3 min read
Breastfeeding moms often wonder if they are eating or drinking right to produce sufficient breastmilk supply for their little one. In this blog, let's talk about the food, fluid intake, and other practices that moms need to get that good milk flowing.
Breastfeeding requires more energy to make that liquid gold, so you need extra calories and eat a little more. Make healthy choices as the nutrients you will get will benefit you and your little one.
The baby weight you gain during pregnancy can be used as energy while breastfeeding, causing lactating mothers to lose weight. And if you have already lost your baby fat, you will need more calories, about 500 to 600 more a day, to continue producing healthy milk. This is equivalent to four bacon slices or a bagel with cream cheese. Do not worry, mama; you will not gain weight while breastfeeding. Besides, you can reduce calories when your baby eats solids at six months.
Choose healthy foods rich in protein like meat, eggs, chicken, beans, seafood low in mercury, nuts, and seeds. Whole grain foods like wheat bread, pasta, oatmeal, and cereals are also good. Choose from various vegetables and fruits: leafy greens, legumes, sweet potatoes, and yogurt. The flavor from different foods will affect your breastmilk taste, which can help your baby accept solid foods easily as they grow. During the breastfeeding period, your health provider may recommend supplements and multivitamins. You do not need exceptional food to increase breast intake; a balanced diet should be sufficient to produce breastmilk.
Also, know what foods to avoid while breastfeeding,
It may take a few days after delivery for your milk to come in, so set aside your worries if you think you have a low supply. All you have to do is nurse more frequently, increasing your milk production. As long as your baby fills in diapers regularly, there is no need to worry about your lactation. Also, since you'll be needing energy, you must take a rest. Store your breastmilk into milk storage so that your spouse or babysitter can feed your little one while you're taking a nap. Always ask for help if you need to; lack of sleep may affect your milk supply.
There is no limit on fluid intake except for the drinks you need to avoid (sugary, soda, beer, caffeine). Drink every time you are thirsty and every after breastfeeding to replace the lost fluids and for you to stay hydrated. Slight dehydration may not affect your milk supply; however, it may affect your energy, mood, and skin health so it is best to take more fluids. For breastfeeding moms, experts recommend 128 ounces per day. This will help your body function well to its optimal level.
A 2004 study shows breast massage has several benefits, especially for lactating moms. It helps empty milk ducts and increases milk flow. It also helps treat plugged milk ducts and engorgement and prevents developing mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissues).
There are a lot of support groups out there that can share their breastfeeding experiences with you. It may help you with your breastfeeding challenges. You may also seek professional help from your doctor, midwife, or your child's pediatrician. A lactation consultant can assist you if you need more guidance on breastfeeding. Many factors can affect your breastfeeding journey; no matter how hard it can be, we need to put more patience, effort, and love. After all, it is only the beginning of motherhood.
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