Eating healthy while breastfeeding is truly eating for two!
Both mom and baby need a special set of nutrients.
This is to replenish and support mom’s system in addition to baby’s. Proper nutrition will help keep up mom’s energy, promote immunity and strengthen her digestion. Breastfeeding will supply baby with most of the nutrients he or she will need during first 6 months of life. Certain nutrients, such as calcium, will be pulled from mom’s body regardless of how much she is consuming. Fats are transferred to baby regardless of the types that mom eats. It is essential that mom eats a whole-foods diet with a variety of foods to get all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and other “goodness” that mom and baby need.
Here’s what you need:
Good fats are important for maintaining mom’s energy, mood, brain health and immune system. For baby, they are essential to growth and development.
- Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important because they support mood and calm inflammation. They are also a key component of baby’s brain and retina.
- Coconut oil, milk and cream are antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory, making them great immune system support. They are also used by the body for energy.
- Nuts, seeds, avocado, olives and olive oil are also wonderful fats!
Consumption of proteins such as eggs, chicken and seafood is related to an increase in milk output. Eating protein with every meal and snack will also keep mom full and aid in recovery.
Lactation is not the time to go low-carb as carbohydrates are used to make the lactose in breastmilk. Consuming carbs can also help keep milk supply up. Stick to whole grains, vegetables and high-fiber fruits as your carb sources and always consume carbs with protein, fat and fiber.
Babies acquire beneficial bacteria over the course of the first year through breastmilk and other sources. Probiotics can help train the immune system, aid in digestion and nutrient absorption. An imbalance between beneficial and pathogenic bacteria is associated with developing multiple body imbalance conditions.
Baby will take all the calcium that she/he needs which can cause calcium to be leached from mom’s own bones and teeth unless she has an adequate supply. Preferred sources: bone broth, fish with bones, leafy greens, almonds and sesame seeds.
Helps balance the immune system and absorb calcium from the diet. Vitamin D is best obtained through 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun-exposure (no sunscreen) per day. If you burn easily, do this when the sun is not at its peak.
need more help with breastfeeding nutrition?
We hope you’ve found something in this post that will help make breastfeeding a little bit easier on mom and baby. If you have questions about how to eat while breastfeeding or more particular questions about your body or your family’s diet, we would love to talk with you.
Schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation with a Healthy Nest holistic nutritionist today!
Hi! I’m Robin, the founder of Healthy Nest Nutrition. I am a board-certified holistic nutritionist in Denver, Colorado. My passion is helping people find the right diet for their bodies and then showing them how to make healthy nutrition doable and delicious!