First of all, if you are considering breastfeeding or already are, kudos to you! It is a commitment that many fear of making, but those that do would do it all over again. It’s also a healthy choice for you and your baby. While breastfeeding, there are some nutritional tips that you should keep in mind to aid in keeping yourself and your baby healthy as well as keeping your milk flow going strong.
You need more calories, but you don’t want to fill those calories with junk food. With your body having to produce the food for another being as well as giving nutrients to yourself, it’s going to ask you for more food, similar to when you were pregnant. Be sure that you are filling those calories with healthy foods like fruits and veggies, and not chips and fast food, your body will thank you. Don't count calories when you are breastfeeding. Your body burns a lot of calories when you're nursing; I know you may be trying to lose the baby weight, but your child needs to be putting on weight.
Eat smaller amounts more often. Since you will be feeding your baby frequently, you will also need to be regularly eating to keep up with the supply your infant needs. Small healthy snacks will keep your body energized and ready to provide milk for your little one whenever they need it. Some great snacks to help energize you as well are almonds, apples, and hummus. Make sure you're getting complex carbs from whole grains and not processed and starchy foods.
Milk production relies on healthy eating. The more healthy foods that you eat, the better your milk supply will be, and the happier your baby will be. Milk is produced by taking nutrients from your body, eating healthy boosts your milk supply, as well as your personal health. Plus, you'll just feel better.
Eat a variety of foods while breastfeeding. Believe it or not, your baby will prefer you to eat certain foods. Your milk will taste different depending on what you eat before feeding your baby. By eating a variety of foods, you will expose your baby to new and different tastes that will help later on when they begin eating solids. Keep in mind that your baby very well may not like some foods that you eat. If they seem fussy while eating, this could be the reason. If your baby seems to have colic, take a look at this resource.
Stay hydrated! Water will also help your milk flow. With your little one taking fluids from you, you will need to replenish them fast. Be sure to drink as much water as possible all day. If you are bad at remembering to drink water throughout the day like myself, I suggest setting a timer. There are also apps that offer notifications to remind you to drink.
If you are heading back to work, these tips are essential because you'll be pumping while your baby is away. Medela has introduced a new app that helps you track all your baby's needs, including an awesome timer that tracks how long the baby nurses at each breast! It's called the My Medela App, and it's available in the App Store and on the Google Play store.
Want more advice or have advice to share? Medela has a dedicated resource hub for working moms, featuring everything you need to know to support your breastfeeding journey at www.MedelaAtWork.com.
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