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Breastfeeding moms have higher nutrition requirements, just like when they were pregnant. However, the recommended daily calories intake for breastfeeding moms is 200 more per day than during pregnancy. Here are some useful nutrition tips for breastfeeding nutrition:
Breastfeeding Nutrition Tip #1: Keep a food diary & watch out for food intolerance
There are some foods or drinks in your diet that may cause your baby to have an allergic reaction or intolerance. You can try avoiding the suspected food or drink for up to two weeks to see if it makes a difference in your baby’s behavior, digestion or skin. If removing the suspected food or drink has no impact on your baby, then you can add it back to your diet and consider other culprits.
You can keep a food diary and list everything that you eat and drink, along with notes on how your baby reacts to it.
Breastfeeding Nutrition Tip #2: Calcium intake
Breastfeeding mothers are suggested to take 1,300 milligrams of calcium daily. Reading nutrition labels can ensure that you get the right amount of calcium. Best sources of calcium are:
Breastfeeding Nutrition Tip #3: Protein servings
For breastfeeding moms, one should consume two to three servings of protein each day. Good sources of protein include:
- Dried Beans
- Seafood (FDA recommends not to eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish because they contain high-levels of mercury)
Breastfeeding Nutrition Tip #4: Iron
Iron is very important for breastfeeding moms. The suggested daily intake for breastfeeding moms is 9 milligrams. Good sources of iron include:
Breastfeeding Nutrition Tip #5: Vitamins & Minerals
Breastfeeding moms should take multivitamins daily that contains 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). They also need 120 milligrams of vitamin C per day. Good sources of vitamins are fruits & vegetables.
Breastfeeding Nutrition Tip #6: Keeping Hydrated
At least 8 cups of water per day are required for breastfeeding moms. If you are breastfeeding keeping hydrated is very important. Aside from water, other liquids are juice, soups, broths, and teas.
Breastfeeding Nutrition Tip #7: Avoid certain foods and drinks
Limit your intake of highly caffeinated foods and drinks like coffee, tea, and sodas, to 8 ounces per day. Avoid smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and the use of drugs. It is also important not to use any medications, even over the counter medications that are not approved by your healthcare professional.
Always remember that there is no need to go on a special diet while you are breastfeeding. Just focus on making the right food choices and then you and your baby will be reaping the rewards.