what to eat while breastfeeding?

(July 22, 2010)

Breastfeeding Foods

Breastfeeding is a natural process and the mother’s body is able to produce a sufficient milk supply for the baby. However, it is important for the mother to eat well so that her breast milk supplies vital nutrients to the infant. The mother should continue taking prenatal vitamins, but the rest of the essential nutrients must come from food. The key to providing high quality breast milk to your child is to ensure that you eat healthy foods.

There is no particular diet that is considered to be ideal for breastfeeding mothers. There are many cultural differences in the kind of foods mothers eat and this will cause slight variations in the constituents of breast milk. However, the general consensus is that a breastfeeding mother should consume a diet that has a minimal amount of fat, salt, caffeine, and sugar in it. Iron-rich foods supply important nutrients to the child and hence these must be included in a daily diet while breastfeeding. Such foods include beans, broccoli, meat and dark green leafy vegetables. High fiber foods are also beneficial. These include foods such as dried fruit, whole grains, beans, and vegetables. These help to improve the health of the mother during breastfeeding. An important point to remember is that along with a healthy diet, daily exercise is also important.

Breastfeeding tends to be an energy-consuming process and most mothers are generally pressed for time and try to skip meals. This is a very unhealthy habit and it will have negative effects on both you and your baby. It is possible to incorporate healthy foods into your daily diet through some simple and easy methods. Breakfast is an important meal of the day and one can prepare a healthy breakfast by simply adding some berries to a bowl of cereal. You can also add dried fruit or granola to low-fat yoghurt. For those who like bagels, add chopped carrots and tomatoes and some cottage cheese to a whole grain bagel. Lunch or dinner can be made healthier by adding some peas or beans to a salad. You can also add healthy oils such as olive and flaxseed oil to meals. Keeping cut vegetables in the refrigerator is also a good idea as these constitute a healthy snack that can be eaten at any time of the day. You can also obtain valuable protein from hard boiled eggs. Another good energy booster is an easy-to-prepare peanut butter sandwich. Also remember to drink plenty of water. Insufficient water intake can lead to tiredness and nausea. Low-fat milk is also another great nutrient-rich drink and you can have small amounts of it throughout your day to keep your energy levels elevated.  

Submitted by P T on July 22, 2010 at 04:09

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