Saturday, May 16, 2009

Breastfeeding - Consider Your Diet

Mother breastfeeding baby girl (0-3 months), close-up

By Kim Allissa

It takes nine months for babies to grow inside their
mothers. During this time of pregnancy, you pay careful
attention to what you eat and drink as you know there is the
potential to affect your unborn baby. When you are
breastfeeding, what you eat continues to be an important

However, a breastfeeding diet is not as strict as a
pregnancy diet, although it is still important to know what
you should be ingesting during this time. That way, you can
rest assured that you will only be making the very best milk
for your baby.

Luckily, when you follow a diet that will help your baby,
you are also helping yourself! The foods that you will be
eating should give you the nutrition you need to deal with
your hectic schedule. By being conscious of what you are
eating, you can also make better choices that will allow you
to take off some of the weight that you have accumulated
during pregnancy.

So what breastfeeding diet should you follow? As at any
other time, you should be eating a diet that is
well-balanced. It is recommended that you eat all four food
, but mainly focus on whole grain products, protein,
vegetables, fruit, and foods that are high in calcium and
iron. And do not forget your fiber! You are likely to be
less physically active after the birth if you are spending a
lot of time seated to nurse your baby. However, if you are
not used to eating a lot of fiber, begin gradually!

Even though you plan to eat a well-balanced diet, it is also
advised that you take a good prenatal multivitamin/mineral
supplement. This will ensure that your body gets everything
that you may be missing in your diet, and results in less
chances of your body having to tap into its own reserves to
make good-quality breast milk.

When it comes to breastfeeding diets, you have no doubt
heard that you should avoid certain foods that can make your
baby fussy or gassy. However, no two babies are alike and so
what bothers one baby is not necessarily going to bother the
next one. Some babies do not even seem to be bothered by
foods their mothers eat. Some, but not all, suspicious
foods to monitor your baby's responses to are onions,
garlic, cabbage, and broccoli. These foods can alter the
taste of the breast milk resulting in rejection by your baby.

Continue not to eat fish such as king mackerel, swordfish,
and shark, to name a few, as they contain the most mercury.
Instead, consider eating fish (in moderation) that contain
less mercury, as their fish oils are important for your
baby's neurological system.

The last point I want to mention is that of drinking alcohol
beverages. Alcohol drinking mothers are better off not
breastfeeding their children, as there are known long-term
effects. But if you want to have a drink every now and then,
most experts would agree that there are certain precautions
you can take in order that you reduce the effects on your child.
This can include drinking immediately after your baby has just
breastfed, or saving expressed breast milk earlier that week
that can then be fed to your baby after you have an alcohol beverage.
Obviously the best thing to do is not drink alcohol at all.

In conclusion, there are not too many restrictions on a
breastfeeding mother. Most of it is common sense, and
mostly involves good judgment. Just remember that a
breastfeeding diet can benefit the mom and the baby.

My name is Kim Allissa, and I have been a breastfeeding
mother. Check out my blog,
( Breastfeeding Baby , for
more practical information and tips.

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