What to eat when breastfeeding
This goes on the top of my list as a woman's hydration requirements sky-rocket whilst breastfeeding, as you're losing so much fluid from breast-milk. You'll need at least one more litre a day on top of your normal intake.
The average women's daily requirements of cereals and grains increase significantly during breastfeeding as carbohydrates are a large component of breastmilk (which is why many women become ravenously hungry whilst breastfeeding!). Pasta has a low-GI count so it breaks down within the body slowly, leading to sustained fullness. If you find that you're hungry, include some pasta with your meals to help you feel fuller.
Breastfeeding mums need enough iodine to meet their babies' iodine levels as well as their own. Research has shown that many Australians are not getting enough iodine in their diet, especially while they're breastfeeding.
The recommendations for vegetables increase from 5 serves per day to 7.5 serves per day while breastfeeding. One of the best ways to boost your vegie intake is to snack on vegetable soup; vegie soup can be prepared in advance, is quick, easy and filling!
Brown rice is another good source of carbohydrate, but it also contains double the amount of iron compared to white rice. Higher rates of iron are required during breastfeeding as so much of a woman's lost during labour.
In addition to boosting your fluid intake, milk is a rich source of calcium. Your bub requires plenty of calcium during these early stages as they are growing so quickly.
You'll need plenty of low-kilojoule, nutritious snacks while you're breastfeeding. Celery is low in kilojoules, has a high fluid content and also packs a mighty crunch.
It's recommended that breastfeeding mums regularly eat foods containing common allergens to help build up your baby's immune defence. Rates of hospital admission for anaphylaxis have risen five-fold over the past few years. Help protect your little one from peanut allergy by snacking on a small handful of peanuts each day.
Tofu is made from soybeans, a common allergen, so is a great way to build up your baby's immune defences. Soybeans also provide all of the essential amino acids that your baby needs for growth.
Fish is quick to prepare, which is essential when you're breastfeeding. It's also one of the best sources of omega 3, which has been shown to help reduce your baby's risk of eczema, as well as a nutritious source of aiding their eyesight and brain development.