What sort of postpartum diet do you need now that you’ve given birth? You have finally given birth, now you can eat whatever you want – right? Well, not exactly. If you decide to breastfeed your baby, you are going to need to have a balanced diet. In order to ensure your baby gets the right nutrition, you need to consume certain nutrients and avoid others. Don’t worry, we have you covered with everything you will need to know to get the right amount of nutrition.
Nutrients you Need While Breastfeeding
Just like when your child was in your womb, the food that you eat will affect their diet also. While it will not be as direct as when they were in your uterus, your postpartum diet affects your breast milk. In the first six months of your baby’s life, your breast milk contains all of the necessary nutrients your baby needs. However, according to Healthline, “if your overall diet does not provide sufficient amounts of nutrients, it can affect both the quality of your breast milk and your own health.”
In general, as long as you have a balanced and healthy diet you and your baby will be fine. However, you should try to increase your Vitamin D and Calcium intake. Those nutrients are used a lot in the production of breast milk, and are key nutrients your baby will need. Your Vitamin D is obtained through sun exposure. In order to increase Vitamin D, all you need to do is go outside. If you live in an area that is cloudy you may need to look into Vitamin D supplements, but always talk to your doctor before making that decision.
In regards to Calcium, you can increase your intake with dairy or non-dairy products. According to Medela “Aim for four servings a day from dairy foods, such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, or non-dairy sources, including nuts, tofu, sesame seeds and leafy green vegetables.” Surprisingly, around 2-6% of infants have an intolerance to cow’s milk. According to an article published in Can Fam Physician, some children may develop rashes, eczema, diarrhea, bloody stools, vomiting or baby colic due to this intolerance. Because of this, some women choose to get their calcium from non-dairy sources.
Food to Avoid While Breastfeeding
The good news is that pretty much everything is up for grabs in your postpartum diet. Yes you can now eat fish, and drink alcohol, and caffeine, but there are some rules. Just like everything in life, eat them in moderation. The nutrients from fish are actually quite beneficial for you when you are breastfeeding, but just be sure to avoid eating a lot of oily fish. Too much of a good thing can be bad.
Similarly, you can have some alcohol and some caffeine. Many women choose to wait until the baby is at least 3 months old before drinking any form of alcohol. In regards to alcohol, just limit the amount you drink and make sure you give your body at least 2 hours to process (per serving). Your baby is unable to metabolize these things as fast as you can, and alcohol can make it’s way into your breast milk. According to Healthline, “you’ll want to wait a few hours for each drink you’ve consumed before breastfeeding your baby.” For caffeine, the rules are not as strict. As long as you limit your caffeine to 2-3 12oz cups a day, your baby should be ok. It could potentially disrupt their sleep schedule, so just be mindful of this.
Postpartum Diet and Exercise While Breastfeeding
While we know it can be tempting to shed the baby weight as fast as possible, it is probably best to wait. The weight that you gained during pregnancy is actually used to create breast milk. The body actually uses the fat storages to create breast milk. So by breastfeeding you are actually going to lose weight naturally.
If you are still wanting to do more to get rid of the baby weight, just try to eat as healthy as you possibly can. You need around 500 more calories a day in order to create breast milk, so keep this in mind if you are counting calories. If you are adamant about losing weight, make sure you do it in a healthy manner. As a general rule, you can lose about 2 lbs a week by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Anything more than that is considered an unhealthy amount of weight loss a week. Be sure that you are consulting your doctor about the proper postpartum diet for your individual needs.
The same goes for exercising. Listen to your body and stop when you need to. Everything in moderation. You can do some exercise, but just make sure that you are doing it in a safe and healthy manner. Don’t start exercising immediately after giving birth, give your body time to adjust and heal from all the trauma it just endured.
Your Postpartum Body
We know how difficult it can be to accept and learn to love your new body. Your body just went through so many changes over the course of nine months, and then over the course of hours it all went back. That is incredible. The amount of things your body just did is absolutely amazing, be proud of it. Taking care of yourself after giving birth is essential for a well-balanced lifestyle. Breastfeeding will help make sure that you are mindful of the nutrients you need to consume and where you get them. You can always exercise and maintain a healthy diet to shed the baby weight, but just make sure you are doing it safely.
And don’t worry about the baby weight coming back after losing it. Because our Bellefit postpartum girdles can help keep the weight away. Postpartum girdles are designed to ease your pain and discomfort after giving birth. This can help you feel ready to exercise sooner than you would have, and it helps you feel more confident in your body. This can help keep that baby weight off for good. So, invest in a postpartum girdle today, and get back to feeling your confident self.