Diet & Breastfeeding

Your diet during breastfeeding does not require you to sacrifice your favourite foods or engage in lengthy preparation nor does it require you to eat unusual foods in large quantities. Your diet can fit around your own preferences.

A diet that is balanced and healthy can provide many advantages as well as those that will affect you and your infant. Healthy eating habits should be established in preparation for when your infant eats with you and the rest of the family.

Even if some nutrients are missing from your diet but you are still able to produce milk helping your baby to grow. Research has found that there is not much difference in the milk provided by a healthy mother and a malnourished mother. If you lack calories in your diet, your body will make up the shortfall from reserves that were made during your pregnancy. Providing there is no medical reason why you are unable to produce milk, your body will be able to produce enough milk for your baby no matter what you eat.

You may feel confused about all the myths regarding diet as many cultures make different recommendations. This may also make you feel less inclined to breastfeed. The majority of woman who breastfeed do not have perfect diets although regardless of their culture, they are still able to produce a sufficient supply of breast milk that helps their baby grow. The most important thing to remember is that an adequate, healthy, balanced diet is the ideal diet for a breastfeeding woman. Although we all enjoy food that is not ideal for us, the food we do eat is still good enough to make sure that we have the sufficient quantity of the right foods for the purpose of breastfeeding. You should bear in mind, though, that maintaining good nutrition assists the mother with her good health.

You should aim to maintain a varied diet by eating an assortment of all the different food groups. Ensure that you eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, cooked and raw, grains such as wheat, rice, corn, barley and millet. Include eating grains whole and broken in kernels as well as the products such as bread and pasta that are made from them.
Animal sources such as dairy products (eggs mean and fish) along with lentils, beans, soybeans provide protein. Cold-pressed vegetable oils and small quantities of uncooked fats should also be consumed.

To ensure that your diet is balanced, you should eat a variety of these foods. Consume eat food in different ways, for example fruits and vegetables can be cooked in different ways. Vitamins and proteins can be better absorbed when other minerals and vitamins are consumed together. However, eating certain foods excessively can be a detriment.
For example, iron is much better utilized within the body if vitamin C is present in the diet. On the other hand, an excess of some kinds of foods can be detrimental. Its just a question of getting the balance just right.

Fresh and whole foods are better for you and taste better. They contain a larger amount of vitamins and have not undergone oxidation or storage damage. You should try to minimise your intake of additives, flavourings, colourings and preservatives, it will be much better for both you and your baby