Healthy Diet for Breastfeeding Moms

by Kamila Veljkovic,

Like eating healthy during pregnancy, eating healthy while breastfeeding involves getting the right balance of good for you foods. But what’s a mom to do once baby arrives and lack of sleep sets in? Its easy to fall off the clean eating plan but trust me, both you and baby still need to eat foods that boost energy and give you stamina to be the best mom to your little one.

Eating nutrient-rich foods throughout the day will maximize the lack of energy you will have as a new mom. If you’re nursing, the quality of your breast milk will pretty much stay the same regardless of what you choose to eat. But that’s because when you aren’t getting the needed nutrients from your diet, your body will provide them from your own stores. So making sure you’re getting all the nutrients you and your baby needs will benefit both of you.  

Aim to get the following servings of nutrient-rich foods as a regular part of your diet: Trust me, your body and baby will thank you!

Lactating women should aim to get the following each day:

  • Protein: 3 servings – grass fed beef, pastured chicken and eggs, fish, nuts, seeds, etc.
  • Calcium: 5 servings – dark leafy greens, broccoli, etc.
  • Iron-rich foods: 1 or more servings – grass fed beef, black strap molasses, spinach, etc.
  • Vitamin C: 2 servings – green vegetables, citrus fruits, red bell pepper, etc.
  • Green leafy greens, fruits: 3 to 4 servings
  • Whole-grain and complex carbohydrates: 3 or more servings – gluten free grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet, oats. etc.
  • High-fat foods: small amounts — you don’t need as much as you did during pregnancy – coconut oil, avocado, nuts, etc.
  • At least 8 cups of water, juice, coconut water or other non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages
  • DHA-rich foods to promote baby’s brain growth (i.e. wild salmon, sardines, and DHA-enriched eggs)
  • Prenatal vitamin (daily)
  • Fermented foods – sauerkraut, water kefir, fermented pickles. etc.

And while your doctor may say you can eat ANYTHING after baby is born including sushi, unpasteurized cheese, etc. Keep in mind some foods may not agree with baby such as excess of caffeine, chocolate, broccoli, beans and too many high fiber foods. General rule of thumb to adhere too is everything in moderation.

What is your biggest challenge with your diet while breastfeeding?

Kamila Veljkovic is a contributor to The Holistic Mama. Having suffered some serious health issues over the past few years, Kamila became incredibly passionate about understanding what is in the food and products we consume on a daily basis, the chemicals used in its production and the ways we can heal ourselves of diseases by correcting eating and lifestyle habits. In 2011 she decided to pursue by passion for health & wellness by attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to take charge of her own health and help inspire countless others to do so in the process. Kamila resides in New York with her husband and four month old son.



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