What are some good healthy tips for breastfeeding moms?
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Stay hydrated
- Take some vitamins
- Be careful with diets
- Take extra care of your skin
- Check your body frequently
One of the most important things you can do as a mother is nursing your newborn baby. As natural as the act is, many women stress about how to keep healthy during this time. There is the worry that without the right precautions, it will negatively affect your health — and your child’s. For new mothers who are filled with a hundred fears and questions, don’t fret. Here are some healthy tips for breastfeeding moms. Read on to learn more!
Maintain A Balanced Diet
Your best bet to produce a healthy amount of milk with enough nutrients for your baby is to maintain a well-balanced diet. Three full meals a day with various fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats are good. If that’s difficult, breaking those up into smaller portions and eating them throughout the day is also fine. In addition, you have to consider allergies that run through your family. Take care to limit any food that may cause diarrhea, rashes, and other allergic reactions in your baby.
Make sure that you’re able to get enough calories from your meals and snacks each day. Producing breast milk can take up a lot of energy — hence the need for more calories. It is recommended that moms eat around 500 more calories when breastfeeding.
Other than eating healthy, take extra care with staying hydrated. Breast milk is made from water from your own body — so you may feel thirsty after a feeding. Make sure to drink enough to quench your thirst, at least eight glasses of water per day. A good habit to build is to rehydrate after each feeding. If you are unable to stay hydrated, it can lead to constipation or dehydration, as well as decreased breast milk production.
Take Some Vitamins
Healthy diets can help you get most of the nutrients you need, but you can still take in additional sources. Generally, you can continue the prenatal vitamins for a few months after birth. Other than that, your body will need more calcium, folic acid, iodine, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B, and DHA (a type of omega-3 fat) to provide high-quality milk for your baby. If you’re concerned that you might be lacking in any of these, it is recommended that you consult your doctor about what vitamins you should add to your diet.
Be Careful With Diets
Some mothers are worried about the extra weight gained after pregnancy and may be tempted to go on a diet after birth. Nevertheless, it is often unsafe to start a new diet program when you’re still breastfeeding your baby.
Your baby receives nutrition from your breast milk, and deriving your body from much-needed nutrients by going on a strict diet or by taking weight loss supplements can be harmful to your baby. It is recommended to start any diet after your body heals from childbirth, and when you’re able to wean your baby from breast milk (which is around six months after birth).
Take Extra Care Of Your Skin
The skin around your chest is delicate, and regular nursing can cause it to be irritated, dried, and chapped — it can even cause small injuries. Without proper skin care, breastfeeding can turn into a painful experience. So take extra precautions in protecting your skin by adding a few steps to your self-care routine.
Avoid taking too many showers as this will further dry your skin. Use gentle cleansers, and pat your skin dry with a soft cloth. You should frequently moisturize with lotions or balms to ease discomfort and to prevent dryness and cracking. Just make sure to consult with your doctor on which moisturizers are safe to use around your baby. Taking these extra steps will keep you comfortable even with frequent nursing.
Check Your Body Frequently
Check on your breasts and be vigilant for signs of tenderness or inflammation. To do so, you can face a mirror and gently feel your chest. If touching them is painful, or you see a red area, you should consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible. These can be an early indication of mastitis, a condition caused by a buildup in your breasts.
If what you’re experiencing is just swelling, you can treat this at home. Apply a warm compress and gently massage your breast before nursing to improve milk flow. After feeding, you can apply a cold compress to decrease any inflammation or swelling.
Taking care of your newborn can be overwhelming — even for experienced parents. But knowing extra tricks and healthy tips for breastfeeding moms and putting them into practice can help ease some of your worries. Before you stress out, remember to follow this guide to stay healthy while nursing your baby!