Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
You have made the choice to Breastfeed your baby.
This may not be the easiest thing you have ever done, but it has a multitude of benefits for both your baby and you.
Your diet may now be a major concern for you–as it was during your pregnancy. There are still concerns of whether or not you can eat or drink certain things, and sometimes it can feel stressful. Though there are not strict guidelines to follow, here are some general tips that you and your baby can benefit from:
- It is necessary to up your calorie intake some while you are breastfeeding, just like it is while you are pregnant, however it is the quality of the foods you eat and not necessarily the quantity that counts.
- An extra 200-300 calories on average is what you need.
- Healthy food choices can not be replaced by vitamin and mineral supplements. That being said, some breast-feeding moms may need supplements on top of a healthy diet – it’s best to consult your healthcare provider about this.
- For specific tips on meal ideas, visit I Nurse My Baby, an online forum for breastfeeding support.
- Drink plenty of fluids in order to stay hydrated and more fluids than usual if your urine is dark yellow.
- A common word of advice is to drink a glass of water or some other beverage each time you breast-feed – limit beverages that have added sugars like soft drinks and fruit drinks.
- Coffee and other caffeinated beverages – in moderation – do not cause problems for most breast-feeding babies. Too much caffeine, though, can make for a fussy and restless baby!
- If your baby is experiencing stomach problems, gas, and/or reflux, it may be an allergy from something you are consuming.
- Dairy, gluten, or soy can be major allergens.
- It is extremely rare that a baby is allergic to breast milk, switching to formula will most likely make an allergen issue worse.
- Eliminating the suspected allergen from your diet for a minimum of 3 weeks is suggested to see if that is what is causing the problem.
If you are concerned if something is safe while you are breastfeeding Kelly Mom has great resources for you.
If you are in need of breastfeeding support, contact a local La Leche League leader to attend a meeting or schedule a one-on-one visit.