Many new mums commonly feel uncertain about the diet choices they need to make when breastfeeding. They are used to the restrictions we talk about so often in pregnancy- then they get confused and don’t know what to do when they have their baby.
To be honest a healthy balanced diet is great when you are breastfeeding. A mixture of fruits, veggies, protein, fats and grains. Most women when breastfeeding just eat to their hunger. You really don’t need to count calories or make sure you have eaten enough.
You body spent the pregnancy storing some little extra ‘love’ just for this little baby. That means if you feel unwell or don’t eat for any reason neither you nor the baby are going to suffer (it is a very primitive thing really).
However you often speak to new mums that are tired and find themselves drawn to the comfort foods that help them keep their eyes open at 3 30pm! Yes those high sugar, salty snacks that we love. And of course these are also great in moderation. However if you find yourself eating huge amounts of these not only do you feel the yoyo of sugar highs and lows but also that sneaky kilo or two coming on.
(Gasp!) I thought that when you breastfed you lost all your pregnancy weight and more! Wont I look like Megan Gale in 3 months? In short NO 🙁
It is funny your body actually won’t let you loose all the weight until your baby is eating solids and is no longer totally reliant on you. So again we get back to moderation.
Yes you can have a glass of wine, yes you can eat that curry, yes you can eat peanut butter ( unless your allergic to it). Eating a variety of foods is good for you and your baby.
Seemingly feeling your supply is running a bit low? Are you eating regularly? Are you resting to help your body make some more milk. You could also have some more oats, water, maybe a herbal tea or lactation cookie to give you a bit of a boost.
SA Health have put together a great resource on diet in pregnancy and lactation SA Health information
Another great idea is having a healthy smoothie at 3 30pm. Maybe a protein base and then adding some yoghurt, fruit, milk and ice. Yummy! This will also give you a slower peak in your sugar levels and energy. I tend to recommend the Little Healthy Life protein shake mix as this is the only one on the market especially for breastfeeding.
As always eat to your hunger, don’t diet like your a hollywood supermodel! And always trust your body knows just what it is doing 🙂