Your baby's food can have lasting effects on his or her growth and health. How you feed your baby helps form life-long feelings about food and eating. Breastmilk is the ideal first food for your baby.
It is the perfect nutrition.
It is easily digested.
It helps protect your baby from infections.
It does not cause food allergy or sensitivity.
It is convenient and always ready.
It allows a special closeness between you and your baby.
It can also help you get back into shape more quickly.
Eating a nutritious diet will ensure that you are getting the right variety and amount of food for you and your baby. Follow these nutrition and breastfeeding tips to keep yourself and your baby healthy and happy.
Drink liquids like water, juice and milk whenever you feel thirsty. Get at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. This will help with milk production and also prevent dehydration, constipation, and clogged milk ducts. Each time you sit down to breastfeed, take along a glass of water. Drinking a glass of water each time you breastfeed will ensure that you are getting plenty of fluid each day.
Limit caffeine to 2 cups or less a day. This includes coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Caffeine can pass through the breastmilk causing your baby to be irritable, fussy, and jittery. Occasionally, foods you eat may upset the baby. Be aware of your baby's reaction when you eat spicy foods, gas producing vegetables (onions, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli), garlic, and beans. If your baby is sensitive to a food item, eliminate it from your diet until his or her digestive system is more mature.
Avoid cigarettes. Smoking interferes with your milk flow, exposes you baby to harmful smoke, and is dangerous to your health. Protect your baby from the smoke of others too.
It is best to avoid alcohol. If you do have an occasional drink, have it right after nursing and try not to nurse again for at least two hours.
Check with your doctor and your baby's pediatrician before taking any medications.
Do not take recreational drugs.
Take a vitamin-mineral supplement especially formulated for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
If you want to lose weight, do so gradually (about ½ -1 pound each week), after breastfeeding is going well. Eat a nutritious diet, exercise every day and cut back on foods high in fat and sugar, such as potato chips, cookies, candy, soft drinks, and fried foods. Do not try diet pills, liquid diets, or other weight loss products. They do not work and could be harmful to yourself or the baby.
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Member Comments About this Article
"Great advice. I am a 43 year old mother of three kids, and increased the amount of time breastfeeding each one (the first I only did for 9 months, the second for 12 months and the third, well I'm still doing it and he is 2 1/2). I am a strict vegetarian as well, and have never had a problem with milk supply. I don't take in any animal saturated fat or cholesterol, so I'm not sure I would agree that you need to eat these things to have a healthy milk supply. I do eat quite a bit of fat from h..." -- BAUERMICHELLE
"Cabbage leaves are used by some mothers to reduce swelling when they experiences moderate to severe engorgement. Researchers believe that sulfur in amino acid methionine acts as an antibiotic and anti-irritant, which in turn draws an extra flow of blood to the area. This dilates the capillaries and acts as a counter irritant, thus relieving the engorgement and inflammation and allowing milk to flow freely. Eating cabbage isn't a problem. -- TANYA_BABYFIT
"Actually it is inadvisable to eat cabbage while breastfeeding. Cabbage is one of the foods known to decrease milk supply." -- ERICSMOMMY12
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. She teaches prenatal classes and counsels individuals, helping women eat right and stay fit before, during and after their pregnancies.
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