The 10 superfoods that every breastfeeding mum should be aware of
If you are currently breastfeeding or are planning to once baby arrives, chances are you are (or will soon find yourself) spending a lot of time with your baby latched on your boob(s).
And much as this is the most magical feeling in the world (and one you will miss once those days are gone), this also means that you will have no doubt discovered that when it comes to feeding yourself, time and convenience matters A LOT.
But fear not if you find yourself a little short on time to whip up a full meal. Stock up on these great and healthy snacks, and not only will you ward off hunger pangs, but you will also give your milk supply that all-important nutritional boost. It's a total win-win if you ask us.
Almond aren’t just packed with protein (great for feeling full faster); they’re a good non-dairy source of calcium. And when it comes to calcium, every little bit helps, because breastfeeding mamas should take in 1000 mg of calcium per day. That’s because the milk you make is high in calcium, and if you don’t get enough in your diet, your bones and teeth could be robbed of calcium they need. (Yikes!)
Note: If you are allergic to almonds, they’re obviously a no-go. And if your family history includes a history of nut allergies, you might want to hold off on them until your baby is at least three months old.
Oats are a completely natural whole grain, high-fiber food. A bowl of oatmeal will keep you full for a long time after breakfast — and may help increase your milk supply. Plus, oats are high in iron; and iron-deficiency anemia, which is common in new moms, can mess with your milk supply. Top your bowl with some yummy fruits or berries, and you have totally upped your antioxidant game too!
Stock up on yogurts and you will always have a great go-to snack when hunger hits (and if you are breastfeeding, trust us, it will!). This creamy treat is full of protein and calcium, and if you stick to the Greek natural variety, you will not only avoid most of the added sugars but are free to top it with whatever treat you like (nuts and berries are both great choices!).
Apricots contain dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium, all essential nutrients. Eating apricots can also increase prolactin — that's the hormone that tells your body to produce milk. Fresh, whole apricots are a better source of fibre than canned apricots, but dried ones are the perfect on-the-go snack.
Salmon contains large amounts of DHA, a type of fat that’s important to the development of baby’s nervous system.
6. Green leafy veggies
Dark green, leafy vegs are all breastfeeding super foods. This includes kale, broccoli, and Swizz chard, as well as spinach. Toss some in a smoothie, saute on the side of your dinner or eat as part of a salad, it is all GOOD.
Dates, like apricots, increase prolactin, and can help stimulate your milk supply. They also taste SO much better than they look, and are perfect for adding to your morning porridge or to sweeten up a smoothie.
Beans are total powerhouses when it comes to iron and protein, which breastfeeding mamas should be getting plenty of. They are also filling and versatile and good for your digestive system.
9. Brown rice
Sure we all love our white rice, but the brown variety is SO much better for you. Not only has it got way more fiber and other nutrients, it will also keep you full for longer and keep your blood sugar more stable.
10. Sesame seeds
This might not be the first thing you think of come snack time, but these little seeds are in fact choc-a-block with fibre, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Don't fancy eating it by the handful? Try toasting some and add to salads, oatmeal or your morning smoothie!
Did YOU rely on any food in particular when you were breastfeeding, mamas? Let us know in the Facebook comments.