Breastfeeding Moms Should Ensure Their Diet Contains Nutritious Food That Is Good For Mom And Baby

You spent your pregnancy carefully considering everything you ate, wondering how it could help or harm your baby’s development. After nine months of percolating, baby has arrived healthy and hollering. Now perhaps you think to yourself, “I can finally have [enter coveted foodstuff].” Whether you’re salivating for chocolate or beer, salsa or strawberries, you may be wondering if any foods are off-limits now that you are breastfeeding. Read on to find out.
By Elizabeth Weiss McGolerick

Good for you
According to WebMD, doctors used to recommend that moms take in an additional 500 calories daily. But now experts say the nutritious quality of what you eat, not how much, matters more. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that nursing mothers build complex carbohydrates -- some of the best foods to eat while breastfeeding -- into their daily intake. These include:

 Veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, squash and even bell peppers or beans.
• Fruits like oranges, melons, apples, berries, peaches and plums.
 Whole grains such as brown rice and whole-wheat or rye bread.

Protein and fat are also important and come in the form of vegetable oils, butter or mayo. These additions to your diet will help you create the extra-fatty and satisfying milk expressed during the end of each feeding.

And when we think of milk we naturally think of calcium. But you don’t have to drink milk to produce milk. You can make up the recommended five daily servings by heading for the yogurt, cheese or even nondairy items like salmon, sesame seeds or tofu.

Not so good for baby
Now that you know what to eat, you still have to consider what will settle well with your baby. All of what’s recommended for you isn’t all going to work for your nursing bundle. Your little one will actually let you know when he or she isn’t getting enough of what they need -- the number of dirty diapers will go down. And if they’re getting too much of something that doesn’t agree with them, fussiness and gassiness will reign.

Baby showing signs of discomfort? Review your menu for the day. Common offenders include the following:

 Caffeinated products like chocolate, coffee, soda and tea (think about how an overload of these foods can wreck your sleep patterns).
 Spicy foods, garlic or cinnamon.
 Soy, eggs, wheat and nuts.
 Citrus fruits and juices.
 Certain veggies: The foods that make adults’ digestive tracks object can affect baby the same way and include cabbage, broccoli, corn or cucumbers.

As for alcohol, beer or wine enjoyed occasionally shouldn’t interrupt your baby’s comfort. But limit it to one drink to avoid any of the alcohol getting into your milk.

Finally, if you think your diet is missing something, be careful about self-regulating with herbs or supplements -- goldenseal, St. John’s Wort, feverfew, even mint or parsley can dry up your milk supply. Any nutritional imbalance that you think you may be creating by avoiding certain foods can be remedied, but always consult with your doctor before introducing anything uncommon into your diet.

Bottom line
In your days pre-pregnancy, you might never have dared to inject so many carbs or fats into your diet. All these recommended items might be good for baby, but what about your thighs? Believe it or not, a diet stacked with complex carbs will actually help you shed post-pregnancy pounds. Ultimately, your diet post-pregnancy is about balance -- fruits, veggies, fats, proteins and as little sugar and processed goods as possible.

Whether you’ve struggled with diets in the past or not, create a regimen and vow to stick to it -- for your good nutrition and the proper development and contentment of your baby.

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