We know diet is important to help stay healthy. When we breastfeed, it is important to note that you are not just eating for yourself, but that you are eating for two; you and baby. We know that having a healthy diet is important while we are pregnant, but it is just as important while we are breastfeeding. Here are some important considerations to note:
The occasional lapse of diet will not be harmful to your baby, but continuously consuming unhealthy foods can affect your breastmilk. A mother’s breastmilk in the main source of nutrients for a baby, so the quality of the milk will affect your baby’s wellbeing. When you a breast feeding it is not recommended that you go on a diet or extreme exercise regime. By dieting and cutting out certain foods from your diet you may not be consuming enough calories, and the exclusion of one particular food group can affect the quality of your milk. Excessive exercise can also affect the quality of your milk, as well as drawing on its reserves, which may result in depletion.
Remember, when you breastfeed you need to eat more, and trust me, you will be aware of it. You will feel hungrier. Your body is working hard to nourish two bodies. We suggest to eat small, regular meals throughout the day to help keep you your hunger levels at bay.
When it comes to eating for two, it does not suggest you should over eat. Yes, as a breastfeeding mum you will need more calories. As a general rule, it is suggested that breastfeeding women an extra 300-400 calories. So on top of the recommended average consumption of 2000 calories per day for the average adult woman, when breasting, you should not be eating more than 2500 calories a day.
Speak to your doctor for advice. Remember every woman is different and will have different needs while breastfeeding.