Nutrition tips for breastfeeding mamas
As part of World Breastfeeding Week, we asked Brooke Turner of Balance Fitness and Nutrition to share her top tips for nutrition when breastfeeding.
Don't restrict your diet
Generally speaking, if you’re a breastfeeding mama you will be needing anywhere from an additional 500 – 700 calories per day. If a successful breastfeeding journey is a goal for you, now is not the time to be dieting or restricting your energy intake. I get it, there is often that ‘pressure’ be it real or perceived for women to get their ‘pre baby body’ back or slim down soon after baby is here, so surely cutting ‘calories’ is the best way to do that, right? Wrong! Now is not the time to be dieting. Embarking on a calorie deficit or restrictive post baby diet will negatively impact your milk supply, due to the increased energy requirements associated with breastfeeding.
Eat more galactagogue foods
There are several foods that can help to boost and support your breast milk supply. Add these to your shopping list:— Oats
— Brewers yeast
— Flaxseeds / Flaxmeal
— Dried fruit & nuts – almonds, cashews
— Green leafy vegetables
— Chick peas/lentils
— Brown rice
Ideas for incorporating the above foods include:— Oats/porridge: mixed with chia seeds, flaxmeal, brewers yeast, berries & almond milk - a great breakfast idea
— Smoothie: Banana, berries, almond milk, spinach, brewers yeast
— Veggie: sticks with hommus - the perfect, easy snack
— Fruit & nut mix: another easy snack idea
— Salmon: with brown rice & green leafy veggies, meats with salad & lentils - nutritious dinner or lunch time meals.
Stay hydrated & prioritise rest
I know just how hard it can be to get enough rest with a newborn (and older kids around). Adequate rest, keeping well hydrated and eating healthy, balanced meals are key to supporting healthy milk supply and promoting your postnatal recovery mama!
Can you get a power nap in at some point during the day or maybe go to bed earlier? Be sure to keep a water bottle next to you so that you can drink up, and don’t wait until you're thirsty to do so.
Look at food as fuel for you and bub. Try as best you can to make sure you incorporate some of the foods that can help with postpartum recovery and milk supply. Put those visitors to good use and get them prepping some healthy, nourishing meals!
Eating well, prioritising sleep, movement and adjusting to life as a mum should be your focus over weight loss or getting back to your pre-baby weight. Your body has undergone drastic changes over the past 10 months and the hard work is far from over. You now need to help grow a healthy infant so fuelling your body right will be your priority - remove any pressure and pre-conceived ideas of rushing back to pre-baby exercise or starting a diet - now is NOT the time to be ‘dieting’.
Instead,— Focus on trying to eat REGULARLY
— Prioritise sleep/rest
— Be kind to yourself
— Safe movement with the motive to maintain your mental health & sanity over weight loss.
If you want to know more about foods to eat post baby to promote recovery, lactation, returning to exercise and suitable training sessions check out my Returning to Exercise & Nutrition for Post Natal Recovery eBook HERE!
As always, any questions about this journey just reach out!
About Brooke Turner
Brooke is a nutritionist, trainer, international presenter and writer with 11+ years experience in the health and fitness industry. A mum of three, Brooke is on a mission to educate and empower women, and fitness professionals working with women, everywhere, to exercise in a way that is safe, effective, and enjoyable throughout pregnancy and beyond!