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When it comes to a breastfeeding diet, the main focus is commonly on having foods that boost your milk supply. But did you know even with the right food, you can still fall short in meeting your nutritional needs if you need to eat more calories? So how many extra calories do you actually need? And how do you maintain a healthy weight despite eating more? Read the following tips to find out:
How Many Additional Calories Do I Need?
The recommended calorie intake for adult females generally is between 1,700 to 2,000 calories a day. To get a more accurate intake level, you should take your age, weight, and physical activity level into consideration. For example, if your job requires you to be constantly moving around, you are more likely to burn more calories than another person who works at the office desk all day.
When you are breastfeeding, your body needs extra energy to produce breast milk for your baby. Hence, for your calorie intake while breastfeeding, you are generally recommended to take around 300 additional calories. That being said, you might need even a higher calorie intake if you are underweight, nursing more than one child, nursing while you are pregnant, having wounds or having other medical complications. Be sure to consult your doctor if you find yourself in these special circumstances.
Would The Extra Calories Cause Weight Gain?
With postnatal water retention and swelling, a common concern among breastfeeding moms is whether the extra calories would cause even more weight gain. The good news is as long as you are eating healthy, the additional calories you take are not likely to increase your weight. The reason is that your body burns extra calories when you are producing or feeding breast milk.
For breastfeeding moms, the key to eating more calories without gaining weight is to maintain a well-balanced and healthy diet. Depending on your postpartum recovery progress and health condition, you can add exercise to your daily routine after consulting your doctor. In terms of diet, go for whole foods such as unprocessed meat, vegetables and fruits. Meanwhile, stay away from junk foods that only contain empty calories and no nutrients.
How Many Calories Breastfeeding Burns?
On average, your body burns around 200 to 500 calories from breastfeeding in a day. The number changes depending on your milk flow, how frequently you breastfeed, as well as how old your baby is. For example, when your baby starts having solid food and you don’t breastfeed as much, you will burn fewer calories compared to the first few months.
What Are the Examples of Healthy High-Calorie Food?
To make sure you hit your daily calorie intake level, consume healthy foods that are high in calories, which include:
- Dairy: Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt are rich in calcium, which will help to boost the milk supply.
- Seafood: Seafood provides nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 that are beneficial to you and your baby.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains are rich in fibre and help in milk production.
As your milk flow improves, you will burn more calories, too. Other than food, try improving your milk flow using helpful tools like a lactation massager. A great place to get this is on online shopping sites like MumChecked, which rewards you as you shop or review.
What Food Should I Avoid or Limit?
Breastfeeding diets are slightly more relaxed compared to pregnancy diets. That said, you should still pay attention to certain foods that might affect your baby’s growth. A few common food to avoid during breastfeeding Singapore include:
- High-Mercury Seafood: These include swordfish, shark, and king mackerel, which could harm the baby’s brain.
- Coffee & Tea: The caffeine in these drinks will be passed to your baby through your breastmilk and affect the baby’s sleep schedule. So it is best to limit your caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day, which is equivalent to not more than 2 cups of coffee
Apart from these foods, some mothers may have the doubt of “Can breastfeeding mothers eat chicken?” The answer is yes! It is safe for breastfeeding mothers to consume chicken, especially lean parts like chicken breast. Lean chicken is packed with protein, Iron, Vitamin B12, B1, and so much more.These nutrients can support your baby’s development, as well as speed up your postpartum recovery.
How Can Tian Wei Signature Help?
Our meals are made with the aim of easing your breastfeeding issues. Thus, we have incorporated lactation-boosting ingredients in our dishes to improve your breast milk supply. Some of the ingredients included are fenugreek, ginger, papaya, and garlic. Additionally, our dishes contain nutrients that can improve the nutritional quality of your breast milk to benefit the development of your newborn through breastfeeding. For example, folate contained in this meal is great for the development of your newborn’s brain, while Vitamin C helps in building collagen for the skin, muscles and gums in babies.
Exciting Fusion Meals
How will this help me, you may ask? Confinement meals have always been traditional meals only, so mommies like you might be looking for more variety. The good news is that Tian Wei Signature have just what you need! We make your confinement diet more interesting by serving fusion confinement meals on top of traditional meals. We offer a wide variety of unique fusion meals, such as Mediterranean fusion and Japanese fusion meals, to keep your confinement diet exciting with minimal repetition. Plus, our fusion meals are prepared using nutritious and healthy ingredients to hasten your postpartum recovery as well. Examples of our fusion confinement meals include Tian Wei Signature Coq’ Au Vin, Kurobuta Pork Loin with Apple Mirin Sauce and Spaghetti and Seared Salmon with Cauliflower Cream and Tri-Colour Grains.
At Tian Wei Signature, your dietary needs for a smoother postpartum recovery are our utmost priority. Your meals are purely prepared with natural flavours of fresh ingredients. Our confinement meals help you with your postpartum recovery because we use a lot of nourishing and healing ingredients in our dishes. Some of our meals are high in Vitamin C, which is crucial for the formation of collagen to promote wound healing around the genital and caesarean area after labour. Plus, the iron contained in our dishes would help supply oxygen throughout your body by developing new red blood cells. For a healthier bowel system and gut, our dishes also contain fibre to prevent or treat constipation. Be it traditional confinement dishes, fusion confinement dishes, confinement herbal soup or lactation-friendly dishes, we will do our best to cater to your full recovery!
Well-Balanced and Dietitian-Guided Meals
Worried about what you should be eating during confinement and wondering where to get them? We are pleased to inform you that with Tian Wei Signature, your meals are delicately prepared to be healthy and well-balanced to cater to your nutritional needs. We understand your concerns and how important it is to be adequately nourished. Therefore, we have an in-house dietitian to review all the ingredients and nutritional value of our meals to ensure every meal you have with us will benefit your recovery and lactation. For every confinement meal we serve, our meals come with a staple, meat, vegetable, soup or dessert. Our fusion meals come with a dessert, while the traditional meals are served with herbal soups. Making them confinement foods Chinese mommies would recommend!
Award-Winning Chef and Sustainable Packaging
Our meals and dishes are prepared by Chef Eugene, who started his professional career in the culinary industry by honing his skills in international cuisine, which eventually inspired him to create interesting fusion and traditional confinement dishes with us! With his experience in curating breastfeeding-friendly and nutritious confinement meals, Chef Eugene aspires to keep supporting mothers through their postpartum journey. Not only will your meals be healthy, but they are also nutritious as well! Besides that, Tian Wei Signature keeps your meals warm and fresh during delivery through the use of our thermal bags. We serve your herbal soups and red dates tea in thermal flasks. These flasks can keep your meals warm and fresh for longer hours and are more environmentally friendly, too! It is also worth noting that we use biodegradable packaging for our dishes, making it a more sustainable option for you and mother nature.
In a nutshell, a healthy breastfeeding diet is all about having well-balanced whole foods. While you can certainly plan and prepare these meals yourself, an easier way is to engage with a trusted confinement food delivery service that offers nutritious confinement food for breastfeeding.
Tian Wei Signature is an award-winning confinement food caterer in Singapore that serves MSG-free and breastfeeding-friendly confinement meals. Featuring wide-ranging traditional Chinese and fusion confinement food, our meals are top-rated by thousands of breastfeeding moms in Singapore. Pamper yourself with the best nutrients by booking today!