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What to eat when Breastfeeding?

One of the biggest concerns that breastfeeding women have is the food that they have to eat to keep the flow of milk regular and healthy for their baby. Such a concern is a very legitimate one. It is important to understand that for the first few months of your baby’s life, he will be solely relying on the nutrition provided by your breast milk. Also, you have to be careful when you are lactating because substances like caffeine and alcohol can pass through the milk and can cause your baby some developmental problems.

Babies need plenty of nutrients.

Babies need a lot of nutrients to support their development. Their bodies require sustainable amounts of calories for energy. Protein is also necessary to aid in the formation of new cells and maintenance of the existing ones. Vitamins and minerals are essential for growth and protection of their bodies form infections. Lastly, adequate amounts of fluid are needed to prevent dehydration and the other complications that come along with it.

For them to get all those, mothers are encouraged to eat a balanced meal. A balanced meal is composed of a healthy serving of foods with nutrients and vitamins and minerals.

Carbohydrate requirements are met by taking in foods like :

  • breads
  • pastas
  • potatoes
  • legumes

Protein on the other hand can be obtained from:

  • fish
  • red meats
  • poultry products like chicken and eggs
  • dairy products like milk and cheese

Taking in fluids when breastfeeding

It is also important to take a lot of fluids when you are breastfeeding; this is to replenish the fluid that you lose in the form of milk. Although it is not expressly recommended, you would benefit from drinking or eating food that is rich in calcium. This is because women tend to loose calcium when they are breastfeeding. You can get calcium from dairy products and some other food items too.

Alcohol consumption when breastfeeding.

Alcohol consumption is an important concern for mothers who are lactating. Although there has been no conclusive study done with regards to the long term effect of alcohol on your baby, it has been shown that babies who breastfeed a few hours after their mothers took alcohol, seem fidgety and restless. If you are considering drinking alcohol while you are breast feeding, it is advised that you take the substance in moderation and preferably after you have breastfed your baby and not before.

Alcohol content in your breast milk

Remember that no amount of milk expression and fluid intake would remove the alcohol content from your breast milk; all you have to do is wait it out until the alcohol has been passed from your body. This normally takes 3 to 5 hours.

Breastfeeding mothers can eat almost anything they want provided that they are taken in moderate amounts and are sure to be safe for them and their babies. If you are in doubt of the nutritional value of the food, you can always seek the help of a physician or a dietician. They can help you in choosing the foods where you can benefit from the most. They can also help you plan your daily meals to ensure both you and your baby’s optimum nutrition.

Related links

How Much Formula to Feed Baby?
Foods to avoid while Breastfeeding
Baby Formula Allergies


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