Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional; I am not a nutritionist. I’m just a breastfeeding/ pumping mama trying to eat right for my baby girl. If you have any questions about eating, diet, health, etc. please contact a health care professional. The information here is what I have found from searches online. I’ve just complied it into a nice, little, easy to follow blog post.
Let’s Get Started!
Eating healthy is somewhat of a “hot topic” during pregnancy. Right from the start, you’re given a list of foods you can’t eat and a list of foods you definitely should eat.
But, what about AFTER pregnancy? Is it fair game? What if you’re breastfeeding (or, like me at the moment, pumping)? Sure, the doctors say you can have whatever you want. But, does that mean you should?
While you can have pretty much anything that won’t upset baby’s tummy (well, you can have something that would upset baby’s tummy, but would you really want to?), it is recommended that you consume foods that will be beneficial to both you and your little one. You know, those foods that are all full of healthy goodness! Foods like:
Fruits and Veggies
You should try to consume three servings of fruits and veggies a day. Fruits contain tons of helpful vitamins that keep you and your baby healthy. In addition, fruit is a great source of fiber–and we could all use a little bit of that!
Veggies are great for a whole slew of things, as well. I’m sure you knew that, though. What’s important to know now is that some veggies will be extra beneficial to you while you’re breastfeeding or pumping. These are your leafy greens. Things like spinach or broccoli are highly recommended! (Although, be careful! I’ve heard broccoli can give baby gas. So be sure to keep an eye on how your little one responds when you eat it.)
It’s recommended that you include three servings of lean proteins in your diet a day while you’re breastfeeding. What does that mean? Eat chicken three times a day? Not necessarily. You can also try adding in some fish, steak, beans or lentils, egg whites and turkey. Want something not so meaty? Greek yogurt is a great option, too!
Make Sure to Include Whole Grains
Things like oatmeal, brown rice, or whole grain bread/ pasta will help give you lots of wonderful things you need. These are things like carbs, fiber, vitamins, and the list goes on! Try to have one whole grain with each meal.
Don’t Forget the Iron
While you’re whisking those eggs up, you might not want to throw out the yolks just yet. That’s because you will want to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet everyday. And guess what? Egg yolks have just that! Other sources include beef, beans, whole grains, and leafy greens.
Add in a Dash of Calcium
If you’ve been sticking with the items on the list so far, you won’t have any problem getting your daily dose of calcium! Make sure to eat your eggs, yogurt, cheese, and milk. Want a healthier, not fatty option? Try munching on some bok choy, kale, or collard greens.
Pay attention to that first word–healthy! These will be your almonds and avocados. Salmon is also a great source of Omega fats. Oh, and if you love cheese as much as I do, you’ll be glad to know that it’s also included on this list! Sweet tooth? Grab some dark chocolate. You don’t have to go overboard here. But, you do want to make sure you’re getting some healthy fats every day.
To sum it all up…
Most of the things in the groups above make an appearance in more than just one category. Leafy greens, eggs, cheese, and beans for example. So, see? Eating healthy while breastfeeding (or anytime, really) doesn’t need to be complicated! Just make sure your keeping a well-balanced diet. It’s okay to have a cookie here and there. Don’t feel guilty if you grab a piece of pizza instead of a salad for dinner one night. But remember, the core of your diet should be stuff that will benefit not only you but your baby as well!
Okay, so we’ve talked about what we should eat everyday. Now, let’s talk about how we can go about getting all that stuff into our diet. If you’re like me, then you love to snack. Also, if you’re like me and breastfeeding (or pumping), then you’re hungry all the time!
This constant hunger is what drove me to do some research about what healthy things I should be eating while breastfeeding. I wanted to be sure I was getting all the nutrients my baby and I need.
To that end, I’ve complied a list of snack foods I like to keep on hand. If you’re looking for snacking inspiration, here’s my list:
- Bananas and Peanut Butter
- Yogurt and Fruit
- Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter
- Apple and Peanut Butter
- Dark Chocolate and Berries
- Trail mix
- Whole Grain Cereal
- Scrambled Eggs with Cheese and Spinach
- Smoothies (I like strawberry banana with orange juice, greek yogurt, and a handful of spinach!)
- Cheese with Whole Grain Crackers and Fruit
As I said at the beginning of all of this, I’m no expert. I had to search for my info. In case you were wondering where I did said searching, here are some of the references I used: https://www.mustelausa.com/breastfeeding-diet