Let’s know the importance and types of healthy food for mothers during their breastfeeding days.
In my previous article, I covered the concept of advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding. Now I am going to explain in this article about the nutritional and healthy food for mothers to take of her baby’s health during breastfeeding.
After becoming a mother it’s your turn to take care of your baby; especially his/her health and this responsibility increase day by day.
During pre-pregnancy, you take care of yourself only, but after pregnancy not only you take care of yourself, but also you have to aware and give attention towards your baby’s growth and development.
Being a breastfeeding mother, you should follow a healthy and nutritious diet at all times. Eating healthy foods during this time is most important for every mother; especially for new moms. They are curious whether specific foods they should or should not eat.
While a baby consuming milk from her mother, normally she may feel weak sometimes. So, it is necessary that as much as her baby consuming milk from her, she should take more healthiest and nutrient foods to eat.
So, in this article, I want to take your attention on some best nutritional and healthy foods for breastfeeding mothers.
List of Healthy food for mothers:
A mother must know that what foods should take and avoid during breastfeeding. Sometimes many mothers don’t realize that taking proper food and care of herself is directly related to her baby’s health, especially during breastfeeding. So, they eat anything during pre-pregnancy and after pregnancy.
It is true saying that a lactating mother needs to eat for two people as she is going to feed her baby. But it is also recommended that a mother can eat frequently with a balanced diet. Let’s know some of the healthy foods which you can eat during breastfeeding.
- Low Fat & Dairy Products
- Whole Grains
- Nuts and seeds
- Leafy Green vegetables
- Drinking plenty of water
Let’s discuss in details.
1.) Low Fat & Dairy Products:
Low fat and dairy products are very necessary as they provide the body with essential nutrients that keep the body healthy.
Especially mothers during pre & post pregnancy should take low-fat foods in their daily menu.
During breastfeeding period you may need extra calories per day, but it’s important to choose low fat & dairy foods for you and your baby’s health.
Dairy products such as fat-free yogurt, cheese, butter, paneer, skim-milk etc. are required during the nursing period.
Low-fat products such as vegetables, fruits which contain full of vitamins are also required.
These types of healthy food for mothers contain iron which helps for breastfeeding mothers to promote milk supply.
The low-fat food also provides more energy during this nursing time which helps to keep sustain and provides calcium required for your baby’s bone structure development.
Fishes have health benefits which are required for every breastfeeding mothers. You should eat correct fishes during nursing your baby, but it is very important to figure out which fishes are best.
When you buy fishes from market make sure the fishes should be low in mercury. That means many fishes normally grow up in polluted water and consume more chemicals.
So it is very necessary to choose fish, that are low in mercury and always avoid fishes that have high mercury levels.
Fishes are also high in protein, vitamin-D and other nutrients that Omega-3 fat which is very important to develop the nervous system of a baby.
There is the list of fishes which are highly recommended for breastfeeding mothers containing less mercury and rich in omega-3s. Such as:
- Small dried Fish
- Black Pomfrets
Fishes should be avoided during breastfeeding:
Seafood can be a great source of protein and nutrients. But the women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid these varieties such as Shark, Swordfish, tilefish, tuna, and king mackerel, marlin.
Side Effects of consuming seafood while breastfeeding:
There may be some health risks for a mother as well as the baby if you frequently eat all seafood. You should keep limit while taking the seafood in your meal.
Mercury is the main cause to create health problem in your body. Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and can also be released into the air through industrial pollution.
If you take high mercury fishes it can cause brain damage to your baby. So always choose correct fish and keep you and your baby healthy.
3.) Whole Grains:
Whole Grains like brown rice, barley, oatmeal having full of proteins, vitamins, minerals which give stamina to you and also very helpful for development and growth of your baby.
These types of food provide enough energy while you are breastfeeding your baby.
The egg has vitamin-D which is quite difficult to find in other foods. It also gives protein to your body for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells.
This food includes beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, kidney beans which are very nutritional and healthiest food for both breastfeeding mother and her baby.
Legumes are required to take as a daily meal during breastfeeding because these are low in fat and contain no cholesterol and are high in potassium, magnesium, and iron.
6.) Nuts and seeds:
Nuts and seeds are health conscious diet foods which are very important for the breastfeeding mother. They contain fiber, protein, vitamin-B & E and minerals which should flow into mother’s milk and should reach to baby’s body for his/her better development.
Blueberry is a type of food containing antioxidant capacity which can help neutralize some of the tissues that cause to damage our DNA.
It has also low calorie and high in nutrients. So a mother should eat sometimes blueberries during the breastfeeding period.
8.) Leafy Green Vegetables:
Leafy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli etc. are required for both breastfeeding mother and baby because these healthy foods contain vitamin-A, C, and iron. These are also low-calorie food which should meet the daily requirement of a breastfeeding mother.
Carrot plays a vital role in providing carbohydrates and potassium to mother‘s body during breastfeeding her baby. It helps to boost energy and stamina in lactating mothers.
It also contains a number of antiseptic and antibacterial abilities which helps to boost the immune system of your baby.
10.) Drinking plenty of water:
It is commonly recommended for all to drink plenty of water; especially mothers during pregnancy and breastfeeding period.
Drinking plenty of water keeps mother’s body hydrate that should be required in nursing time. So, drink plenty of water as much as you can.
Foods should avoid during breastfeeding:
It is recommended to eat healthy foods during breastfeeding, but you should keep the most important thing in your mind that there are certain unhealthy foods which shouldn’t take during this time.
But it will be better if you consult with a doctor when you are confusing between taking and avoiding foods during the breastfeeding period. Meanwhile, keep a close eye on your baby’s behavior and reactions to specific foods.
Let’s take a look at certain foods should be avoided during the nursing period:
Drinking alcohol during breastfeeding time is not safe for mother and her baby. Alcohol can pass from mother to her baby though consuming breast milk and affect his/her neurological development.
Research has proved that drinking alcohol during breastfeeding has negative effects on baby’s health. When a mother is consuming alcohol during nursing period, less than 2% of alcohol volume reaches to her breast milk.
But as long as she is consuming more and more it circulates in her blood and breast milk can carry high alcohol volume. And once it reaches to breast milk it is very harmful to you and most probably for your baby.
If you really love to eat chocolate, try to not consume too much. Chocolate contains theobromine which may harmful for baby’s health. Always try to avoid eating more; especially while you nursing your baby.
3.) Spicy Foods:
Spicy foods should always avoid by a lactating mother. Taking spicy foods during this time it can make your baby gassy and cause of diarrhea, an upset stomach, sometimes vomiting. Some babies may suffer from abdominal pain.
Coffee has also the same substance of theobromine which may affect baby’s health and also may result of baby’s sleep disturbance. Taking too much coffee in a day can cause constipation problem of your baby.
And the most important thing the iron level of your body will decrease if you take 3-4 cups of coffee in a day. So, it should be avoided while breastfeeding your baby.
5.) Gassy Foods:
You should avoid gassy foods while breastfeeding such as onion, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc. Eating certain foods may cause gas in the mother. These foods should not eat frequently.
Finally, I want to say every mother that they should eat the foods which are best for her baby and concentrate on her baby’s health and development.
This article on healthy food for mothers during her lactating period was thoroughly researched and written. This article was written just for giving you some ideas and it’s highly recommended to consult with your family doctor about your lactating period diet.
Breastfeeding nutrition is important for every mother and their babies. Eating variety of nutritious foods help meet your extra nutrients need.
So, take proper and right food to keep yourself healthy and also to keep healthy your baby.