Sunday, January 8, 2017


What should I eat when I'm breastfeeding?

When you are breastfeeding it is best to follow a healthy, balanced diet every day, you need to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, preferably fresh, local or organic. Eating green leafy vegetables in a salad with a variety of other vegetables and very little dressing, will pack a punch of nutrients that you need to sustain optimum health for you and your baby. Plenty of protein, such beans, sea vegetables, lean meat, eggs, mushrooms, whole grains with high protein content like Bulgar wheat or quinoa... and don’t forget the Starchy foods, such as 100% whole grain bread, pasta and rice. Keep in mind that whole grain varieties, have added fiber which is needed for good digestive function. Have at least two portions of fish a week, including oily varieties, such as wild salmon, albacore tuna or pacific sardines. Mothers who do not eat animal products are at risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency, so to get adequate amounts of vitamin B-12 look into getting fortified foods; some low-fat dairy food, such as a yogurt, butter, cheese or milk products are good. Looking into healthier snacks like nuts, seeds, dried fruits are perfect when you feel like snacking, for those that enjoy cookies, chips, things of that nature definitely look for healthier versions.

Do I need to drink more water when I'm breastfeeding?
YES YOU DO! You need to drink enough water to support your body normal functions while you're breastfeeding (estimated half your body weight in ounces). Though your body is very good at regulating its reserves to keep your milk supply going; keep in mind drinking less water not only dehydrates you but if done for long periods it can eventually affect your milk supply.
Bear in mind that during breastfeeding your body releases the hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel thirsty. If your body is properly hydrated daily the less thirsty symptoms you may feel. So keep a drink nearby during the months you're breastfeeding.
If you're worried about whether you're getting enough to drink, you can check the color of your urine. If it's pale-colored, you're getting plenty to drink. If it's dark yellow, or smells strongly, you may be dehydrated, in which case you should drink more water. Other signs of being dehydrated can be dry skin, dry hair, chapped lips, feeling lethargic…
Drinking quality water is what I always recommend to everyone. “Quality Water” being “Alkaline Water” that is, which is water that has a pH of 8.0 – 9.0. NOTE: If buying bottled water from a store the bottle must state the pH on the bottle.

 Do I need extra calories when I am breastfeeding?
YES YOU DO! Just like you needed to eat extra calories while you were pregnant, you need to have extra, extra calories as a breastfeeding mom, so your body can efficiently continue to produce milk and continue its daily functions. I always tell moms that when breast feeding you have to eat for You, Yourself, Reserve and The Baby; you are basically eating and feeding four people. Making sure your meals are well balanced, eating a variety of different foods weekly and having healthy snacks to eat in between will keep you both (mom and baby) nourished, happy & growing.
The amount you need to eat also depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, like how much weight you gained during pregnancy, how physically active you are and post pregnancy health status. Since breastfeeding usually gives you a big appetite and since you need to increase the amount of food you eat; eating a healthy diet, getting adequate exercise and sleep will play a major part in your caloric breakdown. Also, it is said that many women lose some weight when breastfeeding.  
Since we are on the topic of weight, you may have put on a bit of weight while you were pregnant, so losing some of this weight is probably a thought lingering in your mind. If you’ve just had a newborn, you'll need plenty of energy and those stored fat cells comes in hand. Trying to lose weight too soon after giving birth may delay your recovery and make you feel even more tired. So try to wait until you've had your postnatal check and spoken to your healthcare provider before you lose weight. After you get the OK from your doctor losing about 1lb to 2lb a week shouldn't affect the amount or the quality of milk you make.
Eating healthily and doing some gentle exercise will help you to get in shape. This is better than very strict low-calorie diets when you are breastfeeding. You can increase how much you exercise six weeks to eight weeks after giving birth, if you feel up to it.
If you notice that you don't feel like eating, it could be a sign that you may need extra emotional support. Women who have postnatal depression sometimes lose their appetite. If you're finding it a struggle to eat, talk to your doctor, nursing counselor or health consultant.

What shouldn't I eat when breastfeeding?
Traces of bi-products and chemicals that are in the food and drink we consume can sometimes get into breast milk, and this may affect your baby. This is why it is important to be selective on the quality of the food you buy and not so much on the quantity of price, especially if you think long term of using food as a restorative healing tool.
Some babies are affected by a protein in cow's milk, which causes symptoms such as:
o   Bloating
o   Itchy skin and a rash
o   Swollen eyes, face or lips
o   Wheeziness or coughing
o   Diarrhea
o   Constipation

o   Vomiting or re-flux
o   A poor appetite
o   Eczema
o   Changes to their poo
o   Not growing well

If you think that dairy is affecting your baby, talk to your healthcare provider or nutritionist about removing it from your diet for a week or so, to see if it makes a difference. If your baby has been diagnosed with a cow's milk allergy, a dietitian can advise you about how to remove it from your diet completely and what to replace it with. You may also need to take calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Some mums worry about eating peanuts while breastfeeding, but there's no real evidence that this makes your baby more likely to develop a peanut allergy. So as long as you're not allergic to peanuts, you can eat them as part of a balanced diet. New studies have shown that eating peanuts while breast feeding will aid your child in not becoming allergic to them.

Can I drink soda, coffee or tea if I'm breastfeeding?
Avoid having lots of caffeinated drinks when you're breastfeeding. In the US, women who are breastfeeding are recommended to have no more than about 200mg of caffeine a day. That's about two mugs of tea, or coffee, or a can of soda a day. More than this amount of caffeine can most likely harm your baby in the long run. If you notice your baby seems to be restless or unsettled, or find that it’s difficult to sleep, try cutting back on caffeine, or not having any at all. This may make a difference for you and your baby.

Can I drink alcohol if I'm breastfeeding?
The occasional drink is unlikely to harm you or your baby. However, it's safest not to have more than one or two units of alcohol, once or twice a week, if you are breastfeeding.
Alcohol passes through your breast milk to your baby. Drinking more than two units a day while you are breastfeeding may reduce your milk supply, and even affect your baby's development.
As a guide:
  • o      a small (125ml) glass of wine is two units
  • o      a pint of strong lager is three units
  • o      a bottle of cooler is between one and two units

But this also depends on the strength of the drink, which will be detailed as a percentage on the label. The higher the percentage, the stronger the drink. How fast alcohol enters your bloodstream, and then your breast milk, depends on how much you weigh, and whether you have a full or empty stomach. The amount of alcohol in your blood usually peaks between 30 minutes and 90 minutes after you have the drink. You'll need to allow an hour or two for your body to be clear of one unit of alcohol.
So if you want to have an alcoholic drink when you are breastfeeding, feed your baby before having the drink. Two or three hours later, when it's time to feed your baby again, the level of alcohol in your blood should be low enough not to affect your baby. However, if your baby is newborn, she may need feeding more often than every two hours or three hours. So you may want to stick to herbal teas, water or non-caffeinated soft drinks for the moment.

In conclusion: The purpose of breastfeeding can be for many reasons, maybe you want to build a bond between you and your little one, maybe you want to nourish their developing bodies and minds, hek, even if you don’t have money to keep buying formula you may choose to breastfeed. Whatever the reason make sure you are doing it right. Be smart when eating and drinking and remember little bundle of joy is depending on you to have two breast filled with this nourishment, that should be motivation enough.

#windowsofwellness #thewellnessmission #mersagetherapy #breastfeeding #eatinghealthy #holisticlivingmom #newmom #nursingchildren

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