The breastfeeding diet must be varied because breastfeeding is the best food for the infant. Breast milk contains all the necessary nutrients for the growth and proper development of a newborn baby. Breast milk quality is directly dependent on the mother's diet. Therefore, the mother's diet must be rich in nutrients and devoid of substances that could harm the infant's health.
1. Breastfeeding diet to avoid
During breastfeeding, the mother does not need to "eat for two." She must nevertheless eat enough to prevent deficiencies and guarantee to the child and herself a good caloric intake. It is, therefore, necessary to avoid:
Low-calorie diets: On the contrary, it is even advisable to consume 450 to more than 500 kcal more per day than normal, because the production of milk requires a lot of energy.
Diets that exclude carbohydrates, as they are necessary for energy supply
Diets that exclude products of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, milk, and dairy products), as these are the main sources of protein. If you are vegetarian, there are alternatives. During your pregnancy, you had to follow a specific diet; it is always time to continue it during breastfeeding.
Seasonings (olive oil, butter, etc.) are necessary and must continue to be part of the diet. Don't ban fat altogether. The ideal, to promote lactation is to split the breastfeeding diet by making 2-3 snacks per day, without skipping main meals, of course. It is also useful to remember that you do not need special foods to ensure or increase your milk supply.
2. What does a breastfeeding diet consist of?
2.1 A balanced and varied diet
As with pregnancy, it is not about eating more but about eating better and having enough. In order that the mother's body produces high-quality milk and nourishing in terms of nutritional intake, it is necessary to adopt the most varied diet possible.
2.2 A breastfeeding diet rich in iron
The lack of iron causes many inconveniences, starting with fatigue. By breastfeeding, the mother transmits her stock of iron in her blood to her baby. Remember to consume eggs, whole grains, lentils, black pudding, and red meat regularly.
2.3 A breastfeeding diet with calcium intakes
For the proper development of the baby's musculature and skeleton, you should monitor your calcium intake. You can find calcium mainly in cheese, milk, yogurt, but also butter, which is an important source of vitamin A. Antioxidant, vitamin A strengthens bone growth and ensures good vision.
2.4 Breastfeeding diet rich in essential fatty acids
To maintain a mother's nervous balance and a baby's brain development, fatty acids are essential. The body does not synthesize omega 3s, so you should consume them regularly. To do this, you just need to dig into fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel, salmon, but also walnut, rapeseed, or soybean oils.
2.5 Breastfeeding diet rich in fruits and vegetables for vitamins
Naturally present in fruits and vegetables, trace elements and vitamins are essential for the nursing mother and her baby. Here again, all you have to do is vary the pleasures and consume different fruits and vegetables according to your desires.
2.6 Breastfeeding diet; on the drinks side
Only water is absolutely necessary for the human body's proper functioning, and this is all the more true during breastfeeding.
3. Breastfeeding diet for vegetarian
In the case of a strict vegetarian diet, a vitamin B12 supplement is necessary. And we recommend a dose of 2 mcg to 2.6 mcg if the consumption of fortified foods (soy drinks, imitation meat, fortified nutritional yeast) is insufficient to meet daily requirements.
4. Foods to avoid during the breastfeeding diet
If your baby is uncomfortable with certain foods you have eaten, it is worth studying your diet and removing anything related to the baby's problem.
Broccoli, cabbage, onions, and brussels sprouts are some of the risky foods to watch out for; they can be responsible for flatulence in adults and sometimes colic for breastfed babies.
Another example: many mothers consider that spicy dishes upset their babies. On the other hand, some other mothers do not notice a negative effect after eating these dishes.
Oily fish is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. However, limit the amount to two servings per week. Fresh tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout are considered fatty. Canned tuna does not fall into this category and therefore does not count as a serving of oily fish.
If you drink alcohol or coffee, try to do so only occasionally. Drinks containing caffeine affect the baby and may make it difficult for him to sleep. Caffeine is naturally present in certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, and chocolate. You can also find it as an additive to certain cold drinks or energy drinks and certain medicines against colds or the flu; always check the labels.
5. Breastfeeding diet example
- 1 cereal product: bread, rusks (preferably whole or with cereals) with butter and / or jam. or cereals (prefer the less sweet)
- 1 dairy product: 1 glass of milk, 1 cheese, 1 yogurt, 1 cottage cheese.
- 1 fruit; fresh, squeezed, or mashed.
- 1 drink (preferably little or no sweetness): water, 1 tea, or coffee.
Vegetables: 1 salad of raw vegetables and / or cooked vegetables. Season them with a drizzle of vegetable oil (to vary) or, from time to time, a knob of butter (we do not recommend the consumption of margarine enriched with phytosterols)
1 meat: (choose the less fatty) or 1 fish (at least twice a week including a lean fish) or eggs. The amount of protein must be less than that of the accompaniment.
Starches (bread, pasta, rice, lentils, potatoes, chickpeas, etc.) Their quantity will vary according to your appetite; favor whole grain foods.
1 dairy product: 1 glass of milk, 1 cheese, 1 yogurt, or 1 cottage cheese
1 fruit fresh, squeezed or mashed
- 1 dairy product: 1 glass of milk, 1 cheese, 1 yogurt or 1 cottage cheese
- 1 cereal product: 1 cereal cookie or a slice of bread. The amount depends on your appetite. Promote whole grain foods
- 1 fruit fresh or mashed
- some water
Vegetables: 1 salad of raw vegetables and / or cooked vegetables
Optionally 1 meat (prefer the less fatty) or 1 fish (at least twice a week, favoring lean fish) or eggs. In quantity less than the accompaniment.
Starchy foods (bread, pasta, rice, lentils, potatoes, chickpeas, etc.) You can adapt the quantity to your appetite. Promote whole grain foods.