If you just had a baby and you have tried breastfeeding your baby, but little or nothing is coming out or you just want to eat healthy while breastfeeding, then this article is for you. In this article, have listed some healthy food for breastfeeding mom.
As a breastfeeding mom, It is important to consume foods that are healthy and also help refuel your body after breastfeeding.
If you are a breastfeeding mom, then you should know that at every moment, your body is actively producing milk for your little baby. Lots of nursing mothers complain that they always feel hungry, and this is because of the number of calories the body uses to produce an ounce of milk which the baby needs.
Want to know the best healthy food for breastfeeding moms? Below is a list of food to eat while breastfeeding. These foods will help boost your breast milk production and quality. They have been used for ages to help breastfeeding moms with healthy rich breast milk filled with vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants, minerals etc.
Add these healthy breastfeeding foods to your diet to get the nutrients you and your baby need and to help increase breast milk supply.
Healthy Food For Breastfeeding Mom
Water intake cannot be over-emphasised, it is the most important thing the body needs. A breastfeeding mom even needs is more at this time. Some moms overlook the value of drinking water during breastfeeding. It is very essential and also the basis of increasing your breastmilk supply once you eat the right and healthy foods. Drinking lots of water is important to reduce fatigue, aid postpartum weight loss, and strengthen your immune system after childbirth.
You can start by drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water daily.
Most moms swear by this great food (oatmeal) to increase their milk supply. Oatmeal has got lots of iron and fibre. If you are low in iron, then milk supply becomes difficult. Oat is a healthy food for breastfeeding moms so eat up.
3. Sweet Potatoes:
Another healthy food for breastfeeding mom is potatoes. Sweet potatoes contains carbs that can help increase energy and fight fatigue in a new mom.
Sweet potatoes is an excellent source of vitamin A which is an important nutrient that promotes a healthy vision and immune system development in babies.
Beans are great and healthy food for a breastfeeding mother. Beans are good sources of iron, carbohydrate, folic acid, B-vitamins, dietary fibre and protein. Beans help keep you full for a longer period of time, prevents overeating, and also ensure your baby gets the right nourishment. To get that breast full, eat your beans with yam, potatoes of drinking garri.
Pap is populaly known as akamu or ogi. Pap is so nutritious and filling. Lots of moms have testified of its milk-boosting properties. This healthy food for breastfeeding moms (Ogi) is made from fermented corn, guinea corn, and pearl millet. And it is so rich in carbs, protein, B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. To boost your up milk production with pap, put milk or yogurt, and drink it while it is still warm.
Kunu is a popular Nigerian drink that is used to boost breast milk supply for centuries. The drink (kunu) is made with millet, guinea corn, tiger nuts, rice, and ginger. It is rich in protein, carbs, B-vitamins, calcium, and antioxidants and is a good source of nourishment for both baby and mother. Kunu is healthy for a breastfeeding mother.
7. Spinach Or Pumpkin Leaf:
Green vegetables help increase breast milk production. Apart from the fact that it increases breastmilk production, it is super healthy for both mother and child. Every breastfeeding mom should always have veggies in their diet.
8. Berries And Grapes:
Fruits like strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are packed with vitamin C, which amps up your immune system and is also key to strong bone development. Berries are super healthy food for breastfeeding a mom.
You must have probably heard of using ginger for morning sickness during pregnancy, but it also has postpartum (after delivery)benefits. Ginger is seen as a galactagogue (something that helps increase milk supply). Putting some fresh ginger into your tea, stew or pap is a great healthy food for a breastfeeding mom.
Beef is a food rich in iron. If you are low in iron, it can drain your energy and your milk supply. You can make beef pepper soup and sip the water to increase your breastmilk supply.
11. Avocado Pear:
Avocado is a breastfeeding superfood that is loaded with potassium, folate, and vitamins B, C, E, and K, as well as fibre and healthy fats which support a baby’s brain development. Try spreading some pear over bread and take it with your delicious ginger tea for an easy snack or healthy breakfast. This is great for a breastfeeding mom.
Nuts are another nutrition powerhouse, they are high in essential minerals like iron, omega 3 fatty acid, zinc, and calcium as well as vitamin B and K. Nuts are also a healthy source of fatty acids and protein. Nuts are known as lactogenic in many parts of the world which means that they are good at producing breast milk.
Since the beginning of time, nuts have been used in traditional Ayurvedic, especially almonds. All over the world, they are used as lactogenic. It is healthy for a breastfeeding mom.
Eggs are fully packed with nutrients like vitamin B12, which supports the nervous system. Research has shown that vitamin B12 also boost up your energy, mood and memory. Eggs are very healthy food for breastfeeding moms
14. Rice :
Rice is rich in beta-glucan which helps boosts lactation in breastfeeding moms. Rice has a rich dietary fibre content that will provide you with energy, prevent overeating and nourish your baby. If you want to fill up that breast, take rice with pepper soup and your breast will almost burst with milk. You can also serve it with lots of vegetables and tomato sauce to make it even more healthy food.
