Breastfeeding Nutrition – You are truly eating for two when breastfeeding and breast pumping for your baby

Mothers instinctively take great care of their baby, but too often forget how important their health is to feeding their precious baby. Breastfeeding and nutrition go hand in hand at this time. If you lack enough food, your body will make breast milk production its first priority, and your body will suffer the consequences. It is just the same as it was during pregnancy, the fetus gets nutrition first. A baby who weighs only a few pounds, will receive nearly 1,000 calories per day in breast milk!

Breast feeding and breast pumping require an extra energy that equals about 500 calories per day. Good nutrition is just as important for you, as it is for your baby.

Increase your water consumption by one quart per day, so that you are drinking a total of 2.5 to 3 quarts.

Increase your daily caloric intake to 2,500 calories: you can even eat more if you are planning to continue breast-feeding for more than three months (2,800 calories per day). One important caution, nursing mothers are tempted by sweets. Try to stick to healthy foods instead!

Eat more proteins. The basic rule is to eat I gram of protein each day for every pound you weigh. That’s not that difficult. An average chicken breast has about 50 grams of protein.

Research has suggested that many of the vitamins and minerals found in prenatal vitamins pass through breast milk. This is usually a desirable thing. For infants who are exclusively fed mother’s milk, breast milk is the only source of important vitamins and minerals. You should talk with your healthcare provider about prenatal vitamins and breastfeeding.

One mineral many women lack — before, during, and after they have children — is iron. Moms need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day when nursing — about what you’d get in three 8-ounce glasses of milk.

The Journal of Pediatrics recommends continuing prenatal vitamins while breast feeding and breast pumping. Research has suggested that many of the vitamins and minerals found in prenatal vitamins pass through breast milk. This is usually a desirable thing. For infants who are exclusively fed mother’s milk, breast milk is the only source of important vitamins and minerals. You should talk with your healthcare provider about prenatal vitamins and breastfeeding.

Eating “close to the food chain” while nursing can improve the vitamin content of foods you consume and in turn, you baby consumes. “Close to the food chain” refers to eating foods that are less processed. The more food is processed, the fewer vitamins naturally present in the food.

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