Healthy Diet Tips for Successful Breastfeeding
Having a baby is one of the most incredible, life-changing moments of your life. The moment you and your baby’s eyes meet for the first time, you understand exactly what it means when parents say that they would do anything for their kids.
As a new mom, you’ve probably heard that, if it’s an option, breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby. Not only does it provide invaluable bonding time, but it’s also nutritionally the number one thing you can do for your baby’s brain and development.
If only breastfeeding were easy!
For some women and babies, it just comes naturally. But, for others, it is something that must be worked on day after day. While giving up can be tempting for many reasons, there are ways to help make sure breastfeeding is a success.
One of these things is eating right. A healthy diet can do wonders for your milk supply and can make sure that your baby is getting all of the great things they need – and none of the stuff that could potentially make your milk difficult to digest or enjoy.
Below you will find some of the best diet tips for successful breastfeeding from mothers who have been there!
- Stay hydrated. Just as this was important in your non-breastfeeding days, it continues to be. The difference is, you now may need to remind yourself to stay hydrated more often now than when you weren’t looking after a newborn. Your mind is preoccupied with a million other things, and that is understandable. However, remember your baby benefits from your health as well. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, and remember your body gets fluids from fruits, vegetables, juices, soup, and other foods as well.
- Eat a diet rich in iron. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient disorder in the world. It can lead to delays in development that can’t be undone. For this reason, it is very important your baby is receiving enough iron (not too much). Not to mention many women lack iron after pregnancy as they have lost a lot of blood during delivery, and continue to do so during their periods. To ensure you have enough iron for you and your baby, focus on eating foods like seafood, dark leafy greens, and beans.
- Continue taking prenatal vitamins. This is a good idea to ensure you are getting all the essential vitamins and minerals you need. Though you can do this through a well-balanced diet, being a new mom can mean you get busy and sometimes aren’t able to consume the best diet possible. One little vitamin a day can go a long way for your health!
- Avoid “gassy” vegetables to avoid a colicky baby. Your baby may suffer from an unsettled tummy with foods like onions, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. If you notice an uncomfortable baby after they eat, stay away from those “gassy” foods for a little.
- Avoid caffeine. Newborn babies can be very sensitive to caffeine, especially if you didn’t drink any during your pregnancy. Try to limit your caffeine intake until your baby is a bit older, and can process it easier.
- Try fenugreek. Fenugreek is a herb used in Chinese medicine that supports lactation. It can be especially great for mothers who are having trouble lactating. An easy way to use the herb is through an herbal tincture that is easy to find in many natural food stores.
The challenges of new motherhood are many. Breastfeeding is no easy feat, but it’s so good for your baby! Remember, the longer you breastfeed the easier it gets. You and your baby will get to know one another better, and understand one another better, With practice, you will both come to love feeding time.
Oh, and the most important tip? Don’t forget to be kind and patient with yourself. You’ve got this, momma!