Diet and Breastfeeding: Losing Weight While Nursing

Diet and Breastfeeding: Losing Weight While Nursing

When breastfeeding, you need to be very careful about what you eat. Many foods can upset your baby’s sensitive digestive system.

Even though it can take some time to establish breastfeeding, there are many benefits.

Advantages of Breastfeeding

Breast milk contains antibodies that protects your baby against infections. It contains essential fats and minerals, including selenium, chromium, calcium, iron and zinc. Breast milk helps establish good gut bacteria in your baby and the fat-soluble vitamins in breast milk are easy to absorb.

Breastfeeding reduces your risk of getting breast cancer with 22 percent. It is also free and readily available.

Breastfeeding also lowers the risk of health problems in babies, including ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory infections, asthma and obesity when they get older. It has also been proven that premature babies do better on breast milk than on formula milk.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful way for a mother to bond with her baby. It allows some quiet time to sit with your baby while you feed him/her.

Always ensure that your baby latches on correctly. This will eliminate discomfort and pain.

Breastfeeding and Nutrition

While establishing a good milk flow and getting the hang of breastfeeding, fill up on good proteins to produce enough milk.

Breastfeeding is often cited as a means of losing weight. This is only true if you eat well and don’t fill up on junk food and sugary snacks.

You will be eating more to provide your baby with the 500 calories he/she consumes per day.

This is to ensure that your baby receives sufficient energy and nourishment. The extra calories need to provide optimal nutrition for you and your baby.

Restricting calories or going on a low-carbohydrate diet is not advisable, because it can affect your milk flow. The good news is that if you eat the right amount of the right foods, you will lose weight while breastfeeding.

You need to eat approximately 1800 – 2000 calories per day to maintain adequate breast milk production and to lose weight gradually.

Eating Well While Breastfeeding

Here is a list of foods to eat when breastfeeding and trying to lose weight and ensure good nutrition:

  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu
  • Seed Vegetables
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Free-range Eggs
  • Ground Seeds
  • Dark Green Vegetables
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Rice
  • Millet
  • Rye
  • Oats
  • Corn
  • Pasta
  • Pulses
  • Cottage Cheese

Here is a list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding:

  • Excess Animal Protein
  • Fried Foods
  • Sugar
  • White or Refined Foods
  • Raw Eggs and Poultry – because there is a risk of salmonella that be given to your baby via your breast milk, cook these foods thoroughly.
  • Peanuts – if you have a family history of nut allergies, rather avoid peanuts.
  • Coffee and Caffeine-containing Drinks
  • Alcohol-limit your alcohol intake to approximately three glasses of wine a week. If possible, wait until your last night feeding before having a glass of wine.
  • Chocolate, cauliflower, beans – it can cause winds in your baby. Introduce these foods slowly until you are sure it does not affect your baby’s digestive system.

There are also a few guidelines you can follow to keep you on the right track. They are as follow:

  • Eat three meals with three snacks in between per day
  • Drink at least three litres of water/liquids per day
  • Eat two servings of vegetable protein and one serving of meat, fish, cheese or an egg per day
  • Eat two tablespoons of nuts and seeds per day
  • Eat three servings of green vegetables and fresh fruit per day
  • Eat four servings of whole grains per day

Remember to always discuss your eating and exercise plan with your doctor. Your breast milk is only as good as the food you take in. Try and life a healthy lifestyle and get regular exercise.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition