Eating for Breastfeeding
In your third trimester, your baby was old enough to start getting a taste of the foods his or her mommy likes. Now that your baby is here and you’re breast feeding, your baby will get an even better taste of your favorite food.
Typically if you are nursing your baby you should produce anywhere from 23 to 27 ounces of milk a day. In order to do this, you need to increase your calorie intake by about 500 a day.
You also have to increase your daily water consumption to at least 2 1/2 to 3 quarts of water. You may notice that you are thirstier during nursing sessions. This is because the water you drink goes right to milk production. Try not to drink more than 3 quarts of water a day. Anything more than 3 quarts can reduce the amount of milk your body produces.
As stated earlier, you need to up your calorie intake. Plan to take in about 2500 calories a day or more if you are planning to nurse for longer than three months. These extra calories should not come from junk food. Junk food and sweets are just empty calories and offer no nutritional value to you or your baby. Eat more protein. A good rule of thumb is to eat 1 gram of protein each day for every pound you weigh. If you weigh 150, aim to eat 150 grams of protein a day.
If you were not doing so during pregnancy, adopt the six meals a day program. Eat breakfast, a midday snack, lunch, a mid afternoon snack, dinner and a night time snack. Your body is going to be making milk continually so it is a good idea to keep it charged with calories throughout the day.
Foods to Avoid
There are some foods you might want to avoid during pregnancy. Pretty much everything passes through breast milk and to the baby. This is why the first thing pediatricians advise nursing moms to do when their baby has colic is to look at what they are eating. Chocolate has been blamed in many cases of colic and can cause an upset tummy for most babies. If you have a baby with a tummy ache think back to see if you had a candy bar or even a cookie in the hours before you nursed. The best advice is to stay away from chocolate while you are nursing.
Stay away from greasy and spicy foods, also. Greasy foods sometimes upset adult stomachs, so imagine what it would do to your baby’s immature stomach? Wait until your baby is older and no longer nursing before you start making trips back to McDonald’s.
You may also want to stay away from garlic and onions while you are breast feeding. Both of these can flavor the breast milk and you may find that your little one will not nurse if you have eaten these. Your little one may be just a tad too young to appreciate the taste of garlic and onions anyway. Remember it takes a few hours for the food you eat to make its way into your breast milk. You may have eaten one of these foods right before you nurse and see your baby is fine but by the following nursing session or the one after you might find your baby having a reaction to them.
Your breast milk does not only taste like what you eat, but also what you drink. Just as with pregnancy, you should stay away from a lot of caffeine while breastfeeding. You might need some coffee or caffeine filled soda to keep you functioning and a cup or two will not hurt you or your baby, but too much could have disastrous effects. Just as we experience the jitters and shakes from too much caffeine, your baby does also. Keep your caffeine down to a minimum.
You have made an excellent choice breastfeeding your baby. Keep it up by making good choices as to what you eat.