What to Eat While Breastfeeding
When breastfeeding, it is important for the mother to be cautious of what she consumes, because the infant is also essentially consuming the same food products. Thus, it is vital that the mother ingests healthy food products that will help benefit the physical and mental health of her infant.
One important food product that mothers should consume is salmon.1 Salmon is known to be a nutritional powerhouse for new mothers, is this food product contains essential fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is crucial in developing an infant’s nervous system. All breastmilk contains a certain level of DHA, but DHA levels are much higher in the milk of women who consume more DHA from their diets. The DHA in salmon also may help with the mother’s moods. Past studies have suggested that it may play a role in preventing postpartum depression.1
In addition to salmon, low-fat dairy products have also been suggested to breastfeeding mothers, as the milk in yogurt, milk, cheese, and other dairy products delivers bone-strengthening vitamin D to the infant.1 Furthermore, dairy products are also one of the best sources of calcium, and if a mother is breastfeeding, her milk is loaded with calcium to help her infant’s bones develop.
Breastfeeding mothers should also consume a good amount of lean meat, as lean meat contains a sufficient amount of iron.1 A lack of iron can drain the mother’s energy levels, making it more difficult for her to keep up with the daily demands of raising a newborn. Nursing mothers should also eat food products with extra protein and vitamin B-12, and lean beef is a great source for both.
Other foods that mothers should consider include legumes (iron-rich), blueberries (vitamin- and mineral-rich), brown rice (whole-grain carbohydrate), and oranges (rich in vitamin C).1
To raise a physically and mentally healthy infant, the mother must consider eating food products that can provide her infant with the right amount of healthy minerals, vitamins, iron, calcium, etc.