New moms find themselves gaining weight uncontrollably during pregnancy, even if they are eating well. Then once the baby is here, their dietary needs change in order to stay healthy and produce healthy breast milk for their infant. The right balance of good food will help keep a new mom healthy. It is important for them to know the foods eat and avoid during breastfeeding.
Foods You Should Eat While Breastfeeding
Here is a list of foods that you should take while you are breastfeeding your baby.
- At least three servings of protein per day – protein ranges from eggs, red meat, poultry, fish and beans.
- Five servings of calcium per day – cheese, milk, yogurt and sardines.
- One or more servings of iron rich food – egg yolks, beans, liver and dried fruit such as prunes.
- Two servings of vitamin c – oranges and orange juice are high in vitamin c, bell peppers, guavas and broccoli.
- Three to four servings of green leafy and yellow vegetables or fruits – not just salad greens but also kale and collard greens as well as squash and peppers, bananas and mangos.
- One or more servings of other fruits and vegetables – any fruit or vegetable that is not yellow. Remember, consuming too much fruit could cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
- Three or more servings of whole-grain or other concentrated complex carbohydrates – pasta, bagels, whole wheat bread, pancakes and cereals.
- Small or limited amounts of high fat foods – this includes candy, fast food and fried foods.
- Eight cups of water, juice or non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic drinks – never force yourself to drink more than your stomach can handle. This will cause stomach problems for the new mom.
- Foods rich in DHA to help promote the baby’s brain growth – wild salmon, sardines and eggs are excellent sources of DHA
- One prenatal vitamin daily – this can either be a vitamin prescribed by the doctor or an over the counter prenatal vitamin.
Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
During breastfeeding, new moms are able to eat much more than non-lactating woman. There are still foods that need to be avoided when breastfeeding.
- Wine is not completely off the menu, but needs to be modified to one to two glasses per week. It is best if you have a glass right after you nurse so that the alcohol has time to work out of the system before the baby needs to nurse again.
- Limit coffee consumption as more than one to two cups per day can make the baby jittery and not able to sleep well.
- Fish that is high in mercury should be avoided. Sushi is alright in small amounts. Tuna fish that is canned in not ideal, nor is shark, tilefish and mackerel.
- Read labels when looking for herbal teas. Some are not recommended for lactating women.
- If there are food allergies that run in the family such as nuts, avoid eating these while nursing.
- Avoid sugar substitutes, especially saccharine. Sugar substitutes will pass through the breast milk to the baby.