Diet tips for breastfeeding moms!

Updated: Jul 28, 2013, 21:20 PM IST

Breastfeeding diet can be confusing, particularly for new moms. Often new moms wonder as to what foods they should or should not eat. Since, breast milk is the best food for babies which promotes his or her growth and health, knowing the basics of breastfeeding nutrition is vital for lactating moms.

Hence, if you are breastfeeding, remember the foods you eat can affect your milk and therefore on your baby. While you do not need to make major changes to what you eat or drink when you are nursing, you should eat a balanced, nutritious diet so that you can provide your baby with a variety of nutrients.

Healthy food: Proper nutrition will help you to make sufficient breast milk for your baby which is the healthiest food. Opt for a variety of foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy and protein foods every day.

Eating different types of foods while nursing will also change the flavour of your breast milk, which is good for your baby. It might help him or her easily accept solid foods by exposing to different tastes.

But, gas-producing foods like broccoli and cabbage might upset the baby’s stomach. So it is best for a breastfeeding mother to try with a small amount and see if they affect the baby’s stomach or not.

Fruits: Lactating mom should have lots of fresh fruits. Fruits have vitamins, fiber and water, and are a great healthy snack for lactating mothers. However, oranges (acidic fruit), peaches and plums (stone fruit) should be eaten in moderation as they can worsen a baby’s tummy.

Fish: Fish, which is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, is a great food for breastfeeding mothers. Since most seafood contains mercury, mothers should opt for fish that’s low in mercury such as shrimp, salmon, canned light tuna and catfish. Because excessive amount of mercury found in breast milk can affect baby’s developing nervous system.

Fluids: Take lots of fluids to produce enough breast milk. While you do not need to drink gallons and gallons of milk, make sure that you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Keep a glass of water nearby you to sip on while nursing. Apart from water, foods high in water content can help enhance your fluid intake.

Drinks: Alcohol and caffeine should be used in an absolute minimum. While excess caffeine can influence in your baby’s sleep, excess alcohol can affect a baby’s development. If you choose to drink, wait at least two hours after drinking before feeding to lower the risk of passing alcohol to your baby through breast milk, which is harmful.

Compiled by: Salome Phelamei