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Breastfeeding Meal Plan

It is easy for a mother to forget about her needs when she has a newborn to look after, but a healthy, constant diet is an excellent way of looking after both your child and yourself. Breastfeeding is an excellent way of ensuring your baby gets the best start in life. The body of a new mom produces all of the nourishment her little angel requires.

A newborn baby brings a lot of change, so it is easy to neglect one’s own physical and emotional needs when the child arrives. Making sure you eat healthily is an excellent place to start. You are going to need a proper breastfeeding meal plan, to begin with.

Why Does Breastfeeding Make Mothers So Hungry?

It is a common misconception that a mom needs to eat for two while she is pregnant. During the last three months of pregnancy, only additional two-hundred calories are necessary. But, when you are breastfeeding, 330 exta calories a day are used – that’s the same as running a few miles around the block.

If necessary, the body of a new mom can start using up the stores of energy in the fat deposits that had been accumulated throughout the pregnancy.

Nevertheless, eating a bit more can help ease off the baby weight, but it would be best to make sure your diet is comprised of a nice, healthy balance of nutrient-rich food. Eating well is one way of getting through when exhaustion and sleep deprivation occur.

Healthy Eating

Sound eating advice is a good place to start with your plan, and it is a step in ensuring that you are taking in the nutrients your body needs. Your body will use those nutrients to produce the best possible baby milk, so a nurturing mommy needs to make sure she is replenishing those nutrients. Let us take a look at the nutrients and fluids a new mommy’s body yearns for.

Iodine

Breastmilk has to have a proper amount of iodine to support the baby’s developing brain, so the iodine intake of a new mommy ought to be almost double the normal. Although an iodine supplement is typically recommended, it is possible to get the necessary dose with food.

If you are considering taking any supplements, it is very important to talk to a doctor about it first. Bread, eggs, seafood, iodized salt, and dairy are all excellent sources of iodine.

Zinc

Nursing a baby or not, Zink is crucial for a functional immune system, healthy skin, and good reproductive health. Satisfactory amounts of zinc can be found in brightly colored fruit and vegetables, cereals, and meat.

Iron

Iron is a part of numerous kinds of protein, including hemoglobin, which is essential in distributing oxygen to the necessary parts of the body. Fatigue and a weak immune system are certain when iron is deficient.

Fish, chicken, and red meats are the top sources, not only of iron, but also of zinc and protein. Green leafy veggies, as well as legumes, do not contain as much iron, but your body will absorb their iron well if you eat them together with food that contains a lot of vitamin C.

Vitamin D

Since babies are mostly kept out of the sun, nurturing mommies are often concerned about their levels of vitamin D. Newborns born in winter are especially prone to low vitamin D levels. Eggs and fatty fish are great sources of vitamin D, but a supplement will also do the trick.

Calcium

Just like pregnancy, nursing can have an effect on a mother’s calcium levels. Eating green veggies, certain dairy products, tinned fish with bones, seeds and nuts ought to take care of any calcium deficiency as they are an excellent source of it.

Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are well-present in breastmilk, but still, mothers are advised to increase the intake of it as it has a key role in brain development. Fish such as sardines, mackerel, and salmon are a great source of omega-3. It can also be found in flax, walnuts, and chia seeds.

Water

There is no better way to stay hydrated without taking in the unnecessary sugars and kilojoules that are present in sweet drinks, like flavored sparkling water, fruit juice, soft soda, and sports beverages, than by drinking plain water. Hydration is quite important, so it would be best to drink a cup of water during each meal and with each breastfeeding session.

If you crave something with a taste, you can drink low-fat milk or perhaps unsweetened juice. It would be good to keep a glass of water by the bed for night-time nursing.

When to Be Extra-Cautious

Mommies that are vegetarians and vegans need to make sure their diet includes enough sources of vitamin B12 as they’re prone to its deficiency. Your child might be suffering from digestive, colic issues or allergies and can react to a variety of different food. If your child is especially sensitive, it would be best to talk to a doctor and stick to the meal plan they suggest.

Woman eating apple

Suggested Meal Plan

Of course, this is a lot to intake, and yet nothing concrete has been established so far. It might take some time to figure out what works best for you and your baby, now that you know what to pay attention to. Here is an example of a meal plan that will get you started.

Breakfast

  • Monday – Smoothie made with a banana, almonds, dates, plain yogurt and water.
  • Tuesday – Wholegrain oats with chia seeds and berries.
  • Wednesday – Cucumber, celery, and carrot juice. Two scrambled eggs and a slice of rye bread.
  • Thursday -Homemade seed muesli made with mixed seeds, almonds, coconut flakes, puffed rice and goji berries served with full cream milk.
  • Friday – Smoothie bowl made with blended mango, papaya, banana, and coconut milk topped with slivered almonds and honey.
  • Saturday – Poached eggs with hollandaise sauce served on black mushrooms.
  • Sunday – Mixed berry smoothie made with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, yogurt, and flaxseeds.

