Breastfeeding: what to eat & what to avoid

a photograph featuring a breastfeeding mother with her newborn baby in a bright kitchen, preparing a colorful salad with fresh ingredients for herself and her newborn baby. The vibrant hues of the vegetables and fruits reflect the vitality of healthy eating during breastfeeding.
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Every breastfeeding mother has questions about what she can or cannot consume and how this will affect the quality of her milk. Of course, it is always best to hear the answers from the experts. 

Are there specific foods I should eat while breastfeeding?

There are no specific foods (such as cow’s milk) that every breastfeeding mother must have. The nutrients in breast milk are drawn from the available nutrient reserves in the mother’s body.

It’s essential for the nursing mother’s health to replenish those nutrients. It is unlikely that the baby will not get sufficient nutrition if the mother has a balanced diet and continues taking her prenatal supplements for the duration of her breastfeeding.

You can try eating more galactagogues or substances that increase milk supply. These lactation cookies contain oats and brewer’s yeast which are well-known for their lactogenic properties. 

Which foods should be avoided by breastfeeding moms?

Generally speaking, there are no foods that all mothers must avoid. In most cases, there is no need to steer clear of potentially sensitivity triggering foods such as chocolate, spicy foods, onions, garlic, broccoli or cabbage.

However, keeping a food diary and paying attention to how your baby reacts to breast milk after consumption of certain foods could be a useful tool if you suspect that your nutrition habits are contributing to your baby’s fussiness.

Be mindful that certain foods may stay in your system for up to three days and so the reaction to the breast milk will be just as long.

a snapshot of a breastfeeding mom sitting on a cozy couch with her newborn baby, surrounded by breastfeeding-friendly snacks and a bottle of water. She smiles contentedly as she nourishes herself and her newborn baby, creating a nurturing and peaceful atmosphere

What about cow’s milk?

Cow’s milk protein intolerance or allergy is a common cause of fussiness, acid reflux and discomfort in infants. Removing all dairy products including cow’s milk of any type (including lactose-free), yoghurt, cheese, butter and cream for two to four weeks may be recommended by your paediatrician if you suspect that it may be a cause for baby’s discomfort. It takes several weeks for the protein to fully leave your milk and your infant’s body.

Do I need to eat more than usual to have a sufficient milk supply?

Eat to satisfy your hunger. Your fat stores at birth provide much of the fuel needed to make milk. Research has found that your metabolism may be more efficient while nursing than at other times which may reduce your need for extra calories.

If my diet is not perfect, will my breast milk have all the needed nutrients?

Although eating a nutrient-dense diet is vital for you as it replenishes the depleted nutrients and therefore boosts your energy and immune function, a calculated and prescribed diet is not necessary to produce good-quality breast milk.

Are there foods that will increase my milk supply?

Fennel and fenugreek seeds are known for their lactogenic support properties. Milk supply is also based on how many times each day your milk is drained well from your breasts. The more times you breastfeed or express your milk, the more milk you will make.

Please note: This is general advice, and each mom is different. If low breast milk supply continues, please get advice and visit with your nurse or a lactation consultant.

BabyYumYum reserves the right to its opinions and fully supports the promotion that breast is best in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) infant feeding guidelines http://www.who.int/topics/infant_nutrition/en/.

Breast milk is the best food for infants. Good maternal nutrition is essential to prepare and maintain breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is not applied, an infant formula may be used according to the advice of healthcare professionals. Preparation and storage of any infant formula should be performed as directed on the tin in order not to pose any health hazards

Also read: Barriers to Breastfeeding & Tips to Getting It Right

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1 comment

Joey Van schalkwykí May 26, 2024 - 7:11 am

I love the products and would love to use it for my baby

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