Your breastfeeding journey will be as unique as you and your little one. There is no one size fits all answer. Whether you’re exclusively nursing, supplementing, or formula feeding, the most important thing is that you are nourishing and taking care of yourself so you can also care for baby.
From culture, to climate, to finances, there are lists of foods considered good in one place and bad in another. That can get confusing for first time mothers! (Let’s be honest, even an experienced mother can experience confusion with the ever changing information available to us.)
When it comes to your postpartum nutrition, it’s important to focus on foods that will nourish and sustain your body in this new season of life. If your body is nourished, your little one will be nourished too.
Dos and Don’ts
DO Pay Attention!
Your postpartum diet is much less restrictive than when you’re pregnant. In fact, there aren’t many things you need to stay away from unless you are personally allergic or you notice your baby having an adverse reaction. Sometimes after eating a particular food you’ll notice a baby getting fussy, gassy, or they might even experience reflux. If you notice this, try eliminating that food for a while. Reintroduce it to test if your baby reacts the same way again. Some of the most common reactions are to spicy foods or dairy.
What about caffeine? Everyone metabolizes caffeine differently, but a cup of coffee is unlikely to have any negative effects on baby. As with all foods and beverages, pay attention to how you and your baby react. .
DO Eat Whole Foods!
If you’ve already been eating a diet of wholesome, nourishing foods, you most likely won’t need extra calories for breastfeeding although many mothers do feel more hungry because of the extra energy they are using. Your baby’s suckling is what stimulates milk production, not the amount of calories you consume.
DON’T Focus on Weight Loss!
Focusing on weight loss in your 4th trimester should not be where your mental energy is going. You have spent 9 months growing your little one, expect that your journey to shed the weight may take some time too. DO spend time enjoying your little one and celebrating the miracle that your body made! Stay focused on keeping yourself and your baby nourished and satisfied.
*We always recommend consulting with your healthcare provider if you have questions about caloric needs, specific care for your body, and avoiding nutritional deficiencies if you do have to eliminate a food group. If you find yourself needing to remove something from your diet, remember it’s not forever! Eventually your baby will begin tolerating those foods or they will be weaned.
When it comes to nutrition in those early months of postpartum life, think simple and easy. You don’t need complicated recipes and meals to get the nutrition you need. And don’t be afraid to employ some help! Whether it’s a spouse, friend, family member, or postpartum doula, you can ask for help in prepping meals for the week so you can rest a little easier knowing you have nutritional meals ready when you need them.
Here are a few meal ideas from La Leche League:
- Oatmeal – This is a great option as it can be cooked ahead of time, in a large batches, and stored in individual servings. Oatmeal offers a good serving of fiber, it’s inexpensive, and studies show it may be lactogenic, which helps you sustain robust milk production.
- Muffins – Another great option for baking ahead of time and in large batches to grab and go later. Opt for recipes using vegetables or fruit purees instead of lots of sugar.
- Hard-boiled eggs – This is a terrific protein source and can be prepared ahead of time. They can be eaten on their own, and one-handed!
- Sandwiches and Wraps – Soft cheeses and deli meats are convenient and now that you’re not pregnant, they’re allowed! Sandwiches and wraps are quick, easy, and even your toddler might take a bite.
- Raw Veggies – Inexpensive, easy to prepare, and great with a protein-rich, flavorful dip like hummus or guacamole.
- Nut Butters – This is a great topping for celery, apples, or on a sandwich.
Many new parents may get the benefit of a meal train where family and friends provide meals for a week or two, which is extremely helpful. As the meal train winds down, our best advice is to think simple and balanced. A balanced meal of protein, carbs, and fats will give you energy and fill you up. And the more meals you can cook that can be done in bulk and frozen, the better!
- Baked pasta dishes
- Crock Pot Meals
And don’t forget a little dessert to treat yourself after all your hard work. 😉
Why Babywear: Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is extremely easy in baby carriers. It will take some getting used to, but once you have practiced a few times, you’ll be able to nurse discreetly, wherever you are.
Even if you aren’t nursing in your carrier, studies have shown that the simple act of carrying your baby and skin to skin moments increases breastfeeding success in babies and even increases milk production. In fact, skin to skin moments with your baby have countless benefits that are backed by science!
The Embrace Newborn Carrier is lightweight, cool, and comfortable and gives you the freedom and comfort you need to nurse your newborn while on the go. Get in touch with us schedule a live consult with one of our care associates to learn more about nursing your carrier.