Snack #1

  • Monday -Cashew nuts.
  • Tuesday – Yogurt-coated almonds.
  • Wednesday -Date ball rolled in coconut.
  • Thursday -Spoon of macadamia nut butter.
  • Friday – Seed cracker with cottage cheese
  • Saturday – Glass of milk with cocoa powder and a sweetener
  • Sunday – 40g fruit-and-nut trail mix

Lunch

  • Monday – Cauliflower noodles with a tomato and basil pasta cause, and ricotta cheese.
  • Tuesday – Sardines cooked with peppers and onions and served on rye bread.
  • Wednesday – Corn tortilla wrap filled with pulled chicken, corn, black beans, guacamole, and sour cream
  • Thursday – Steamed broccoli, sugar snap peas stir-fried with soya sauce and tofu, cabbage, served with rice noodles.
  • Friday – Bruschetta topped with mozzarella, tomato and basil pesto.
  • Saturday – Steak sandwich made with cooked sirloin, greens, tomato, and pickles on sourdough bread.
  • Sunday – Pasta salad made with wholewheat noodles, shelled prawns, peas, baby tomatoes, chili, and garlic.

Snack #2

  • Monday – Rye crackers with olive tapenade.
  • Tuesday – Cup of chicken and vegetable broth.
  • Wednesday – Glass of berry juice.
  • Thursday – Beetroot salted crisps.
  • Friday – Cup of chunky lentil and vegetable soup.
  • Saturday – Green juice made with kale, spinach, cucumber, and apple.
  • Sunday – Corn cakes with avocado.

Dinner

  • Monday – Sushi and miso soup.
  • Tuesday – Sirloin steak with sauteed spinach and diced potato.
  • Wednesday – Sticky chicken wings with BBQ sauce and sesame and wok-tossed greens.
  • Thursday – Thai fish curry made with hake, mixed vegetables, and coconut green curry sauce and served with cauliflower rice.
  • Friday – Chicken breasts baked with mushrooms sauce served with gem squash and a little Gorgonzola cheese.
  • Saturday – Lamb knuckle stew with tomato, carrots, and celery, served with mashed potatoes.
  • Sunday – Chickpea and chicken curry served with brown and wild rice and a green salad
Junk food

What Should I Avoid?

The great news is that some foods that were a big no-no during pregnancy are now back on the table (pun intended). For example, you are free to enjoy pate and blue cheese if you would like. Basically, no foods are entirely off-limits during this period, but you should be cautious with particular products. Of course we need to mention that some mother choose not to breastfeed their child from different reasons. If you are one of them, make sure to follow the pregnancy meal plans, because these diet programs are best for the moms who are breastfeeding.

Alcohol

Even though the results of various research are contradictory, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Some evidence suggests that drinking more than two units of alcohol on a daily basis can affect the infant’s development. One thing is sure – despite what grandma says, a pint of stout is not going to increase your body’s milk production.

However, having a drink occasionally is most likely not going to cause any harm, so no need to be worried about having a glass of wine sometimes. When alcohol gets to the breastmilk, it affects the taste and smell, thus affecting the infant’s feeding as well.

Update - 2018.11.28You can avoid it either by nursing your kiddo before drinking or waiting two to three hours after your drink.

Caffeine

When breastfeeding, it might be best not to consume more than 300mg of caffeine a day. A cup of tea has around 75mg, filter coffee 140mg, while a bottle of Coke has 40mg (that goes for diet Coke as well). As caffeine passes into your breast milk and your baby ends up consuming it, no harm’s being done, but your baby might become restless.

Fish

All grownups should try and eat around two fish dishes each week. As it has already been established, oily fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is crucial for your child’s development. Even though it is generally good, while breastfeeding, it is best not to eat more than two dishes of oily fish each week (like sardines, mackerel, and salmon).

Shark is most likely not a part of your diet, but it is still important to mention that the UK national health service recommends avoiding it, as well as marlin and swordfish. Chances are that they are high in mercury and other contaminants. But, if you really insist, do not eat these fish more than once a week.

Common Myths

Many old-wives’ tales revolve around breastfeeding, but only a couple of them are grounded in facts. Plants such as fenugreek are thought to increase milk production, while parsley is reported to stop it. Actually, there’s no evidence to support either of those claims, so you don’t have to worry about using culinary herbs.

Spices are considered to be safe as well, but they might make the baby fussy, as they may transfer their flavor to the milk. Vegetables like beans, sprouts, and cabbage can possibly affect the baby’s gut, thus causing windiness and discomfort. If the mother enjoys eating, it is OK, but it would be best to reduce the consumption of said plants for a few days to see if they are causing a reaction.

Last but not least, peanuts, as well as peanut butter, are not harmful in any way and won’t put your infant at a more significant risk of developing a peanut allergy.

Actually, peanut butter on oatcakes is an excellent, nutritious snack that causes a nice energy boost.

Milk Production

Dramatical dietary changes, such as calory deduction, restriction of particular food groups, or intense exercise can play a part in reducing your body’s milk production. On the other hand, having a good diet that is intended to provide your body (as well as your baby) with all the necessary nutrients can help better milk production. Especially if you have struggled to eat properly in the past.

Some foods and herbs are thought to boost your milk supply noticeably. Such substances are commonly described as lactogenic and are reported to boost your supply temporarily. Scientists are cautious when it comes to verified evidence that stands behind those claims, but numerous anecdotal claims from mothers worldwide strongly suggest they actually work.

Foods and Herbs That are Considered to be Lactogenic:

  • Oats
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Ground Linseed or LSA mix
  • Legumes
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Brown rice, Salmon, Apricots

Conclusion

After you and your newborn come home from the hospital, you probably won’t feel like putting together nutrition meals. If possible, prepare some dinners in advance and put them in the freezer. Even better, utilize your friends and family and ask them to help out with food preparation once the baby arrives.

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