A common question that arises in the minds of breastfeeding mothers is whether whatever they eat has an effect on breast milk. Furthermore, they might also worry about the baby’s health and allergies that may be caused due to the same. Perhaps you might also be wondering as to what diet plan is right at this stage and what all food items you need to get rid of from your diet plan.
Here’s a list of some tips that you could follow up for planning your diet.
What to eat??
- Include proteins such as fish, eggs, poultry, beans, meat, seeds, etc. in your daily diet for at least 2 to 3 servings.
- Include dark green and yellow vegetables in your diet by having at least 2-3 times a day.
- Also include whole-grain food items such as pasta, cereal, oats and bread in your daily diet.
- Do not forget to have fruits regularly.
- Satisfy your thirst by drinking the required amount of water. Do not force yourself to drink fluid even if you are not thirsty. Many women have a common misconception about the fact that drinking more fluid can increase the supply.
- Note that the restrictions that were imposed during pregnancy do not carry forward in the diet plan for breastfeeding mothers.
- The most compatible diet plan is one that consists of vegetables. In case you decide to skip meat, make sure to have other sources of zinc and iron through other food items. In the case of a vegan diet, you might require to take B12 supplements so that your baby does not suffer from a deficiency of B12.
How much to eat??
Breastfeeding mothers often require to have a higher calorie intake. In case you still have the weight due to pregnancy, those calories will be eventually utilized for your milk. For those mothers who have lost weight, they need to add on a minimum of at least 500 to 600 calories per day in addition. Once the baby becomes 6 months old and starts having other sources of food, you can then reduce your calorie intake.
Alcohol and caffeine intake
In case you wish to have alcohol, make sure to wait for at least 2-3 hours after each serving before you breastfeed your baby. Remember that alcohol does not stay in your milk for long and is immediately drained off once the blood level goes down. The moment you feel sober, the alcohol present in your milk will disappear quickly.
Caffeine does not have much effect on the baby. But sometimes if you notice that your baby is feeling irritated or suffering from a lack of sleep, it is recommended to reduce the levels of caffeine intake. Note that smaller babies might be more sensitive when it comes to caffeine as compared to the bigger ones.
Sharing with your baby
- The most important omega 3 fatty acid that your baby requires for its proper brain development is DHA. The most common source of DHA is fish and therefore breastfeeding mothers are required to consume fish at least 2-3 times every week. Make sure to avoid having fish that have high levels of Mercury.
- Note that the flavors that you incorporate in your diet are added to your milk as well.
- Also, the color of the food that you incorporate in your diet is also reflected in your milk such as those of food dyes, herbal supplements or even the green vegetables that you consume.
Allergies in babies
- In rare situations, there are possibilities that the baby might start building allergy forwards a particular food item consumed by the mother. This could cause green or mucus-like stools for the baby.
- There are certain food items that are likely to cause allergies among most babies. These food items particularly include wheat, dairy products, soy products, and eggs. Apart from these, foods like fish, corn or peanuts can also cause allergies among babies.
- One of the best methods in knowing which food causes allergies in your baby is to maintain a food diary. Knowing what you eat daily and what effect it has on your baby will definitely help you keep a track of items that are safe for intake for your baby.
These are some of the best tips that breastfeeding mothers can consider while carefully planning out their diet for a healthy life for you as well as your baby.