You just welcomed a healthy baby into the family, and have made the decision that you are going to breastfeed your new addition. Many moms, even military parents, choose to breastfeed their baby because of all of the health and nutritional perks it provides to their child, but breastfeeding also requires the mom to take a look at what she is eating too. Here are few nutritional tips for nursing moms to take into consideration when planning their daily meals.
Make Sure You Are Hydrated
Extra water intake is key if you choose to breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding classes and birthing courses will usually put a strong emphasis that if you want to nurse your baby for any significant amount of time that you should always take in extra water. Hydration is important for the mom as well as the baby but it is important to not go overboard on the water if you are looking to increase your milk supply. Irene Zoppi, a lactation consultant and education specialist, says “…increasing your fluids won’t do anything to your milk volume unless you’re removing it.”
Eat A Balanced Diet
Eating well and healthy during pregnancy did wonders for your baby, so eating clean is great for your nursing child as well. Pack up on lots of lean proteins and fruits and veggies. Don’t forget to snack healthy too as nursing can burn around 500 extra calories a day. Not sure if you are eating a healthy diet while breastfeeding? Check out online resources like the United States Department of Agriculture, which provides lots of information on nutritional needs while breastfeeding.
Curb The Caffeine
No one is trying to take that oh so beautiful cup of coffee from the sleep deprived mom in the morning, but try to limit your caffeine consumption to just a cup or two when you are breastfeeding. Dr. Danielle Martin, a family physician in Toronto, advises “There’s probably not a risk to the baby if women drink two or three cups of coffee, but there are many more reasons why a woman might want to moderate her caffeine intake.” Studies have been inconclusive over the years about whether caffeine use can affect a baby’s behavior or sleep patterns; so use your best judgment as a mom when it comes to caffeine use while breastfeeding.
Nursing your baby is a great bonding experience for both mother and child. Breastfeeding provides lots of nutrition to your baby, so it is important for the mom to be wise with her nutritional choices as well. If you have any questions or concerns about the nutritional needs of your infant and/or yourself make sure to get in touch with a health care professional who can answer and address any concerns.