Nutrition while breastfeeding

Nutrition needs remain important for mother while breastfeeding.

As a breastfeeding mother you may wonder how the foods you eat will affect your baby’s growth and health. People may tell you that your baby gets everything you eat, which is not completely accurate.

You may need to eat an additional 400 to 500 calories per day to maintain your energy. Make these extra calorie counts, try a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread, an apple and a glass of milk.

You do not need to consume a special diet while you are breastfeeding. It is important to focus on making healthy choices to supply for maintaining your milk supply and your energy as well. Try to eat a variety of foods including whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly to reduce exposure to pesticide residue. Eating a variety of foods will change the taste of your breast milk, which exposes your baby to different flavors. This may make your baby more open to trying new foods once they start solids. In order to ensure you and your baby are getting all the nutrients you need, it is a good idea to continue to take your prenatal vitamin throughout the time you are breastfeeding.

It also important to make sure to drink enough in order to stay hydrated. Try to drink before you actually feel thirsty. Make sure to drink more if you urine appears dark yellow. Try to have a glass of water nearby when you are feeding your baby. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water or other liquids every day. Be careful of juices and sugary drinks, as they are high in sugar and can sabotage your efforts to lose that baby weight. Also try to limit your caffeine intake as it may lead to sleep problems for your baby.

Michigan State University Extension offers breastfeeding support to feeding mothers, their babies and their companion. Contact your local MSU Extension office to find support near you.

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