What to eat when you are breastfeeding
Breastmilk is the primary source of food for babies, especially in the first six months of their lives. Everything they need at that stage to aid in their development can be found in the milk produced by the mother. As a result of this, there is no limit as to the quantity or frequency of breastmilk a nursing mother can produce.
This means as a nursing mother you must constantly replenish the energy and nutrients you lose as you breastfeed your baby, by identifying the right food to eat in order to produce breastmilk that is full of the right nutrients your baby needs.
Below are a few examples of foods to consider including in your meals.
Nuts are highly recommended by medical experts for nursing mothers because of their nutritious contents such as calcium, zinc, iron, vitamins B and K. Groundnut and palm nut soup are two local Ghanaian meals to consider as a nursing mother.
They are a delicious way to regain some of the nutrients you have lost due to breastfeeding, in order to continue producing your baby’s food.
Beans are a great source of proteins and other minerals that not only help you produce the best milk for your body, but also help improve your general health. Consuming a combination of beans stew and fried plantains is a great way to keep yourself energized and also provide your body with enough protein and potassium, two essential nutrients every nursing mother needs.
Fruits and vegetables
We all know the importance of having fruits in our meals. Fruits provide the body with a lot of vitamins that help keep us healthy. As a nursing mother, it is very important that you are strong and healthy so you can properly breastfeed your baby. Fruits such as oranges, tangerines, water melons, pineapples, bananas among others must always be present in your meals.
Alternatively, you can prepare fruit salad and take it as a side dish from time to time. It is also very important that you consume a lot of vegetables such as cabbage, garlic, carrots etc. A balanced diet is very important as a nursing mother, so getting enough nutrients from all these foods will go a long way to enrich the milk you are producing for your baby.
Avocados are widely considered as “God’s gift to nursing mothers”. The constant production of breastmilk leaves most nursing mothers feeling hungry frequently. Avocados are a great and quick way to ease that hunger as they’re made up of 80 percent fat which helps create a sense of fullness.
In addition to that, avocados are also a great source of Vitamin B, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium and Folate.
In addition to the foods mentioned above, you need to consume a lot of water. The largest component in breastmilk is water, therefore your body loses so much water as you constantly produce food for your baby. This is the reason for the frequent feeling of thirst by most nursing mothers.
It is very necessary that you keep yourself hydrated to help you feel less tired and also eliminate the possibility of fainting. Try to drink as much water as you can whenever you feel thirsty in order to stay hydrated.
Also monitor the color of your urine to check for signs of dehydration. A dark yellow color means your body is being deprived of water, hence you need to drink a glass of water as soon as possible.