12 of the best (and worst) foods to eat if you are breastfeeding
About to get started with breastfeeding?
You might have read or heard that it is important to eat healthily and make sure you consume enough calories every day to keep your milk supply up, but were you aware there are certain foods you should absolutely include in your diet if you are nursing?
And that other, healthy as they may be, could actually end up giving your baby stomach cramps or sleep troubles?
Here is a handy checklist over best – and worst – foods to eat when you are breastfeeding:
Keeping yourself hydrated is probably the most important thing you can do for your milk production, mamas.
OK, first things first, don't freak out; you can still enjoy your morning latte. Just strive to keep your coffee consumption to one or two cups a day, as drinking it in excessive amounts might irritate your little one's sensitive digestion – and keep him from falling asleep when you want him to!
Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, and great for breastfeeding mamas as it is packed with vitamin A, contain heart-healthy antioxidants and is a great nondairy source of calcium.
Worst: Broccoli (and Brussels Sprouts)
This might be a little surprising as broccoli is known to such a healthy choice – and it is, but to some babies, "gassy" foods like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts can be upsetting to little tummies. Eat in moderation when you are breastfeeding.
Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, blueberries are the perfect on-the-go snack for breastfeeding mamas.
Much as garlic is really good for us (and has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties), its strong scent can actually make your breast milk take on a subtle yet detectable garlic flavor, which you teeny tiny baby is not a fan of – yet.
Salmon – and other fatty fish – is loaded with DHA, which is crucial to the development of a baby’s nervous system.
Worst: Fish that could be high in mercury
Most fish contain some mercury, especially farmed fish, but aim to steer clear of those with the highest concentrations, like swordfish and king mackerel.
Best: Dairy Products
Organic dairy products like milk, yogurts, and low-fat cheese are all tremendous sources of B vitamins and calcium.
Worst: Citrus Fruits
These contain compounds that might irritate a baby’s still-maturing GI tract.
There is a lot of conflicting advice when it comes to babies and nuts, but many recent studies have shown that exposing your infant to small amounts of common allergens (like nuts) could actually decrease their chance of becoming allergic.
Walnuts, in particular, are full of healthy fats, which is great for your baby's brain. On top of that, these nuts are choc-a-bloc with antioxidants and heart-healthy properties too.
Peppermint won't hurt your baby, but some experts are warning that consuming a lot of this herb can actually reduce your milk supply.
Was there anything you ate when YOU were breastfeeding that had a funny effect on your babies?