What to Eat While Breastfeeding
Are you concern about how to loose weight while breastfeeding? Do you want to make sure your baby gets the best nutrition? Are you not quite sure what to eat while you are breastfeeding? If so, let us help you optimize your breastfeeding diet.
It is important to keep your diet clean and nutrient dense while you are nursing. This is essential not only for baby’s health, but also for your health. You may have heard that breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories per day, but where those 500 calories come from is really important and can't just come from junk food. You need to focus instead on eating healthy food, avoiding as much junk and processed foods as possible. Babies need healthy fats for for healthy development, and you need to consume those for them.
What is a healthy fat and what does it do? Well, healthy fats are plant based fats, such as avocado, olive oil and coconut oils. Fill your diet with fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and herring, grass-fed beef and full-fat dairy. These healthy fats help boost the immune system, help prevent post-partum depression, and are an important part of healthy brain development. Fat isn't always a bad word, but you should avoid all trans fats, vegetable, and canola oils whenever possible., since they contain polyunsaturated fatty acids which can cause inflammation.
Having stable blood sugar helps you function better through long days of running on very little sleep. Protein is a nursing mother’s best friend. Protein provides you with plenty of energy, keeps you full longer and helps regulate blood sugar. You last meal of the day should be higher in protein. Some great choices would be lean meats, nuts and seeds, full-fat plain Greek yogurt, raw cheese and even whey protein powder.
The largest part of your diet should consist of vegetables, especially leafy greens. Fresh vegetables can be eaten cooked or tossed into smoothies for an extra burst of vitamins. Have a few bite size pieces of celery, carrots, kohlrabi, peppers, or your favorite finger vegetables cut up and ready in the refrigerator for a quick snack! Adding a little bit of a healthy fat to your veggies can make them tastier but can also help you absorb their fat-soluble vitamins. Try keeping fruits to only few times per day, and eat them with some protein, since they can cause blood-sugar spikes and crashes for both mother and baby.
But what about my weight?! If you are like most moms, you are probably concerned about shedding your pregnancy weight. Don't be! Remember that not everyone loses weight while breastfeeding. Just because they do it in Hollywood, doesn't make it the healthy. The most important people right now are you and your baby. Cutting your calories below 1,200 a day is unhealthy for you and your baby since it can affect the quality of breast milk. Sometimes not losing weight can be tied to postpartum hormonal imbalances. Be kind to yourself and remember that you are growing a human being; the weight loss is not as important, and it will happen eventually.
~ Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.