When you are breastfeeding, the golden rule to keep in mind is to continue with your pregnancy diet – although you would be surprised to know that you can now afford to take it easy. This is because your breast milk is not entirely dependent on what you eat. But here is the catch: While your body is capable of producing milk, if your diet lacks the essential nutrients, your body will tap into your own stores to fuel milk production. In the process, sapping you of essential nutrients and leaving you feeling tired.
Your breastfeeding diet is a continuation of your pregnancy diet. Eat wholesome meals, which provide the required calories, proteins, calcium, and iron. Think whole grains and cereals, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables. Include healthy drinks like buttermilk, lassi, coconut water, fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Try to make sure you eat a balanced meal with all food groups so that you have a diverse diet.
Foods or drinks to avoid
Uncooked, unclean, unpasteurized food can be unsafe due to contamination. Consume them only after proper heat treatment. Caffeine, fish high in toxins such as mercury, alcohol, and nicotine are best avoided. Avoid gas causing vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, fizzy sodas, dairy foods (if you are lactose intolerant) and beans as that tends to make your baby colicky and uncomfortable. Avoid a food if you notice an obvious reaction in your baby every time you eat it.
Most doctors recommend a dietary supplement to be taken along with vitamin supplements. A dietary supplement with iron, folic acid, vitamin A, D and calcium are very beneficial to the mother. It helps bridge nutritional gaps and ensures optimum nutrition during lactation. However, remember a dietary supplement is not a substitute for food. It needs to go hand-in-hand with a healthy, well-balanced diet.
There is definitely a direct correlation between your milk supply and fluid intake.
A simple way to keep your fluid intake up is by having at least one glass of water every time you breastfeed, besides drinking water whenever you are thirsty. Other fluids like milk, buttermilk, juices would also work perfectly to add to your fluid intake.