You will hear breastfeeding supporters always telling you about the superior nutritional value of breast milk over formula. What most of them neglect to tell you is the quality of the breast milk nutrition is exactly equal to the nutritional quality of the mother’s diet. A breastfeeding diet is not to lose weight, but to make sure you get the proper nutrition for you, and for your baby.
Next time you are in the store stop in the baby supply area and pick up a can of formula. Turn it around and look at all the nutritional information. Actually read through it carefully. Now, stop and think about the amazing fact your body needs to produce the same level of nutrition in your breast milk to keep your baby healthy. This should start to give you a good idea of why a breastfeeding diet plan is so important.
Your obstetrician and the pediatrician have probably both told you it is very important you continue to take a daily vitamin. They commonly recommend you keep taking the same prenatal vitamin because it is loaded with essential nutrition. Their advice is very wise.
When you hear the words “breastfeeding diet” you may have immediately said “Oh No”. Relax, this is not a set in stone, eat this and only this, type of diet. This is guidelines you should follow to make sure you get high amounts of nutrition to help produce the highest quality milk.
The first essential is getting plenty of water. This should go without saying, but is often overlooked. Your baby is taking 24 to 36 ounces of fluid out of you every day. Your body already needed around 96 ounces of water for healthy functioning by itself. Now you need to add a little more.
As far as eating, common sense is the best rule. Make sure you get a good mix of green, yellow, and orange vegetables. Eat a serving of protein at every meal. Include whole grain bread, cereals, or pasta in your daily diet. Eat a variety of fresh fruits. Eating a citrus fruit daily is a great choice. Make sure you include dairy in your daily diet.
What? You expected you needed to know exactly how much of each to eat at every meal? Your body is very efficient at extracting and using nutrition when it is provided to it. By eating a good mix of fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, and dairy products throughout the day your breastfeeding diet will be very complete.
Your best guideline on quantity is to simply monitor your own weight. Many breastfeeding mothers are interested in losing a little weight, which is fine. Monitor your weight and make sure you never lose more than 1 or 2 pounds in any week. If you see your weight loss is more, you need to increase intake. If you are not trying to lose weight, monitor your weight and vary your quantity of food to maintain your weight. It is really that simple.
Your breastfeeding diet does not need to become complicated like so many people tell you. Eat with common sense with lots of variety and your baby is going to thrive.