A mother's diet during breastfeeding should be rich and varied, but above all, it should be filled with foods such as fruits, whole grains, dairy products, vegetables and greens, avoiding industrialized and very fatty foods that do not add nutritional value to the mother nor to the baby.
During breastfeeding, the mother loses 1 to 2 kg a month, slowly and gradually, due to the amount of energy that is used to produce breast milk that comes from the fat accumulated during pregnancy. It takes 800 calories to produce 1 liter of milk, 500 calories from your diet and 300 calories from fat reserves formed during pregnancy.
What to eat during breastfeeding
Women breastfeeding need more energy and protein, which should be obtained through a balanced diet that includes all food groups. In addition, it is important to pay attention to the amount of dairy products consumed to be sufficient to meet the calcium needs at this stage. Some tips to facilitate the mother's diet are:
- Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily;
- Consume protein such as chicken, turkey or a well-cooked egg;
- Fish should be eaten 2 to 3 times a week, giving preference to low-mercury fish such as sardines, tuna, trout and salmon;
- Preferably, the carbohydrates ingested should be whole to increase fiber intake, which may be rice, pasta, cereals, toast, breads and grains;
- Eat 2 to 3 servings of dairy, such as 1 cup of skim or semi-skimmed milk, 1 slice of white cheese and 1 plain yogurt, for example.
During the breastfeeding phase it is critical that the mother drink plenty of fluids to help with milk production, about 3-4 liters per day. This amount comprises the water present in fruits, soups and juices, so it is still necessary to drink about 2 liters of liquids such as water or sugar free tea per day. Having a 2 liter bottle around is a good option to control the amount of water you drink throughout the day.
Proper diet during breastfeeding to avoid colics in the baby
If the baby has colic, you should make changes in your diet, but this varies from baby to baby, and the woman should be aware if the baby has colics after eating a food, which should be removed from your diet.
To prevent colics in the baby, it is important for the mother to restrict the consumption of foods that cause gas, such as:
- Beans with peel (kneaded and passed in a sieve);
- Sweet potato.
Another food that can also cause colics in the baby is cow's milk, so if you have already excluded all of these foods from your diet and the baby continues to present colics, it may be necessary to cut the cow's milk and its derivatives, replacing it for vegetable milk, such as rice milk, almond milk or coconut drink.
The use of some teas in breastfeeding can also cause cramps in the baby, such as Kava Kava tea, carqueja and ginseng. See other examples of teas that shouldn't be taken while breastfeeding.
What not to eat during breastfeeding
The foods that should be avoided while breastfeeding are foods such as fried foods, sausages, yellow cheeses, sodas, cakes and cookies because they have high amounts of fats and sugars.
In families with a history of allergy, it was considered beneficial for the mother to remove from her diet potentially allergenic foods such as egg and peanuts, for example. However, this is not a rule as it varies from person to person and it is important to see your pediatrician or nutritionist.
In addition, alcohol consumption is prohibited, as alcohol can be pass through breast milk and passed on to the baby.
Can a woman drink coffee while breastfeeding?
Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant and the baby will not be able to metabolize this substance. However some studies show that consuming 300 mg of caffeine a day does not cause any changes in the baby, so you can take 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day.
3 Day Diet Menu
The following table provides an example of a balanced and varied diet that can be followed during breastfeeding:
|Meals||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||2 slices of whole grain bread with white cheese + 1 pear.||Spinach Omelet + 1 cup (250 ml) of orange juice.||2 slices of whole grain bread with white cheese + 1 glass (250 ml) of watermelon juice.|
|Morning snack||240 ml of yogurt with 1/2 bowel of fruits in pieces.||1 glass (200 ml) of papaya juice + 4 whole grain crackers.||1 medium sized banana.|
|Lunch/Dinner||140 g grilled salmon + 1 cup of whole grain rice + 1 cup of green beans or green beans with cooked carrots + 1 tea cup of olive oil + 1 tangerine.|
100 g of chicken with peppers and onion + 1/2 cup brown rice + 1/2 cup of lentils + salad + 1 tablespoon of olive oil + 1 apple.
|100 g of turkey breast + 2 medium sized potatoes + salad + 1 teaspoon of olive oil + 1 slice of melon.|
|Afternoon snack||1 medium apple.||1/2 cup of cereals + 240 ml skimmed milk.||1 slice of rye bread + 1 slice of cheese + 2 slices of avocado.|
Other options for snacks include eating fresh fruit, rye bread with cheese and vegetables, yogurt (200 mL), chickpea soup with vegetable sticks, milk cereal or 1 glass of Maize biscuit juice.
It is important to be aware of any signs that the baby indicates colics and it is recommended to make changes in your diet. In addition, if any signs of an allergy or colic occur in the baby due to the mother's consumption of milk, it is recommended you switch to vegetable milk and see a nutritionist so he can adapt better the amount and type of dairy products consumed.