Motherhood and pregnancy bring several changes to your life. If this is your second or third baby, you may know what to expect. With your first baby, the changes can be overwhelming. One of the big factors that you may not have thought too much about is what to eat when breastfeeding.
Your body might experience several changes after giving birth. A major one is the relevance of eating healthy foods.
The exciting thing about changing your diet is that it is never too late to begin.
So What kinds of foods should you eat to stay healthy during breastfeeding? Below are some healthy foods and a habit to follow during breastfeeding:
Eat Lots Of Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits are vital when it comes to a healthy diet while breastfeeding. These foods provide vitamins such as B1, B2, B6, and C, which assist in keeping you healthy and are also important for the production of milk.
In addition, fruits such as bananas, apples, grapes, and oranges contain antioxidants that help your body get rid of the free radicals which could build up and trigger long-term damage.
Let’s not forget about the FIBRE. Fibre assists your body in absorbing the minerals and vitamins while also helping in the digestive process.
2. A Small Amount of Lean Protein Can Be Very Important
Lean protein helps in providing the nine vital amino acids which your body cannot manufacture on its own and which are not available in most foods.
Sources of lean protein include foods such as:
For a proper healthy breastfeeding diet, add 3 servings of lean protein daily.
3. Include Whole Grains to Each Meal
While you could meet your daily carbohydrate needs with vegetables and fruits, whole grains are an excellent supplement to all healthy breastfeeding diets. Whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice are much denser in carbohydrate and calorie count than most vegetables and fruits.
In fact, it takes five cups of broccoli to match up with the number of carbohydrates in a half cup of brown rice. That is a lot of broccoli! Due to their density, we recommend keeping your consumption of whole grains to three servings per day.
Concentrate on vegetables and fruits but add a little amount of fresh-baked bread, pita, or pasta with each meal.
4. Ensure you Get Enough Iron!!!
During pregnancy, the iron content inside your blood gets diluted by an increase in the volume of red blood cells. This is a normal part of pregnancy, hence, there is nothing to worry about. It simply means that you will need to monitor, and probably increase, your intake of iron while you are breastfeeding.
The reason to be aware of your intake of iron is that it helps in storing and transporting oxygen within your body. It also helps in the production of energy, cell respiration, as well as the production of white blood cells that fight bacteria. Extreme fatigue, dizziness, paleness and shortness of breath are some of the symptoms of low iron and are important to be aware of.
Breastfeeding will come with several changes and challenges to your life, so always be patient and take proper care of yourself while you also take care of your newborn. Keep the four healthy breastfeeding diet tips highlighted above in mind. This will help you get the right nutrients to keep you and your baby healthy.