If you decide to go ahead and breastfeed your baby because of all the amazing benefits, you might be worrying about the quality or quantity of your milk. A well crafted breastfeeding nutrition plan will improve your milk supply and also improve its nutritional content to make sure your little one is getting all the nutrients it needs. The specific foods below are ones you should definitely be adding to your daily meals.
Apricots contain dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium; all essential nutrients for you and your baby. Eating apricots can also increase the production of prolactin; the hormone that tells your body to produce milk. Enjoy apricots on their own or cut them up and use them to sweeten your morning oatmeal.
Asparagus can help out with breastfeeding in a number of ways. High in fiber, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C, it helps maintain a healthy milk supply. Asparagus also contain an amino acid called tryptophan which helps produce more prolactin, the main hormone involved in milk production.
You need to take care of yourself before you can give your baby your best. Bananas are the perfect food to snack on to keep you energetic and they are also proven mood boosters. When you are happier, you will be able to nourish your baby better.
Dates are great because they have a double benefit when it comes to breastfeeding. Sugar cravings are natural when you’re nursing, and satisfying them sensibly with dates instead of a chocolate bar will save your body from a ton of refined sugar. Not just that, but dates are also high in calcium, iron, and potassium; all nutrients your growing baby needs consistently.
Molasses is extremely rich in minerals such as calcium, copper, and iron. Use in your morning oatmeal, as a substitute for your usual sweetener, or take it as a tea in 1 cup of hot water with a squeeze of lemon.
Tahini paste, made from ground sesame seeds, serves your body with a very easily absorbable source of calcium, omega-3, and protein. These are all nutrients that your baby needs in abundance during its first year of life, and you need them to recover after pregnancy and childbirth too. Make a tahini dip to have next to your protein, or add a tablespoon to your salad dressings. Want a breastfeeding superstar combination? Combine tahini with blackstrap molasses and have a tablespoon a day.
If you have an issue with milk quantity, fenugreek is your go to supplement to increase supply. Fenugreek contains large amounts of phytoestrogens, compounds that increase female hormone productions and subsequently increase milk supply. Add fenugreek as a spice to your cooking, or mix it in with a hot glass of milk for a nutritionally concentrated drink.
We’ll be honest, green vegetables will promote health throughout any stage of your life, not just while you are breastfeeding. All green vegetables will help deliver much needed vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron to your baby. Read our green’s guide and get the low down on all your different options.
Most breastfeeding moms will report increased hunger and lack of energy while nursing. A hearty bowl of morning oatmeal can help solve both these issues. Oats will keep you full for a long time after breakfast and contain complex carbs to stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent sudden tiredness.
Saving the best for last, though it’s not a food! Water is one of the most important things for breastfeeding and it’s better in keeping you hydrated than consuming the empty calories along with juice, milk or other liquids. To be sure you’re drinking enough amidst your newly busy schedule, have a glass of water each time you sit and breastfeed. For extra hydration or a change of flavors, add cucumbers or infuse with lemon.