Milk-tanker, Moo-moo, Boobs – these are a few of my nicknames now haha. I love them!! While we are more than just a set of boobs, the breastfeeding thing is important for our babies.
First off, let me say – that baby in your arms, you made that! Your uterus was home to your child while they formed all those features which you stare at in awe and kiss every day. Your body was their home while you grew them into tiny humans. Well done. Whether by C-Section or Vaginal, your body has bought life into this world. And now you are making milk for him or her to thrive on!! These are privileges denied to many. Well done, you. You and your body are amazing.
Breastfeeding is a learned thing, you and your new baby learn how to do it together and you both get better at it as time goes on. Once you get the hang of it, you might wonder – is it normal to be so freakin’ thirsty all the time? How am I eating so much food? Can I lose the baby weight while maintaining supply? Yes, yes, yes. Here’s the what and why about it:
Your body is producing milk and every Mum I talk to claims to be more thirsty than normal. This is your body telling you you need more water so listen up and drink more water. It is very easy to ignore this signal for thirst while you are looking after your little one so keep a water bottle near by and reach for it when you are thirsty. I keep one next to my bed at night and with me all day. I have found that my 11month old watches me drink water all the time and so has formed a great habit himself of drinking water through the day. Kids learn to be humans by watching us (scary thought!) so set a good example.
A tip is to watch your wees!! If you have dark urine then you need to hydrate!! Aim for a light colour.
Do breastfeeding woman need to eat more calories?
Listen to your body and use your appetite as a cue, if you are hungry then eat. Even if you are hungry at 11pm, eat something. The more your baby feeds, the more you may feel hungry.
Research shows that a sudden drop in caloric intake or not consuming enough calories during breastfeeding might impact on your milk supply. This is why, although woman might be keen to drop their baby weight, the focus should be on health rather than on weight. You can absolutely reclaim your body – and keep it healthy for life – when you focus on eating clean, natural foods while breastfeeding for good milk supply.
After all, when you focus on eating well and building muscle, the weight takes care of itself. This is April 2014 – September 2014, my postpartum body while breastfeeding.
Do not be one of those Mums who set a bad example for their children and skip breakfast, survive on coffee until 2pm then then they are left famished with low blood sugar levels and reach for the chocolate muffin as a pick me up. Make eating natural foods a priority and your kids will be encouraged to as well.
Did you know a sumo wrestlers diet is typically starvation and then a binge?? This is because they know this is the best way to store fat. Are you guilty of eating like a sumo wrestler?
Just as nutrition is important in pregnancy, nutrition is important while breastfeeding. So what does this look like?
Six small meals a day should do it. This looks like: breakfast (within the first hour of waking), snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. This is what a healthy person eats as their blood sugar levels are kept stable all day and, teamed with choosing natural foods, it prevents them from fat storage mode.
Natural foods being anything that grew in the ground or had legs and walked on the land! If the food choice is sugary/processed foods, it will likely also be stored as fat as our bodies have a wee stress when they are injested then they are stored as excess fat.
Meat iron is haem, not meat iron is non haem. Iron is best absorbed from meat.
Eating foods high in vitamin c will help baby absorb iron
Why the fuss about iron? The same as your own iron stores deplete when you are pregnant and baby is rapidly growing, babies need iron as they are still rapidly growing. If you needed iron while pregnant, you’ll know that without it you are left exhausted. Iron is also essential for brain development, growth and development.
What do you eat to get enough iron?
Breastfeeding mums need it ! At 9mg/day (nz ministry).
Beef fillet Steak 173g is 5.8mg
Half cup mussels 7.5mg
Two lamb steaks (116g) 4.0mg
Lamb liver 4.0mg
90g can salmon 2.1mg
Chicken breast (107g) 2.0mg
Pork loin chop (74g) 1.2mg
Tarakihi fillet 0.8mg
Non haem iron
Tofu 100g 5.4mg
Porridge 1cup 1.3mg
Cooked red kidney beans half cup 2.0mg
Lentils half cup 1.2mg
Brocolli 1 cup 0.9mg
Baked beans 1.6mg
Dates (10) 1.3mg
Spinach one cup 2.5mg
Multigrain bread 0.7mg
vrg.org soya beans one cup 8.8mg
Quinoa one cup 2.8mg
Kale one cup 1.2mg
Vitamin c foods kiwi fruit, citrus fruits can help iron to absorb.
Breastfeeding woman need extra calcium which is from diary and other sources.
Nz ministry recommends 1000mg / day RDI for a breastfeeding Mumma
Milk one cup 310mg/day
Prawns 100g 190mg
Salmon small tin 70mg
Tofu 200g 270mg
Cottage cheese 1 tablespoon 9mg
Edam cheese 2cm cube 75mg
Yogurt potter 195mg
Calcium fortified soya drink 286mg
Tofu 100g 105mg
Whole grain bread 33mg
10 almonds 30mg
10 Brazil nuts 68mg
Sesame seeds one tablespoon 88mg
Brocolli cup 59mg
Vitamin D will help calcium absorb, smoking and excess caffeine will inhibit calcium absorption.
Bf mums needs more iodine
Because baby is growing rapidly
Pre existing thyroid condition should seek doc advise before taking supplement.
Foods – seaweed, seafood and fish. Now that you can eat sushi again!
Dairy and egg products.
Bread is fortified with iodine.
Recommended daily supplement containing 150mg iodine.
Here is a list of snack ideas for busy people:
- Smoothie (fruit, veges and almond milk/coconut water/ice)
- Kale chips
- Kumara chips
- Roast Carrots with Thyme
- Home made potato chips
- Raw veges with home made hummus (chickpea, garlic and olive oil whizzed)
- Any fruit
- A few peices of meat (this is actually high protein ;))
- Chia seed pudding with stevia and coconut cream
- Frozen bananas, whizzed to make natural ice cream
- Buckwheat pancakes (just double the batch from the morning)
- Home made vegan muffins (see: previous post https://dearlovehealth.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/ugly-muffins/ )
- Herbal Tea / Coffee / Tea
- Medjool dates wrapped in bacon
- Scallops wrapped in bacon – for a fancy snack!
- Bacon wrapped asparagus – do you see where I am going with this…
- Home made LSA bars (https://dearlovehealth.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/dairy-glutenwheat-and-sugar-free-lsa-bars/ )
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Home made truffles (https://dearlovehealth.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/vegan-desserts-plus-recipe/ )
- Any vegan dessert, really http://www.ohsheglows.com (she is brilliant and lists allergen info)
- Roasted chickpeas
- Home made milk shakes – with coconut cream, a banana and raw cacao
- Dried dates teamed with strawberries
- Egg muffins (whisk eggs with veges and optional meat, bake in muffin tray)
And many more! You are only limited by your shopping trolley.
Remember, if you only buy good food then you only eat good food!!
Kellymom has an excellent article on Mother’s Diet, here: http://kellymom.com/nutrition/mothers-diet/mom-calories-fluids/