Depending on your height and weight, a breastfeeding mother needs to consume between 2,000 to 2,500 calories each day. The calorie count may seem to a bit extreme however, a good breastfeeding diet means that you are eating enough healthy foods for two people.
One great resource is the Food Guide Pyramid which is provided by the US Department of Agriculture. It breaks down food into groups and how many servings per day of those foods that you should be eating. The Food Guide Pyramid helps you how maintain a balanced diet which is important for your health and the health of your infant.
When a woman becomes pregnant, her obstetrician automatically puts her on prenatal vitamins until the birth. Many pediatricians have the nursing mother continue taking these vitamins as a part of her breastfeeding diet. The vitamins ensure that the mother is getting the right amount of nutrients no matter what she is eating on a daily basis.
Doctors recommend that nursing mothers drink at least 8 glasses of water each day to keep themselves hydrated. Drinking water also allows the body to rid itself of toxins. Drinking less than the recommended amount of liquid can decrease the mother's milk volume.
A well balance breastfeeding diet should consist of the freshest fruits and vegetables you can find and can be eaten cooked or raw. She should consume some forms of proteins that can be found in meat and dairy products. Eating grains such as rice, wheat, and corn in the form of pastas and bread is good for you.
A balanced diet simply means that you are eating a variety of different foods from each of the food groups. Fresh foods such as whole vegetables, fruits and meats are more nutritious that canned or frozen. Canning a freezing can cause a loss of nutrients and vitamins in food. Attempt to find foods that have no preservatives in them. Preservatives make the foods last longer than natural whole food. Everything a nursing mother eats is passed onto her infant and that includes imitation flavors, preservatives, and imitation colors. You want to stick with non processed foods so that you get natural colors, flavors and zero preservatives.
To make it easy on you, have everyone in your family eat the same things you are eating. There is no need to buy or cook special foods for you or your family. If you choose the healthier, natural foods that have not gone through a ton of processing then you will be eating healthy. To make your meals taste better, find some simple recipes that sound delicious and try them once, if you don't like it them move on to the next recipe. Just by making a few new food choices a nursing mother will remain healthy and heal quicker from her pregnancy.
Once you begin breastfeeding, your infant it is important to use the Food Guide Pyramid's chart as a resource. It provides an overall healthy diet for everyone, but more importantly for breastfeeding mothers. After you wean your baby, continue those good eating habits. Eating a variety of foods gives your body what it needs to fight off germs and infections. This keeps the mother healthy and gives the baby a good healthy start.