts of nutrition while wet nursing, then read on. Cellnutrition has you covered.

Let’s start with the good news. Because milk is produced by nutrients from your blood and not directly from the food that you eat, you don’t need to follow a special diet during breastfeeding. Feeling relieved? It’s easy and inexpensive to do it right. Here’s the catch, you do need to have a nutritionally balanced diet, stay optimally hydrated, take in moderate exercise such as walking and beat those cravings for nutrient poor, calorie rich carbs to keep you and your new baby healthy. 

Will I need to eat for two?

The actual act of producing milk is energy consuming. Combined with the running and fetching and being on constant alert, you will need to increase your calorie intake. On average, a breastfeeding mom will need to increase her calorie count by around 500 nutrient rich Kcals per day. Making milk is hard work. Now this doesn’t mean binge eating on sugar or calorie-dense foods. From a nutritional point of view, opt for protein rich foods as well as a wide variety of colourful fruit and vegetables that will keep you fuller for longer and help you maintain your energy levels. 

Need a quick snack? Nuts, seeds and coconut flakes with dried berries in trail mix are great.

I can’t seem to curb my cravings and crack my sweet tooth?

Food cravings can be quite common during this period, and especially a craving for refined sugars. They provide an instant boost when you’re feeling low and seem to provide instant energy. Careful. They are addictive and with that energy high comes an energy low. It’s best not to buy them in the first place nor keep them in the home at all. Craving chocolate? We understand. Opt for dark chocolate with 80% cocoa content. Craving crisps? Consider eating a pickle instead. Enter a good and solid relationship with your diet by setting a little time aside to make smarter food choices and preparing snacks in advance.

By being smart with your food choices you can ‘curb’ these cravings, snap back into shape and produce better quality milk. Increasing your lean protein intake increases your satiety, keeping you fuller for longer. So do foods rich in fibre, such as wholegrains with low glycaemic indexes (GI) which will stabilise and have a positive impact on blood sugar levels. A nutritionally balanced diet is vital for you and your growing baby. By prioritising healthy foods containing essential nutrients, you will ensure that growth and development is maximised. 

What are the best foods for breastfeeding?

  1. Vitamin D & Calcium

A baby doubles its weight in the first five months. It is essential to get the right amount of Vitamin D and Calcium. Vitamin D supports Calcium uptake which is the main mineral making up bones. We get most of our Vitamin D from sun exposure, but if you live somewhere that does not have a lot of sunshine, or in the winter months, then it’s vital you get it from your diet. Breastfeeding moms will need 10µg of vitamin D and 1000mg/day of Calcium. Foods such as eggs, oatmeal and fortified plant-based milks are great sources.

  1. Plant-based Essential Fatty Acids

Essential Fatty Acids including Omega 3, 6, and 9 are vital because your body can’t produce them. Although certain oily fish types are rich in these, they may also contain high amounts of heavy metals such as Mercury which is only needed in trace amounts for healthy development. Speaking of which, Omega 3 and Omega 6 are found naturally in breastmilk and are crucial in the development for your babies’ brain, eye and nervous system. If the nursing mom increases her intake of essential fatty acids it will positively effect baby’s sensory, visual and cognitive development.

Cellnutrition has a range of 100% plant-based, ultra-pure essential fatty acids called Omegabiocell369. It’s created from four different plant oils Flaxseed, Borage, Evening Primrose and Blackcurrant. This is the only Omega supplement on the market that produces ultra-pure ethyl esters of Omega 3, 6 and 9 with high bioavailability and bio-retention with an optimal ratio of Omega3:6, this enables your cells to absorb these Omegas effectively resulting in beneficial health effects for longer. It can be taken on its own or added to table ready foods to enhance your meals nutritional value. 

  1. Fibre Rich Foods

Mom will need on average 30g of fibre per day. Foods that tend to be high in fibre include wholegrains, oats, apples, pears and avocados. We recommend eating five pieces of fruit and vegetables per day. The more colourful the better. Colourful fruit and vegetables include higher amounts of vitamins and antioxidants making for all round healthier mom.

