Nutritional consideration for mom and baby
Mothers do not need to follow a special diet to breastfeed. However, following a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of liquids will have baby and mother in prime condition for healthy, happy lives. Here are a few nutritional considerations to mom’s get focused on her eating and drinking patterns:
Fluids, fluids, fluids. After the baby is delivered, the fluid gained through pregnancy starts to evacuate, leaving new moms thirsty. The body starts to balance out after the first couple of days, but moms should consume plenty of liquids to meet the body’s needs. Water should always be the primary choice, but organic milk and juice are okay. Avoid caffeinated drinks.
Sustainability tip: Bring your favorite Tervis tumbler or stainless-steel mug full of your favorite drink to cut back on waste plastics, such as water bottles.
Eat enough calories through a well-balanced diet. Producing food that can help prevent diseases and regulate temperature for your little one burns many calories. This is why moms will find themselves feeling (sometimes excessively) hungry during the first few months of breastfeeding. Do not ignore these feelings as it is essential to consume at least an extra 500-600 – totaling around 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day. As always, whole organic foods are the best option when it comes to reaching optimal health through nutrition.
For more information, check out The Best Foods For Nursing Mothers.
REMEMBER – what mom consumes, baby consumes.
Choosing ‘comfort foods. Mom will know quickly when the baby does not like a food – mother’s instincts and a bit of gas. No magic list included.
Ditch caffeine. If a mom chooses to drink caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or soda, baby might come irritable, jittery, and develop sleeping problems. If ditching caffeinated drinks is just not an option for you, limit consumption to around two 8-oz servings a day.
Ditch any product which says sugar free or fat free. Natural whole food is the best. Take this time to explore good nutrient rich food.
Avoid adult beverages when possible. While breastfeeding, it is best practice to avoid or limit alcoholic beverages. However, the occasional beverage is not entirely contraindicated as alcohol passes through the breast milk at the same rate that it escapes the bloodstream. If moms do plan on consuming alcohol, breastfeed before consumption or use a test-kit afterward. Absolutely never breastfeed while intoxicated.
Say no to smoking or using tobacco. Nicotine will pass into breast milk and should be avoided. Babies who are affected by nicotine may experience respiratory illness, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, and an increased heart rate. Second-hand smoke causes infants at an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Reach out for help with nutrition, if needed. Special Nutritional Programs for Women, Infants, and Children are available through League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), such as WIC. WIC is a program that provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, healthcare referrals, and nutrition education to low-income families who are pregnant or postpartum (regardless of breastfeeding or not). This program supports the nutritional needs for up to the age of 5.
“Empowered women, empower women” – unknown
It is best to speak to your general practitioner about your plan of action for feeding your child. Breastfeeding infants and young children is a beautiful and beneficial process that should be a cultural norm. Join the movement to continue educating and empowering families around the world by making breastfeeding a social norm and the most optimal feeding option for the healthy development of their little ones.