15. Brewer’s Yeast:
Brewer’s yeast is a very healthy fungus supplement. It has been used for ages to increase breast milk supply in new breastfeeding moms. It is very rich in vitamin B, chromium, iron, selenium, protein, and other important minerals.
Brewer’s yeast can be consumed as a tablet, powder, or just add it to your baked food. It is one of the main ingredients used in lactation cookies.
16. Fura de Nunu (Milk and Millet Gruel):
Fura de Nunu is just like kunu, it is made with milk and millet gruel.It is known as a staple drink which is originated in northern Nigeria, where it is called “Fura de Nunu”.
It is a healthy mix of fermented cow milk and whole grain millet dough.
This drink is packed with nutrients like calcium, protein, fats, and other essential nutrients that will nourish you and your little one. Apart from the fact that it is very satisfying, it can load up breast milk. It is a healthy food for breastfeeding moms
17. Greek Yogurt:
Not only will the protein in Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium and it also help keep you fuller for a longer time. To make these healthy food produce lots of breast milk, add milk and almond to it.
Here are some nutritious and delicious food choices to prioritize when breastfeeding:
- Fish and seafood: salmon, seaweed, shellfish, sardines
- Meat and poultry: chicken, beef, lamb, pork, organ meats (such as liver)
- Fruits and vegetables: berries, carrots, sour sop, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, kale, garlic, broccoli, watermelon, cucumber,
- Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds
- Healthy fats: avocados, olive oil, coconut, eggs, full-fat yogurt
- Fibre-rich starches: potatoes, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, oats, quinoa, buckwheat
- Sesame seeds
- Chia Seeds
Food To Avoid During Breastfeeding
Some people may say that you can eat right about any food while breastfeeding, except you, are allergic to some certain food. Note that some flavours from food, spices or beverages you eat change the taste of your breast milk which may impact the baby’s breastfeeding or could make them fussy. These are just misconceptions and have not been scientifically proven.
Another common misconception that people say is that “gassy” foods like cauliflower and cabbage can cause the baby to have gas in the tummy too. According to research done in 2007, even if you are gassy because of the food you ate, the gas-promoting compounds do not transfer to breast milk.
In summary, most foods and drinks are safe to take during breastfeeding, but there are some that should be limited or totally avoided. Below are the list of Unhealthy food for breastfeeding mom to avoid:
Alcohol can make its way into the breast milk. The concentration resembles the amount found in the mother’s blood. However, babies metabolize alcohol at only half the rate of adults.
Breastfeeding after drinking alcohol can decrease your baby’s milk intake by up to 23% and cause agitation and poor sleep. Although if you can’t do without drinking, it is best to wait for at least 2 hours after drinking, before breastfeeding. Save your baby by staying away from that beer bottle for now. Note that if you most take palm wine, make sure it is freshly tapped because stale palm wine is often loaded with lots of sugar and alcohol.
Another unhealthy food for breastfeeding moms should avoid is caffeine. When you take caffeine, 1% of the caffeine you consume is being transferred to your breast milk, and research has shown that it takes babies much longer time for their body to metabolize caffeine. Drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee, caffeine green tea, and caffeine black tea have not been shown to cause harm, but they may affect the baby’s sleep. It is safe to limit or avoid coffee for the sake of your baby’s sleep.
3. Cow’s milk
Although it is uncommon. Some babies may be allergic to cow’s milk. And if your baby has a cow’s milk allergy, it is safe that you exclude all dairy products from your daily diet.
Up to 1% of breastfed infants are allergic to cow’s milk protein that they get from their mother’s diet, and may develop eczema, rashes, diarrhea, bloody stools, vomiting or baby colic. If you notice that your baby reacts after you have taken cow milk, see your doctor for the best advice and when to reintroduce dairy products.
Some women reported that they noticed extra fussiness in their baby when they consume large quantities of chilli and cinnamon.
Cold and allergy medications that contain pseudoephedrine may decrease milk production.
Other Healthful Tips to Help Boost Up Milk Production
A sufficient sleep, balanced diet and adequate hydration will help maintain the optimum supply of milk during lactation. Other practices that can ensure constant supply in breastfeeding mothers include:
- Immediate breastfeeding soon after delivery.
- Breastfeeding frequently every two to three hours after delivery.
- Make that your baby’s latch is effective.
- Reduce stressful activity and get plenty of rest.
- Staying hydrated with lots of water and juice.
- Expressing milk after feeding to maintain supply.
- Wearing a well-fitted bra.
- Feeding the baby from both breasts by switching sides.
- Feed for at least 20 minutes from each breast.
- Massaging your breasts during feeding to promote milk let-down
- Consulting a doctor if nursing issues persist
- Always consult your doctor before starting any medications.
Read Also: Exercise For Pregnant Women
To achieve eating healthy food for breastfeeding mom, it is best to create a lactogenic food timetable to help you make good and healthy eating decisions. Ensure that you select foods that work best for you and your tastes. It’s not a bad idea if you adjust your lifestyle and avoid processed foods, but most importantly, enjoy breastfeeding as it can be a wonderful experience.