One of the most important decisions that a mom should make to get ready for giving birth is how to feed the baby. Why opt for breastfeeding? We are all aware of the significant role breastfeeding plays in ensuring child’s health and survival especially for the first 6 months of life. Aside from providing warmth and closeness, the benefits extend well beyond basic nutrition. Breast milk is best for baby and young infants. It is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect baby from illness.
Today, most mothers are breastfeeding their babies. If you are a new mom however, you might get some tips from breastfeeding veterans to get off a good start. Breastfeeding, like anything new, takes some practice. Breastfeeding moms should consider everything they eat and how these foods could help or harm the baby’s development. Moms should consider what foods are off-limits now that they are breastfeeding. Most importantly, they should ensure their diet contains nutritious food that is good for them and their babies.
What Are The Nutritious Foods That A Mom Should Eat While Breastfeeding? Read on to find out.
A lactating mother burns almost 20 calories to make just an ounce of breast milk. Also, some nutrients are transferred into breast milk. So to fulfill the baby’s needs and your own, mom should to eat a variety of nutritious, whole foods such as:
• Fish and seafood: Salmon, seaweed, shellfish and sardines.
• Meat: Beef, lamb, pork and organ meats, such as liver.
• Fruits and vegetables: Berries, tomatoes, cabbage, kale, garlic and broccoli.
• Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flaxseeds.
• Other foods: Eggs, oats, potatoes, quinoa, buckwheat and dark chocolate.
Make Sure to Get Plenty of These Nutrients:
A. Important Nutrients for both Mom and Baby and Some Common Food Sources
• Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): Fish, pork, seeds, nuts and bread.
• Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Cheese, almonds, nuts, red meat, oily fish and eggs.
• Vitamin B6: Seeds, nuts, fish, poultry, pork, bananas and dried fruit.
• Vitamin B12: Shellfish, liver, oily fish, crab and shrimp.
• Choline: Eggs, beef liver, chicken liver, fish and peanuts.
• Vitamin A: Sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, organ meats and eggs.
• Vitamin D: Cod liver oil, oily fish, some mushrooms and fortified foods.
• Selenium: Brazil nuts, seafood, fish, whole wheat and seeds.
• Iodine: Dried seaweed, cod, milk and iodized salt.
B. Most Important Nutrients for Mom and Some Common Food Sources
• Folate: Beans, lentils, leafy greens, asparagus and avocados.
• Calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese, leafy greens and legumes.
• Iron: Red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, green vegetables and dried fruit.
• Copper: Shellfish, whole grains, nuts, beans, organ meats and potatoes.
• Zinc: Oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and dairy.
(The nutrients mentioned above prevents Mom from becoming deficient herself).
These Supplements may Benefit Breastfeeding Mothers
• Omega-3 (DHA)
• Vitamin B12
• Vitamin D
On the other hand, breastfeeding women should limit their intake of caffeine and alcohol- they should only be consumed occasionally or cautiously. Some babies may also be allergic to cow’s milk protein in their mother’s diet.
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