Eating for feeding

Watching your baby grow big and strong just from your milk is a wonder. Keep your strength up for this by eating sensibly but not wildly.

In pregnancy may have increased your normal diet by about 1200 – 2100 kilojoules per day. For breastfeeding it stays the same. This means that most breastfeeding women will eat a diet with a total count of around 8400 – 9250 kilojoules per day.

Keep in mind that shapes and sizes differ – to get a diet suited for your weight and height you can consult your doctor or a dietician.

Fill your plate with:
  • Calcium-rich foods: 2 - 3 servings per day
  • Protein and Iron rich foods: 2 - 3 servings per day
  • Fruit: 2 – 4 servings per day
  • Vegetables: 3 – 5 servings per day
  • Other fruit and vegetables – 3 servings per day
  • Carbohydrates: 5 – 7 servings per day
Pass a glass
  • 8 small glasses of water per day, adding up to about 1,5 litres.
  • Breastmilk is made up of 87% water. Your body will need extra fluid if your breastfeed.
  • Your body will also tell you that it needs more liquids and you will probably be very thirsty after a breastfeeding session. Sometimes a raging thirst strikes just as the baby latches on, so get sussed and have your water ready before you start.
  • If your urine is pale yellow, you will know that you are drinking enough fluids. (Just keep in mind that if you are taking a Vitamin B supplement your urine will be dark yellow).
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Caffeine in large amounts
  • Raw fish
  • Raw meat

Some professionals recommend that mothers should avoid known allergens which could make babies more prone to developing an allergy later. If Granny can’t stomach a peanut without coming out in bumps, it makes sense to delay your baby’s exposure to them.

You will notice immediately if you had ate something that is affecting your baby. Some clues you should watch your diet are:
  • Stomach cramps
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Gas
  • Colic
  • Eczema or other skin rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhoea

If your baby shows these symptoms it could be due to something you ate in the last 4-6 hours – eliminate it from your diet for at least 2 – 4 weeks before you introduce it again.

Some foods that have been known to cause some trouble for nursing infants:
  • Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits
  • Garlic

Did you know that some food can change the colour of breastmilk?
  • High intake of carrots may make your milk an orangey colour.
  • Beetroot may make your milk light pink (and your urine).
  • Spinach may make your milk greenish.

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