Diet of an active breastfeeding mother – what to include and what to exclude from your menu when breastfeeding?

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It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

The time of breastfeeding is another stage of changes in the female body, not only physical, but also hormonal or mental. It is worthwhile to support your body during this special period. 

The most necessary nutrients 

The diet of an active nursing mother should be based primarily on products that will provide the body with the most important vitamins and minerals. Breastfeeding is a process in which nutrients strengthen not only the woman’s body, but also the baby’s. It is for this reason that it is necessary to ensure that they are in adequate levels in food. Among the most necessary nutrients needed during this time, experts include vitamins A, B, C, D and E. During breastfeeding, the need for vitamin D especially increases. Vitamin C is responsible for more efficient absorption of iron, which is especially necessary during breastfeeding in the context of red blood cell formation and oxygenation of body cells. Iron also strengthens the immune system, both in the mother and the infant. Specialists also emphasize that one of the most important elements in the diet of a nursing mother is DHA fatty acid. This ingredient is supplied to the baby’s body only through the mother’s food, and its beneficial effects affect the proper development of the brain and vision in the baby. 

Increased caloric requirements 

A characteristic element of the diet of an active nursing mother is also an increased daily energy requirement. It is estimated that during intensive lactation, the mother should enrich her daily diet with an additional 500 calories. According to scientific studies, this is how much energy is consumed by the process of producing the milk that the baby takes in each day. This rule applies mainly to mothers who are breastfeeding babies up to about 6 months of age. Experts emphasize that during the period when the baby is fed with synthetic milk and breast milk is only a dietary supplement, the caloric requirement should be increased by a maximum of 300 calories. The required caloric level of meals should be supplemented by products with a higher content of fats and carbohydrates, such as salmon, cereals, rice, whole grain bread, pulses, cereals, bananas, avocados, vegetable oils and nuts, especially cashews or walnuts. 

What to avoid in the diet of a nursing mother?

The most important rule in a breastfeeding mother’s diet is for the mother to eat whatever she feels like and what she thinks is best for her. Women should listen to the needs of their own body and eat according to their needs. Watching for allergic reactions in the baby is also key. Quickly noticing the problem will help easily eliminate the allergen from mom’s diet. However, experts point out several products that can be limited in the daily diet during breastfeeding. This list includes highly processed foods and drinks with a lot of caffeine. The diet of an active breastfeeding mother should not be devoid of products qualified as causing allergies. Studies show that even the prophylactic exclusion of certain fruits, nuts or fish will not reduce the risk of allergies in the child. Moreover, the removal of such products from the diet may increase the risk of deficiency of certain substances in the mother or child. Allergens should be excluded from the diet only in the case of a medical diagnosis. Following an elimination diet on your own can be detrimental to both the nursing mother and the newborn. 

main photo: unsplash.com/Jason Briscoe

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