The mother’s diet during breastfeeding must be balanced and varied, and it is important to eat fruits, whole grains, vegetables and greens, avoiding the consumption of processed foods with a high fat content, which have no nutritional value neither for the mother nor for the baby.
During breastfeeding, the mother loses 1 to 2 kg per month, slowly and gradually, due to the amount of energy that is used to produce breast milk that comes from the accumulated fat during pregnancy. 800 calories are needed to produce 1 liter of milk, 500 calories from diet and 300 calories from fat reserves formed during pregnancy.
What to eat while breastfeeding
The woman during breastfeeding needs a greater amount of energy and proteins, which must be obtained through a balanced diet that includes all food groups. In addition, it is important to pay attention to the amount of dairy products consumed so that it is sufficient to supply the calcium needs at this stage. Some tips to facilitate mother’s feeding are:
- Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily;
- Consume proteins like well-cooked chicken, turkey or egg;
- Fish should be consumed 2 to 3 times a week, giving preference to fish with a low amount of mercury, such as sardines, tuna, trout and salmon;
- Preferably, the carbohydrates ingested should be whole to increase the consumption of fiber, which can be rice, pasta, cereals, toast, breads and grains;
- Eat 2 to 3 servings of dairy products, such as 1 glass of skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, 1 slice of white cheese and 1 plain yogurt, for example.
During the breastfeeding phase it is essential that the mother drinks plenty of fluids to help in the production of milk, about 3-4 liters per day. This amount includes the water present in fruits, soups and juices, so it is still necessary to drink about 2 liters of liquids, such as water or unsweetened tea, per day. Having a 2 liter bottle close by is a good option to control the amount of water you drink throughout the day.
How to prevent baby cramps while breastfeeding
If the baby has colic, the mother can make changes to her diet, however this varies from baby to another, and the woman should be aware if the baby has colic after eating a food, which should be removed from the diet.
Some foods that are related to colic in the baby are chocolate and foods that cause gas, such as:
- Beans in shell;
- Sweet potato.
In some cases, cow’s milk can also cause colic in the baby, and it may be necessary for the mother to drink lactose-free milk or, even if it is necessary to remove cow’s milk from her diet, which can be replaced by vegetable milks, such as milk coconut, almond or rice. However, if this is not the cause of the baby’s colic, the mother should ingest the daily dairy recommendation.
In addition, some teas such as Ginseng, Kava Kava and Carqueja can also cause colic in the baby and are therefore contraindicated. Check out other examples of teas you can’t take while breastfeeding .
What not to eat while breastfeeding
Foods that should be avoided when breastfeeding are foods such as fried foods, sausages, yellow cheeses, soft drinks, cakes and cookies, because they have large amounts of fats and sugars.
In families with a history of allergy, it was considered beneficial for the mother to remove potentially allergenic foods from her diet, such as eggs and peanuts, for example. However, this is not a rule, as it varies from person to person, so it is important to consult your pediatrician or nutritionist.
In addition, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited, since alcohol can be eliminated through breast milk, passing it to the baby. See in more detail what not to eat while breastfeeding.
Can a woman drink coffee while breastfeeding?
Caffeine is a stimulant of the nervous system and the baby would not be able to metabolize this substance, however some studies show that the consumption of 300 mg of caffeine per day does not cause any change in the baby, that is, the woman can take 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day.
Sample 3-day menu
The following table shows an example of a balanced and varied diet that can be performed during breastfeeding:
|Foods||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||2 slices of wholemeal bread with white cheese + 1 pear||Spinach omelet + 1 glass (250 ml) of orange juice||2 slices of wholemeal bread with white cheese + 1 glass (250 ml) of watermelon juice|
|Morning snack||240 ml of yogurt with 1/2 cup of sliced fruit||1 cup (200 ml) of papaya juice + 4 whole crackers||1 medium banana|
|Lunch dinner||140 g of grilled salmon + 1 cup of brown rice + 1 cup of green beans or green beans with cooked carrots + 1 teaspoon of olive oil + 1 tangerine||100 g chicken with peppers and onions + 1/2 cup brown rice + 1/2 cup lentils + salad + 1 teaspoon olive oil + 1 apple||100 g of turkey breast + 2 medium potatoes + salad + 1 teaspoon of olive oil + 1 slice of melon|
|Afternoon snack||1 medium apple||1/2 cup cereal + 240 ml skim milk||1 slice of rye bread + 1 slice of cheese + 2 slices of avocado|
Other options for snacks are to consume fresh fruits, rye bread with cheese and vegetables, yogurt (200 mL), chickpea cream with vegetable sticks, cereal with milk or 1 glass of Maria biscuit juice.
It is important to be aware of any signs presented by the baby that indicate colic, and it is recommended to make changes in the diet. In addition, although it is important, if there is any sign of allergy or colic in the baby due to the mother’s consumption of milk, it is recommended to switch to vegetable milk and consult a nutritionist to better help the quantity and type of dairy products consumed.