Having a new baby is an exciting but busy time! Mums must remember to look after themselves as well as their babies. Eating a healthy but balanced diet is just as important for you as it is for your baby. Did you know that what you eat can affect your milk supply when breastfeeding? In fact, it can affect not only how much milk you are producing but also the quality of it too.
We’ve all heard pregnant women joke about eating for two but you actually need to eat more when you are breastfeeding than when you were pregnant!
In most cases all you need to do is add an extra snack to your day. Try one of these healthy snacks to get you started:
- Fruit toast
- Fruit – fresh, tinned in natural juice, dried
- Home-made fruit smoothies
- Milky Milo
- Sandwich or toasted sandwich
- Home-made popcorn
- Vegetables sticks or crackers with salsa, hommus, cottage cheese, or tzatziki dip
- Crackers with avocado, paté, or sliced tomato
Plan ahead so there are always healthy meals and snack choices in the house and keep a container of nuts and dried fruit in your handbag or baby bag for when you are out and about.
Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day and have frequent sips. You need to drink about 9 cups of water a day while you are breastfeeding.
Remember that food is fuel for your body….
Your body is clever and puts the food you eat to better use when you are breastfeeding to make sure that your baby gets the vital nutrients it needs for healthy growth and development.
It’s important to be mindful of your diet and lifestyle when breastfeeding. Chances are, you’re going to be sleep deprived, stressed, and maybe feeling a little under the weather. A healthy, balanced diet can help to ward these things off. We recommend that you:
- Eat a wide variety of foods from the five food groups (vegetables, fruit, meat, dairy, and breads/cereals)
- Limit your intake of processed foods and foods high in added sugar and fat
- Drink plenty of water.
If you or someone you know is having any problems with breastfeeding, make an appointment to see the local GP or Child Health Nurse. The Australian Breastfeeding Association also have a breastfeeding helpline which is 1800 686 268.