Breastmilk serves as a remarkable elixir in nourishing a newborn baby. Infused with an array of vital nutrients including superior quality protein, enzymes, self-digesting fats, vitamins and minerals, breast milk can fulfil all the nutritional requirements of your baby. The nutrients you pass on to your precious bundle, however, are largely influenced by the nutrients you acquire through the foods on your plate. Some foods may contain toxic or dangerous elements for your baby. Like you did during your pregnancy, it is important that you plan your meals through your days of nursing and ensure that you consume a healthy medley of food groups to optimise your nutrition for breastfeeding. In turn, your nutritional intake will determine your reserves of breast milk.
By keep this handy little list close, you’ll know just how to design your breastfeeding diet and which foods to avoid while nursing.
Delectable seafood dishes can be great for your palate and your health. Seafood is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which can fortify your baby’s nervous system. Pick a selection of fish for your meals; ghol fish and croaker are excellent sources of nutrients. That said, carefully consider the fish you pick for your plate. Of late, mercury levels have risen significantly in water bodies. As a result, large quantities of mercury have permeated through the tiny bodies of fish and sea creatures. Certain seafood like shark and mackerel rate higher on the mercury metre.
Processed and Junk Food
It can be tempting to peel open a packet of instant oats or bite into your favourite energy bar. However, despite the many health promises that these packaged health foods make, you’re better off preparing fresh, natural alternatives. Processed foods contain large amounts of preservatives and stabilisers, helping them stay longer on the shelves. These substances can cause harm to your baby, leading to colic, rashes and allergies. You may also find that your baby resists feeds as a result of these artificial additives.
Hot and Spicy Food
There is no hard evidence to suggest that hot or spicy food can irk your baby. However, it is worth keeping a log to correlate foods you have consumed with your baby’s general demeanour.
Artificial sweeteners have successfully captured a sizeable section of the health market. In a bid to skip the sugar, many new moms are resorting to artificial substitutes to temper drinks and desserts. But artificial sweeteners, like sugar, should be used in moderation. While sugar can be organically barricaded by your baby’s digestive system, research is still underway to determine the effect of artificial sweeteners. As a general principle, however, your doctor may recommend that you go easy on the sweets as you breastfeed.
Caffeine can be great at keeping you up when you need to burn the midnight oil. But it can also do the same for your baby. Large amounts of caffeine can agitate your little sweetheart, keeping her from falling into a deep slumber. Cap your coffee or tea intake after deciding on a suitable limit with your doctor. Usually, two or three cups are thought to be safe for a nursing mother.
This is probably the most obvious one on this list. Alcohol should be completely off the table during and after pregnancy. Contrary to perception, it doesn’t take a large amount of alcohol to derail your baby’s development; even the tiniest measure could be enough to offset growth. If you’re tempted to sneak in a glass of wine or a quick swig of beer, hold off nursing until you’re sure that the alcohol has left your body.
By picking the right foods for yourself, you can ensure that your baby absorbs a wide variety of nutrients. A happy plate can make a happy baby. It’s up to you to plate up well.
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