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Breastfeeding Nutrition: Tips for New Mums
Hey new mama, congratulations on your little bundle of joy! Now that you’re a breastfeeding pro, let’s talk about something just as important as keeping your baby fed – keeping yourself fed!
You may be thinking, “I’ve got enough on my plate (no pun intended) without worrying about my own nutrition.” But, what you eat and drink during breastfeeding can have a big impact on your little one. And not just in the short-term, we’re talking lifelong effects here!
Think of it this way: you’re not just nourishing your baby, you’re also shaping their future taste buds. What you eat now can influence whether they’ll be a veggie-loving adult or a picky eater, and even lower their risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease down the road.
But don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. Instead of focusing on what you can’t eat, let’s focus on what you can do to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need to keep you and your baby healthy and happy.
Tip 1 – Healthy & Balanced Diet Continue Beyond Confinement
First things first, let’s talk about the importance of keeping your diet healthy and balanced during breastfeeding. Yes, yes, you’re probably thinking “Easier said than done with a newborn!” But trust us, it’s worth it.
Breastfeeding takes a lot out of you, and you need to make sure you’re replenishing your nutritional stores so you can keep up with the demands of feeding your little one. Think of it like a game of Tetris – you want to make sure you’re getting all the pieces you need to keep the blocks from piling up.
And it’s not just about you – what you eat can also affect the quality of your milk. Some of the micronutrients in breast milk, like Vitamin A, B, C, D, Iodine, Choline, and Omega 3-DHA are dependent on your dietary intake. So, you’re not just feeding your baby, you’re also shaping their little brains and bodies.
But don’t panic, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Just think of the quarter, quarter, half-plate thing that the Health Promotion Board of Singapore recommends (we know it’s called the My Healthy Plate thing, but it’s the catchy song we’re referring to here). And don’t forget to make sure you’re getting at least 2 servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruits per day! That way, you’ll be giving your baby the best start possible, and keeping yourself healthy too.
Tip 2 – 2 Servings of Fish Per Week
When it comes to omega-3s, it’s all about the source. You see, omega-3s from marine sources are like the caviar of the nutrient world (see what we did there?) – they’re the fancy, top-shelf option. That’s because marine sources provide Omega 3-DHA, which can be readily used to support brain development.
On the other hand, plant-based sources like chia seeds or flax seeds are like the value-brand cereal of omega-3s. They’re still good for you, but they’re in the form of Omega 3-ALA, which has an inefficient conversion rate to Omega 3-DHA. It’s kind of like trying to turn cheap affordable wine into a fancy vintage – it’s just not the same…also, no, just because we mention it now, that does not give you permission to go drink!
So, what does that mean for breastfeeding mamas? Well, we need about 200-300 mg of Omega 3-DHA per day during breastfeeding, and it can be a challenge to get that from plant-based sources alone. But just two servings of fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardine, etc.) per week will give you the omega-3 boost you need. It’s like hitting the jackpot at a seafood buffet!
And for those who are worried about overfishing or sustainability, there are options like farmed fish and smaller fish that are lower in mercury content.
Tip 3 – 2 Eggs A Day
When it comes to brain development, choline is like the unsung hero of the nutrient world. You may not have heard of it before, but it’s vital for brain function and development, especially during breastfeeding.
Now, the recommended daily intake of choline goes up during breastfeeding to 550 mg per day, which is a little more than what is required during pregnancy. But don’t worry, getting enough choline is as easy as cracking open a couple of eggs! Eggs are the richest source of choline from whole foods, so including 2 eggs per day will cover more than 50% of the daily requirements.
And, for those who are worried about cholesterol, there are options like egg whites or egg substitutes that can be used. But, it’s best to consult a dietitian or healthcare provider for guidance in order to make the best choices.
So, next time you’re whipping up some scrambled eggs, remember that you’re not just making breakfast, you’re also giving your baby’s brain a boost!
Tip 4 – Consume All 9 Allergenic Foods Before Your Infant Is 6 Months Old
It’s never too early to start exposing your little one to a wide variety of flavours and foods. In fact, the immune system of the infant can start developing antibodies against common food allergens as early as during the first trimester of pregnancy.
That’s why it’s important to consume all 9 different common allergenic foods throughout pregnancy and during the first 6 months of life. Early exposure to these allergens through breast milk will help the infant’s immune system to develop a tolerance towards these foods and reduce the risk of developing food allergies later in childhood.
So, don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things, whether it’s peanuts, shellfish, or even kimchi. Your baby will thank you later. And don’t worry, if you’re allergic to any of the foods, it’s best to avoid them and consult a dietitian for guidance on providing a diverse diet for your baby.
And remember, variety is the spice of life, and it’s not just for babies, it’s for mums too! So, don’t be afraid to try new recipes and cuisines, it can make the breastfeeding journey more enjoyable and diverse.
So, we’ve talked about the importance of a healthy and balanced diet for breastfeeding moms and the impact it can have on their little ones. But let’s face it, with a newborn, finding the time and energy to plan and prepare meals can be a challenge.
That’s where our ReLacto’s breastfeeding mom food comes in! And we’re not talking about bland, boring food here. We’re talking about delicious, fusion cuisine that’s tailored specifically for breastfeeding moms.
With boosting breast milk being a top priority, our breastfeeding food package is designed to provide all the essential nutrients to support lactation and the health of both mother and baby. And the best part? It’s all done for you, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your meal without worrying about the shopping, prep, and clean-up.
So, whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned pro, don’t let mealtime stress you out. Give yourself the gift of a delicious and nutritious ReLacto breastfeeding food package and enjoy the breastfeeding journey even more today by swinging through our homepage to look at our menu today!