Nutrition for Breastfeeding Mothers

We want to close out National Breastfeeding Week with some important nutrition advice for the breastfeeding mothers. This information could be shared in a newsletter or in a lunch-n-learn presentation because whether you have employees who are breastfeeding or employees who have spouses or family members who are breastfeeding this information needs to be shared for the health and energy of not only the mothers but the babies as well.

Just like when you were pregnant your body needs extra calories to get enough nutrients for you and your baby. But just like when you were pregnant this is only about 300-400 calories more. Make sure you are using those extra calories to fuel you and your baby and not filling up on junk. Here are some necessary nutrients you will need to include in your diet to ensure you and your baby are happy and healthy.

Protein is necessary to help build, repair, and maintain cells, tissues, and organs so it is important for the health of mom and baby that mom eats at least 65 grams of protein a day. Below are some common protein rich foods.

Serving

Food

Grams of Protein

1

Egg

6

3 oz

Chicken

24

3 oz

Salmon

17

3 oz

Ground Beef

12

½ cup

Kidney Beans

19

½ cup

Lima Beans

8

2 Tablespoons

Peanut Butter

8

¼ cup

Dry Steel Cut Oats

7

 

DHA: You probably know that DHA, or Docosahexaenoic Acid, was extremely important while you were pregnant to help your baby’s eyes and brain develop; but did you know it is also important while breastfeeding? Your baby still needs DHA for brain development (especially in infancy) however your baby’s diet will only be rich in DHA if your diet is rich in DHA. The FDA recommends 8-12 oz of low mercury fish (canned tuna, salmon, herring) per week to help you reach the recommended amount of DHA. If you are not consuming enough DHA you can also take a supplement with 200-300 mg of DHA which hopefully you already had in your prenatal so just keep taking your prenatal vitamins.

Calcium: We all store calcium in our bones so if you do not have enough calcium to give your baby, your body with take it from your bones? Some studies have shown a 3-5% reduction in mother’s bone mass during breastfeeding. Mothers should be consuming 1,000mg of calcium a day to prevent bone loss. Dairy is the most widely known calcium contributor however you can also receive calcium from dark leafy greens (i.e. collard greens, spinach, kale) and other calcium fortified foods and juices.

Hydration!! Any breastfeeding mother can tell you, you are so much thirstier while breastfeeding. You will want to make sure you always have a bottle of water available where you are breastfeeding or pumping and keep that water bottle available throughout the day. Partners who are looking for ways to help new mothers should help keep that water bottle handy and full.

Experts say you don’t need any more water than is necessary to satisfy thirst but for many that is around 128 oz of water a day; could be more or less depending on environmental factors, body weight, and activity level. Be sure not to quench that thirst with other high calorie, less effective option, such as soda or juices.

On August 7, 2020 /   nurition, Breast Feeding

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