Are you worried you will eat something that might cause your baby to be fussy or gassy after you breastfeed her? If so, you’re not alone. This is a question I receive a lot when meeting with new moms.
The simple answer is that most women who are breastfeeding can usually eat what they want as long as they have a good approach to eating, which means maintaining a well-balanced diet and eating snacks that are not heavily processed. However, if you suspect that something you have eaten may be causing a reaction in your baby, pay attention to what you have been eating. Some common foods that may cause an allergic reaction include peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, dairy milk and eggs.
Once you’ve identified foods that are causing a reaction, it’ll be easier to focus on maintaining a well-balanced diet. These breastfeeding diet tips will help new moms keep both her and baby happy and healthy:
1. Make Mini Meals Out of Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a well-balanced diet. They work great as a part of a meal, as nutritious snacks or even “mini meals” you eat throughout the day.
2. Get Help with Food Prep
Lots of women with newborns find it difficult to find time to prepare a meal or clean and cut up vegetables and fruit, so this is a good opportunity for a loved one to help. Your spouse, mom or even your best friend can help you prepare meals and snacks ahead of time so you have something to grab and eat while breastfeeding your baby.
3. Stock Up on Healthy Grab-and-Go Foods
Many foods are easy to grab for a quick meal and help you maintain your goal of good nutrition. Besides fruits and vegetables, cheese, yogurt, whole grains on crackers or bread and hard-boiled eggs are all good choices.
4. Stay Hydrated
Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you are experiencing thirst, you are already a little low on fluids. Sometimes it helps if you bring something to drink with you when you sit to breastfeed your baby.
5. Eat Fish, but Be Selective
Fish is a good source of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but choose the fish you eat wisely. Try to avoid fish that may contain high levels of mercury because this will pass into breast milk. Fish such as shrimp, catfish, salmon or canned tuna are the safest, but try to avoid swordfish, tile fish, shark or king mackerel.
6. Take a Daily Prenatal Vitamin
No one eats a perfect diet every day, but taking a vitamin helps us on the days that we don’t.