Did you know that a baby will get all of the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthily from your breastmilk? This means you will need to increase your diet intake in order to keep up with your hungry baby. Many find that this happens naturally as your baby is consuming a lot of the nutrients that you need for your energy. It’s important to consume a healthy balanced diet and try introduce as many different types of healthy food as you can.
To help you with breastfeeding and ensure you are also getting enough nutrients from what you eat, we’ve compiled a list of 7 foods and drinks that we consider superfoods for breastfeeding.
Leafy Green Vegetables
We all know that Broccoli, Kale and Spinach are wonderful superfoods for anyone, but they are especially good for breastfeeding mums. Leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K minerals including calcium as well as fiber, antioxidants and folate (folic acid). Aim for at least one serving a day. Add them to your breakfast omelet, blend them into a smoothie, or make a stir-fry. If you have other kids in the family to feed at dinner try blend some up and disguise them in your family meals too.
Hummus and Carrots
Hummus and carrot sticks are the perfect snack for breastfeeding mums. Hummus is a complete protein and is great for increasing milk supply. Combined with Carrots you’re not only getting the nutrients needed to help increase milk supply but your also getting a good dose of beta-carotene and Vitamin A, both of which lactating mothers have an increased need for. Make this your go to snack when breastfeeding.
Brown rice is unprocessed rice with just the outer-most hull removed. It’s a complex carbohydrate, which provides mum with the energy needed for breastfeeding and keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which may just help with shedding that extra weight. Brown Rice also helps with milk production by stimulating different hormones which play a vital role in lactation.
Oatmeal is a fantastic way for mums to boost their milk supply. Oatmeal has properties in it that help to lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy blood pressure plus they also help with other functions in the body including lactation. Oatmeal is a great comfort food, so sit down with a bowl of porridge and relax. While relaxing your body is releasing oxytocin (a hormone involved in milk production). Being relaxed can also help with the milk let-down process.
Salmon is a great source of essential fatty acids (EFA) and omega-3 fatty acids and have been known to give your milk supply a boost through improving mums nutrition and increasing the release of hormones necessary for milk production. Naturally, having more EFAs available will allow you to produce fattier, more nutritious breast milk. Salmon is also one of the few naturally occurring sources of vitamin D, something many women are deficient in.
Rooibos Tea has many health benefits for nursing and pregnant women. It is naturally high in Vitamin C–great for boosting your immune system when it may be suppressed due to pregnancy or sleepless nights with an infant. It is also known to help soothe colicky babies and upset stomachs.
Filling up your water bottle and drinking throughout the day is important for hydration, good energy levels and your milk supply. When you sit down to breastfeed, make sure you have a bottle of water next to you to sip on. Non-caffeinated, unsweetened beverages, as well as soups and juicy fruits and vegetables count too.