Nutritional needs while breastfeeding are extremely important. The fact that our body turns into a 24/7 buffet for our baby means that we need to ensure we are getting the best for ourselves and ultimately our baby.
I don’t know about you, but it’s an extraordinary accomplishment to master minor tasks like laundry and brushing my teeth, so preparing wholesome meals and snacks on a daily basis can seem as overwhelming as climbing Mount Everest. How do we know what we need? How can we make sure our baby is getting everything they need?
Thankfully, one of the many miracles of having a baby includes meeting their nutritional needs even when our diet may not be 100% perfect. The good news is our breast milk is always best and supplies our baby with exactly what they need. The bad news is when we are not eating properly and getting the nutrients that we need, our body will take from our reserves which can quickly deplete key nutrients that we need.
As I shared in a previous post, pregnancy is usually not the time that we need to eat enough for two but when we start to breastfeed our nutritional needs definitely increase. If you are like me, you may be able to eat enough to sustain a small village. For the last six weeks it seems most all of my time has been spent either feeding him or feeding myself and neither of us ever seem to get enough.
So what is a new mama to do? These are my top three tips to make sure you are eating the most nutrient dense foods to keep both you and your baby as healthy as possible.
Don’t get over hungry
If you are like me you are probably planning your next meal/snack as soon as you finish your last bite. Time goes by so fast and before you know it it’s been four or five hours since you last ate and by this time you will eat anything that is not nailed down. The reality is planning ahead for anything is hard but, making sure you have your next snack or meal planned and a healthy snack stashed away in your diaper bag at all times will keep you sustained when hunger strikes.
Make sure at least half of your plate is “living” food
To clarify, this means food that it has been manufactured by Mother Nature not in a factory. Increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you eat during each meal and snack will naturally decrease your processed and package food intake and increase the nutrients your body and baby needs.
When friends and family offer to help ask them to make a meal
If your mom is willing to come over and make dinner or your girlfriend wants to make homemade soup you can stash in your freezer for the days when you are still wearing your pj’s at dinnertime, let them help you. Having help to make sure you are eating properly is most important.
Let’s face it, the first few months we are in survival mod but our nutritional needs can’t be comprised. Don’t let starvation set-in, eat real food and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
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