Experts say that there is no need to go on a special diet instead focus on making healthy choices and not eating "empty calories". Empty calories are those found in sugar sweetened beverages, sugar snacks, or junk food. Breastfeeding mothers may need additional calories to keep up their energy levels and milk supply.
Make healthy choices! Whole grains: (brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, popcorn)Lots of fruits and vegetables: (lettuce, squash, broccoli, apple, orange, berries)Proteins: ( Fish- great source of protein but be careful in the choosing the kind due to mercury levels)-meats, peanut butter, eggs, beans Foods high in iron: (dark green leafy vegetables, beans, dried fruit, red meat)Foods high in calcium: (cheese, tofu, almonds, yogurt)Foods high in vitamin C: (peppers, oranges, dark leafy greens, broccoli )
Fluids WATER: drink at least 8 cups or more per day. Water consumption is important to keep up your milk supply. Juices/Soda/Sugar sweetened beverages: small amounts in moderation Alcohol: no amount of alcohol is considered safe while breastfeeding. Caffeine: 2-3 cups is considered safe Supplements Multivitamin: continue prenatal vitamins Vitamin D3: Clinical research now indicates that breastfeeding mothers should take 2000-6400 IU/day of vitamin D3 to assure adequate levels of vitamin D in their milk supply to meet infant needs. With limited sun exposure, an intake of 400 IU/day vitamin D3 does not sustain circulating maternal levels, and thus, supplies only extremely limited amounts of vitamin D to the nursing infant via breast milk. A maternal supplement of vitamin D assures adequate levels in both mother and nursing infant. Consult with your physician or dietician on the correct dosage for you!
Katie Hampston, RN, BSN
Bayfield County Health Department