5 nutrition tips for breastfeeding mums
1. Drink 2.6L water daily, more if exercising. Herbal decaf tea counts but regular black tea and coffee don’t as they have diuretic effect. We need good hydration for healthy lactation. Mix things up – have sparkling water with fresh lemon and lime, chill your herbal teas in summer, make a night ritual of herbal tea before bed. Keep filling up your water bottle after every feed so when you sit down for the next you have water ready to go.
2. Up calories by 500-700 per day. Focus on quality nutrition in foods not Mars bars and milkshakes. Energy dense nutritious foods include nut butters, tahini, avocado, ricotta cheese, greek full fat yoghurt, nuts and seeds.
3. Increase protein intake to 2g / kg body weight. Protein requirements sit between 1-1.5G/kg body weight in pregnancy but the demands increase when feeding. Try to include protein rich foods in both meals and snacks. SNACK ideas: edamame beans, baked chickpeas, hummus and crackers, boiled eggs in a lettuce cup!
4. Focus on DHA rich foods to support baby’s and your brain function and cognition. Enjoy fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, algae oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, seaweed and eggs. Iron rich foods go for dark leafy greens, legumes, tofu nuts and seeds. Team iron rich vegetarian foods with vitamin c rich foods for improved bioavailability – squeeze lemon on greens and legumes, eat tomatoes – A LOT!
5. Eat plenty of wholefood carbohydrates/ not refined ones. Focus on oats, barley, buckwheat, pumpkin, sweet potato, beetroot. Start your day with overnight soaked oats with plenty of seeds and seasonal fruits – which you can prep when bubba isn’t around the night before. Bake some veggies at the start of the week including starchy ones so that you have simple lunches ready to go.
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