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Healthy lifestylejd2

and breastfeeding

 

Breastfeeding and diet

It doesn’t need to eat anything special while breastfeeding but it is better to eat and follow a healthy diet.

 

A healthy diet includes the following:

  • At least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day (including fresh, frozen, tinned and dried fruit and vegetables, and 100% unsweetened juice).
  • Starchy foods, such as wholemeal bread, pasta, rice and potatoes.
  • Plenty of fibre from wholemeal bread and pasta, breakfast cereals, rice, pulses (such as beans and lentils), and fruit and vegetables.  After childbirth, some women have bowel problems and constipation.  Fibre helps with both of these.
  • Protein, such as lean meat and chicken, fish, eggs and pulses.  At least two portions of fish a week is recommended, including some oily fish.
  • Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.  These contain calcium and are a source of protein.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids.  Water, milk and 100% unsweetened fruit juices are all good choices.

Vitamin D supplements and breastfeeding

While breastfeeding, it is recommended to take supplements containing 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D each day.  All the other vitamins and minerals that breastfeeding women need can be consumed by eating a varied and balanced diet. 

Healthy snack ideas for breastfeeding women

The following snacks will give energy and strength:

  • fresh fruit
  • sandwiches filled with salad, grated cheese, mashed salmon or cold meat 
  • yoghurts
  • hummus with bread or vegetable sticks
  • fortified unsweetened breakfast cereals, muesli and other wholegrain cereals with milk
  • milky drinks or 100% unsweetened fruit juices

Foods to avoid when breastfeedingjd3

Eating fish is good for health, but avoid having more than two portions of oily fish a week.  Oily fish includes fresh tuna, sardines and trout.

Small amounts of what mother eating and drinking can pass to the baby through breast milk.  Be aware from artificial sweeteners like saccharin and processed foods.  Alcohol is allowed in small amounts.  The extra fat on meat should be cut off because it absorbs toxins.  Limit the coffee to two cups a day or other caffeinated foods and drink.

Caffeine when breastfeeding

Drinks containing caffeine can affect baby and may keep them awake.  Caffeine occurs naturally in many foods and drinks, including coffee, tea and chocolate.  It is also added to some soft drinks and energy drinks.  It is important not to have too much caffeine.  Alternatives include decaffeinated tea and coffee, herbal teas, 100% fruit juice or mineral water.  Try to limit the intake of energy drinks, which may be high in caffeine.

Peanuts and breastfeeding

Eat peanuts or foods containing peanuts such as peanut butter while breastfeeding, choose to do so as part of a healthy balanced diet.  There is no clear evidence that eating peanuts while breastfeeding affects baby’s chances of developing a peanut allergy.

Alcohol when breastfeeding

Alcohol passes through to breastfed babies in very small amounts.  It is unlikely that having an occasional drink will harm both mother and baby, but it might affect how easily baby feeds, so when breastfeeding, it is probably sensible to drink very little for example, no more than 1 or 2 units once or twice a week.  One unit of alcohol is approximately a single (25ml) measure of spirits, half a pint of beer or half a standard (175ml) glass of wine, although it depends on the strength of the drink.

Breastfeeding and smoking

If mother smokes while breastfeeding, baby will be exposed to nicotine through breast milk.  However, breastfeeding will still protect the baby from infections and provide nutrients that they cannot get from infant formula. So do not stop breastfeeding if it is hard to quit smoking.

Breastfeeding and medicines

Many illnesses, including depression, can be treated while breastfeed without harming the baby.  However, small amounts of any drug taken will pass through the breast milk to the baby, so always have to contact with the doctor, dentist or pharmacist.

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