Nutritional Needs While Breastfeeding

By: Ingrid Toombs, R.D., Feb 04, 2015
Nutritional Needs While Breastfeeding | New Leaf Psychology Centre, Milton, ON

What will maximize my nutrition while breastfeeding?

Keep You And Your Baby Healthy While Breastfeeding

After giving birth, experts say that a well-balanced diet and proper nutrition is even more important than during your pregnancy. The food choices you make will greatly influence the quality of your breast milk, and how quickly your body will rebound from the pregnancy.

You will want to include a high amount of complex carbohydrates, including:

- Whole Grains, such as brown rice, and rye or whole wheat bread,
Fruits, such as apples, berries, peaches, and melons, and
Vegetables, such as broccoli, squash, and bell peppers.

You should also ensure that you are obtaining the proper levels of calcium, protein, iron, and fat. Aim for three to five servings of fat per day and calcium-rich food.

Here are some additional nutrition tips:

– Increase your fluid intake by drinking at least one glass of water before you breastfeed, and aim for 3 Litres of fluids daily
– When choosing seafood options, opt for items that are higher in omega-3 fats, such as salmon, herring, trout, and pollock, and avoid items high in mercury such as shark, white tuna, and swordfish.
Avoid alcohol, as it takes 2-3 hours to completely exit the breast milk stream.

Eating a wide variety of foods will also change the flavor of your breast milk. This will help introduce your baby to different tastes, which can help develop their palette at an early age.

 Written by Ingrid Toombs
Registered Dietitian

Ms. Toombs, RD, received a bachelor of applied science in nutrition at Ryerson University. She completed her dietetic internship at Hamilton Health Sciences. Ingrid is registered with the College of Dietitians of Ontario and is a member of Dietitians of Canada. Along with her part-time private practice, Ingrid is currently a staff dietitian with the Cardiac Rehabilitation and Diabetes Programs at Halton Healthcare Services. Her previous experiences include hospital, mental health, and nursing home settings, including over ten years with a pediatric eating disorders program.

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