Food & Diet
Best & Worst Food for Breastfeeding Mothers
Breastfeeding is very important if you want your baby to grow into a healthy little boy or girl, and there are many good things about it. However, for your milk to be good for your baby you need to be careful about what you eat and drink, because – remember – the nutrients go from you to your little angel.
Eating a well balanced diet is very important, and there are some foods that are very good for you, while others should be avoided.
Here are the best and worst foods for you if you are a breastfeeding mom.
1. Complex Carbohydrates Vs. Simple Carbohydrates
Complex carbs include whole grains, cereals, fruits and vegetables. These foods will keep you at high energy levels, prevent strong hunger strikes that would maybe lead you to reach out for some of the harmful foods. They also provide you with many nutrients your body needs in order to stay healthy, such as vitamins and minerals, and those nutrients pass on to your baby so it is important that you choose good carbohydrates, as the one mentioned above, instead of simple carbs such as starches and sugar that are not really recommendable in this stage (or ever, for that matter).
Sugars contained in juices, chocolates, pastries are the nutrients you may think you need, but you actually don’t. These foods only raise your blood sugar levels so high that you experience an energy rush, but it only lasts for a little while and then you crash and feel exhausted. You don’t need that, especially at the time you should be completely attentive and committed to your baby.
Also, you should avoid eating wheat, because it can lead your baby to start crying uncontrollably. If this happens, your baby may have wheat allergy and you should eliminate it from your diet completely while you are breastfeeding.
2. Good Sources of Fat Vs. Bad Sources of Fat
Such as olive oil and fatty fish.
When it comes to fats coming from plants, the best choices are olives, nuts and seeds, and avocados. These are all monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and you should introduce them into your daily diet, because besides keeping you healthy and boosting your metabolism and immune system, they will also benefit your baby’s health.
On the other hand, you should stay away from the BAD SOURCES OF FAT such as the ones coming from high-fat meats, whole milk, butter, lard, and hydrogenated oils. These are all trans-fats and saturated fats, and they will not harm you if you eat them in small doses and only occasionally, but avoid eating them all the time because too much of this kind of fat can affect your breast milk which can then become unhealthy for your baby.
3. Avoid Caffeine
There is caffeine in coffee, tea, soda, and even in chocolate, so avoiding these foods/drinks is highly advisable. You may think it is harmless, but the fact is that some of that caffeine goes to your breast milk and basically you let your baby drink coffee. All jokes set aside, when caffeine gets to your baby and it takes it in, it may make your baby irritated, cranky and unable to fall asleep, because they don’t have the ability to excrete caffeine as quickly as we do. If you really like coffee and tea, look for those decaffeinated versions and save your baby many sleepless nights, and yourself from the stress caused by your baby’s nervousness.
4. Drink Fresh Fruit Juices
Fruits are great for new moms, not just for eating but drinking as well, but don’t start eating/drinking large amounts of citrus fruits at once because your baby may be sensitive to it. The best side of these fruits is that they are packed with vitamin C, which is very important for you and your baby.
5. Eat and Drink Dairy Products
There are many controversies about how healthy dairy products actually are, but the fact is that they are an excellent source of protein and calcium – nutrients that both you and your baby need, especially while you are breastfeeding. However, maybe you should choose dairy products that are not too fatty, but not entirely non-fat either. Find a balance and your body and baby will be grateful.
Of course, if you are lactose intolerant, than avoid it.
6. Drink a Lot of Fluids, But Stay Away from Alcohol
Hydration is always very important, and water is the best liquid you could drink, but as we mentioned you can also drink fruit juices and dairy products. Make sure you avoid soda and drinks that contain artificial ingredients, and have in mind that everything you eat and drink ends up in your milk and benefits or harms your baby, depending on the choices you make.
One of those bad choices is alcohol. It enters your breast milk and ends up in your baby’s stomach, and it can also make you lose your milk or start leaking uncontrollably. If your baby drinks your milk after you’ve had a drink, it will make him/her sleep less and be drowsy all he time.
If it happens that you had a drink and you don’t want it to affect the baby – make sure you wait around 3 hours before you breastfeed so your body can eliminate the alcohol from the milk (but this only works if you haven’t had more than one glass of wine).