Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your baby.
It creates a unique bond between mom and baby while providing baby with nutrition that cannot be matched by even the most advanced formulas.
But while it seems like a simple task, many moms struggle to breastfeed or stress out about what they are eating and if baby is getting enough.
Here are seven foods every mom should add to her diet today!
Amanda Capriglione, a registered and certified dietitian nutritionist, created this list to ensure every breastfeeding mom gets the nutrition she needs to give her baby the absolute best.
Breastfeeding requires a lot of calcium and protein. Both are big components in breastmilk to help baby grow strong bones and healthy muscles.
“Breast milk contains lots of calcium, so it’s vital that moms replenish their supply to prevent their bones from calcium depletion. Add almonds to yogurt for a double whammy calcium snack,’ Capriglione suggests.”
You’ve heard a lot about Omega-3’s and DHEA during pregnancy but many moms don’t know that it is just as important to continue getting these important fatty acids after pregnancy. In fact, everyone should be diligent to make these a regular part of their diet.
Capriglione chose salmon, particularly because “Omega-3s can increase milk supply, and salmon is full of them. “Salmon is high in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, which is super important for your little one’s developing brain and nervous system,” she says. “It’s also a good source of protein to consume one time a week. An omega-3 supplement can help you stay on track if you don’t care for fish or are vegan.”
Flaxseed is another great option for both vegans and meat-eaters.
Oatmeal gets a bad rap these days, but it is still an important nutritional staple.
It makes for a quick and easy breakfast and sustains energy for hours.
“Oats are high in iron, fiber-filled, and delicious. The fiber in oatmeal will keep you full, and the iron will help with your milk supply because iron deficiency is a milk supply killer. “Enjoy plain regular oats or quick oats and steer clear of the flavored kind and added sugars,” Capriglione says.”
Mommy Underground recommends buying organic oats to ensure you are getting the healthiest oats, free of GMOs and harmful pesticides.
Fennel is an underrated vegetable. Many people don’t know what to do with it and others are turned away by its unique flavor.
It is similar to licorice, but that doesn’t mean you will hate fennel if you hate licorice. In fact, when cooked correctly it’s a crowd pleaser!
According to Capriglione,
“Both the plant and its seed, fenugreek, contain phytoestrogens, which can help milk production, but scientific evidence is lacking. Always check with your healthcare provider before starting a supplement like fenugreek. Fennel is tasty by itself or delicious when sliced up in salads.”
5. Dark, Leafy Greens
Not surprisingly, salad tops another nutritional list. Dark, leafy greens are so nutrient dense, you can never go wrong with a good salad – topped with a healthy dressing of course!
“Time to start chomping on those dark leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard and kale to give yourself an iron boost, plus “they contain optimal nutrients” for breastfeeding, according to Capriglione. “Top cooked or raw leafy greens with an acid like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to get the most iron benefits,” she suggests.
So break out the salad kits! Mix and match the toppings to keep things fresh and interesting. A good place to start would be a spinach and kale salad topped with salmon, almonds, and fennel!
6. Brewer’s Yeast
While this may not sound like a healthy or even edible snack, brewer’s yeast actually can be one of the most helpful added nutrients for a breastfeeding mama.
“Brewer’s yeast powder is high in B vitamins, iron, protein, chromium, and selenium,” according to Capriglione. It’s typically combined in other recipes — like beer — because it’s really bitter. But before you start chugging beer to enhance your milk supply, Capriglione warns, “Alcohol can block the release of oxytocin, a lactation hormone and neurotransmitter, that can cause a decrease in the number of letdowns a breastfeeding mother has in a session.”
Many moms swear by one or two alcohol-free beers a day!
For those who dislike the taste of beer or want a different option, there are many recipes online for cookies and all kinds of goodies! Some companies have even started selling products to help boost lactation, but be forewarned, they can be very pricey!
As previously mentioned above, flaxseed is a good source of Omega-3’s!
And it’s easy to add to just about anything!
We suggest topping your salads, salmon, yogurt, and oatmeal with it. It is also great in smoothies!
Start by picking one or two of these to add to your diet each week!
In no time you will have added add all of these important foods to your diet and your body and baby will thank you.
(h/t Mommy Underground)