Breastmilk is your baby's superfood, supplying all the necessary
nutrients for development of a healthy little mind and body. But
producing breastmilk takes something like 3-4000 kilojoules every
day. Around half of that is sourced from the extra fat your body
has stored during pregnancy (helping you to return to your pre-baby
body weight), but the other half should come from a variety of
wholesome and nutritious snacks. Here are the dos and don'ts.
- DO keep up your fluids Many breastfeeding
mothers get thirsty during and after breastfeeds. Try to get in the
habit of sitting down with a glass of water beside you at feed
times. Overall, you'll probably need about half a litre more than
usual, so aim at consuming around 2 litres of fluids a day,
- DO eat healthy snacks Take your pick of things
such as wholegrain toast spread with avocado or tahini, a tub of
yoghurt, fresh fruit, non-sugary breakfast cereals with milk, a
handful of nuts and seeds, cheese and biscuits or a platter of
freshly cut vegies with a hummus or tzatziki dip.
- DON'T succumb to junk food Stay away from
snack foods such as chips, lollies, pastries, cakes and sweet
biscuits. These high-fat, high-sugar treats might offer a quick
hunger rescue, but they tend to be low in nutrients.
- DO replenish your stores of iron Pregnancy is
a big drain on your body's iron stores and, after birth, it's
important to rebuild those reserves. Include plenty of legumes and
lentils, nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, wholegrain breads
and cereals, as well as red meat, chicken and fish in your
- DON'T drink alcohol before feeding The
occasional glass of wine or beer is fine even for breastfeeding
mothers, but be careful to time your drink so that it comes after a
feed rather than before. Remember that it will take around two
hours for the alcohol you consume to pass through your system.
- DON'T drink lots of caffeine Caffeine, like
alcohol, passes from your system into the breastmilk you produce
for your baby. Newborns are particularly susceptible as they
metabolise caffeine very slowly, meaning that caffeine can hang
around in their systems for a long time. You don't have to give up
caffeine altogether, but do try to limit your intake of coffee,
tea, energy drinks and cola drinks.