Nutritional Needs while Breastfeeding
When you are breastfeeding, your nutritional and calorie needs will increase because your body is using more of the nutrients you consume for the production of breast milk. You will notice that you easily become hungry and your cravings for food increase. So, you need to feed well in order to get enough nutrients and calories for the proper functioning of your body. Some experts are of the opinion that nursing mothers need better nutrition than they do during pregnancy. This is because the quality of the food you consume while breastfeeding determines not just the quality of your breast milk but also how quickly you regain your pre-pregnancy body.
Increasing you calorie intake
You need to increase your calorie intake up to 400 to 500 calories per day. This is because the process of breast milk production takes a lot of energy. Increasing your calorie intake will help to improve your energy level. Some foods that will boost your calorie intake include whole grain bread, apple, fat-free yogurt, banana, peanut butter, melon, berries, oranges, plums and other complex carbohydrate foods. You should avoid snacking on junk foods. They contain only empty calories that will do more harm to the body rather than improving your calorie intake.
It is not important to be on a special diet. You should rather concentrate on eating healthy foods that enhance milk production. Your dietary plan should consist of balanced diet. It will be good to include a variety of foods such as fruits, whole grains and vegetables in your dietary plan. This will help to change the taste of your breast milk. In other words, your baby will get different tastes of breast milk which will help him or her to start eating solid food quickly.
Taking more fluid
As a breastfeeding mom, you should always try to remain hydrated. Check the color of your urine and take more water if it becomes yellowish. It is a sign that you are becoming dehydrated. It is good for you to take up to 8 glasses of water per day. If you cannot count the number of times you drink per day, then you have to make sure that you drink water when you are breastfeeding your baby. Babies normally breastfeed up to 8 times per day and by drinking when breastfeeding your baby, you will be able to take up 8 glasses of water in a day.
Foods to avoid
Do not take sugary juices and drinks. They can make you add more weight. It is also not good to take too much caffeine when you are breastfeeding because it can get into your breast milk and keep your baby awake.
Alcoholic beverages are not good for nursing mothers and so you have to avoid them as well. This is because they are not good to your baby. If you want to drink alcohol, then you should opt for baby formula rather than breastfeeding.
You should also avoid seafood with high mercury content. Typical examples of such foods include king mackerel, shark, tilefish and swordfish.
If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and minerals, meet your doctor. He or she may prescribe supplements for you.
Taking care of the nutritional requirements of your body is very important as it will not only help your baby to get good nutrition through you but it will also help you to stay healthy.