A Diet Guide for Breastfeeding Mothers

Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits for both the mother and the infant, because breast milk is healthy for the well-being of the body and the mind. It’s also a great method for mothers to maintain a healthy weight and even for preventing another pregnancy.

If this is your first experience with breastfeeding, however, you meet a lot of challenges such as keeping a healthy diet to produce enough milk for the baby. Here is an overview of the diet that a lactating mom should follow.

No Need for Special Diet

Some women wonder if they need to go on a special diet when breastfeeding, but the answer is that there is no need to follow any diet fad to produce better milk. You can still continue to enjoy the same food you enjoyed before you got pregnant, but there are some food you need to stay away from if they cause allergies or an upset stomach. You will know if the baby is allergic or intolerant to the food you eat if he/she exhibits the following: diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, hives, dry skin, eczema, wheezing, coughing, and production of green-colored stools with blood or mucus.

Stay Hydrated Always

Although the amount of water you take in will not affect your breast milk production, getting dehydrated will be bad for you. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty before replenishing your fluids. You should also limit your intake of alcoholic drinks, artificially-sweetened beverages with added sugars, and caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee. Alcohol and caffeine when taken in moderation will not be bad for your baby, so limit your coffee or tea to two cups a day and your alcohol to one glass or less.

You Might Need Supplements

If you stick to a vegan diet, your baby might not get enough vitamin B12, which can lead to a lot of developmental problems. While vitamin B12 supplements might be an option, you might want to switch to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for the duration of your breastfeeding experience, because you will be feeding not just yourself but your baby as well.

Medications, Alcohol, and Smoking

If you are taking medications or will be required to take medications, don’t forget to inform your doctor in Singapore if you are breastfeeding. Some medications are safe for the baby, but others can have nasty side-effects. Mothers are also advised to stay away from alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, tobacco, and dangerous drugs when having a baby. If you have problems with any of these, ask for advise from your doctor on how to minimize or to quit your addiction.

Watch Your Diet and Calorie Intake

Ideally, a breastfeeding mom should have a recommended daily intake of 1,800 to 2,400 calories. It’s also okay to eat once every four hours to keep a normal blood sugar level, consuming one or two of the following food groups: vegetables: four to seven servings daily; fruits: three to five servings daily; dairy: two to three servings daily; whole grains: four to seven servings daily; and lean protein: two to three servings daily. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite treats, however, as long as you eat in moderation.