Need a quick fibre rich  breakfast? Oatmeal with berries a sprinkle of cinnamon and a splash of Vitamin D fortified oat milk might be just the ticket! Scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast too. Or, how about a healthy smoothie?  You can add 5ml of Omegabiocell369 to your morning breakfast for an additional Omega-3 boost.

Will I need to drink extra water and how much?

Although breastmilk is said to be made up by 90% water, the common myth about consuming more water when breastfeeding provides a greater volume of milk is not the case. Staying optimally hydrated is. And this starts with your cells. To stay properly hydrated while breastfeeding, your cells need electrolytes.  

When you are pregnant and directly after birth, you lose more electrolytes than any other time in your life. Replenishing electrolytes is very important for a nursing mother to maintain hydration and therefore, to provide good milk supply and for an essential healthy overall well-being. 

We should all be drinking enough water. But water alone doesn’t include all the trace elements and minerals needed for optimum hydration and great circulation.

Cellnutrition Quinton Isotonic helps restore electrolytes and the presence of all 78 trace elements and minerals in a bioavalable, 100% natural form that hydrates your body more effectively as this brings more water into the cells and holds it there. 

Please say yes to a glass of wine, coffee and tea?

Caffeine levels peak in breastmilk after one to two hours of a mom drinking a cuppa before tapering off. The good news is that the rate caffeine transfers from the breastmilk to the baby is very minimal with a percentage ranging from 0.06 to 1.5%, most babies will not be affected by this quantity. So, we recommend that breastfeeding moms limit their caffeine intake to under 300 milligrams a day which is about two cups of coffee or tea. Remember that many herbal teas including Green Tea contain caffeine, as do several other products. Be sure to check product labels for caffeine levels when considering your total daily intake level.

How about that glass of wine? Oops sorry! Breastfeeding moms should avoid all alcohol until baby is over three months old. If you do intend to consume an alcoholic drink before or after this period, it is advised that you try to avoid breastfeeding for two to three hours after every drink consumed. This allows enough time for the alcohol to leave the breastmilk and helps to minimise the risk of your baby’s little system of being exposed. 

It is important to remember that hydration supports normal energy levels and is vital to detoxifying the blood from things like alcohol. We are all human and we do all battle to maintain sometimes. We understand. If you’ve indulged in a glass or two, consider supplementing with Cellnutrition Quinton Isotonic. It is suitable for all ages, including those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or with underlying health conditions. It is beneficial to restore and contribute to all-round health and supports hydration at the cellular level which can help you feel more energised whilst supporting you at a cellular level. 

So, can I eat spicy food? Garlic? What about other fragrant herbs and spices?

Cellnutrition recommends that breastfeeding moms go on an eating adventure with an outcome in mind. During infancy and childhood, individuals are known to be very receptive to sensory and cognitive learning and these behaviours that are learnt can stimulate later life food behaviours and preferences. A mothers diet is known to have an impact on the flavour of their breastmilk being produced. New research is looking into whether the flavour of breastmilk can alter children’s food preferences later in life.

There has been a strong link that supports the fact children who are breastfeed tend to have a more adventurous palate when they start eating solid foods. This is because some foods a mother consumes have distinctive flavours that have been shown to be transmitted to breastmilk, these tend to be things like vanilla, carrot, garlic, anise and mint.

The baby can create memories of these flavours and these can be formed even before birth. These memories can then alter their perception of food flavours and choices later in life. Therefore, if a mother consumes an adventurous diet when breastfeeding, it could help expose her child to a range of flavours making them more likely to adapt good eating habits in the future. 

In conclusion, a healthy diet is always important but is especially important when breastfeeding.  A nursing mother uses a lot of energy and nutrients when breastfeeding. It is important to nourish yourself, supplement yourself and care for yourself mindfully.

A healthy, nutritional diet is essential for both the mom and tot to maintain optimum health and wellbeing. Correct supplementation can be beneficial to ensure you and your baby are both fully hydrated and your cells are functioning optimally. Cellnutrition’s Health Bundle provides all the products mentioned in this article including the essential fatty acids and minerals both you and your baby need to thrive.

provides all the products mentioned in this article including the essential fatty acids and minerals both you and your baby need to thrive.