Breastfeeding While Doing Confinement: What You Eat Matters!
Many breastfeeding mothers wonder whether the foods they eat will affect their breast milk or not. Eating healthy is especially important when you are a breastfeeding mom. In your baby’s first year, your baby will gain triple of their birth weight. To grow that much, they will need a lot of nutrients. That means you will use a lot of energy and nutrients for breastfeeding and that’s why it is important to have a balanced and nutritious diet.
Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. It provides all the nutrients your baby needs and most importantly it’s easy to digest. During your confinement period, your overall diet is especially important. This is because you are providing nutrients for your baby and recovering your body at the same time.
What does your baby need?
Fat – Breast milk contains an Omega 3 fatty acid, DHA. It’s important for growth, development and maintenance of brain cells. It is important for you to get enough DHA in your diet which benefits you and also your baby.
Protein – Protein is essential for growth. It is needed for your baby to build, repair and maintain tissues and organs. Breast milk contains balance ratio of different proteins and makes it easier to digest compared to formula milk.
Carbohydrates – It is the source of energy and fuel of growth. Other than that, lactose in breast milk helps to promote the growth of good bacteria in the stomach.
Vitamins and Minerals – These are the essential nutrients that growth and organ function for your baby. Besides that, calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth.
Fun facts regarding breastfeeding
It is estimated that your body needs 500 calories a day for breastfeeding. Therefore, you may feel hungry and thirsty more often. Prepare some healthy snacks in a container or jar so that you can grab something when you are hungry. You can check on MumChecked for some good quality food containers.
Other than that, it is ideal if there is a glass of water available for you when breastfeeding. Take a sip before or during breastfeeding. It is unnecessary to take more than you feel comfortable with. You will know you drink enough water when your urine is clear.
Food to avoid
What you eat will definitely digest and diffuse in your breast milk. There are some foods that you may want to avoid in your diet.
It will be okay if you only take a sip or a small amount of coffee. However, you may need to consider to avoid caffeine if your baby is not sleeping well or irritable.
You may hear that alcohol increases milk supply. It is incorrect and alcohol does not benefits breastfeed. You will need to do timing and scheduling if you really want to drink a glass of wine. Usually, it will take a few hours for alcohol to fully clear from your body. You can drink a glass of wine at least 2 to 3 hours before you breastfeed your baby. If your breasts are full when you are still feeling the effects of alcohol, then you will need to pump and dump your breast milk.
One meal will not affect your breast milk. However, the amount of nutrients in your overall diet is insufficient, it will not only affect your milk quality but also your health. Therefore, you need to consider your confinement food benefits and take it seriously about your diet during your confinement period. You don’t need to be very strict on particular food but it must be healthy and nutritious for you and your baby.
You are the sole source of nutrients for your baby. What you eat, it matters!