Nutrition Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers

Let’s face it – breastfeeding and pumping is tough work! Breastfeeding alone burns about 300-500 calories per day, which can leave any mama feeling famished. As a new mother to an exclusively breastfed baby girl, I know this to be true, and I've never been hungrier!

I begin the day with two breakfasts, followed by a snack, then lunch, another snack, dinner, and another snack before bed. And sometimes I eat more snacks throughout the day, especially if my daughter is nursing more than usual.

To ensure that I’m eating foods that help increase breast milk production, it’s my top priority to not only keep my body well-fed but properly nourished, too. To do this, I keep two big food groups fully-stocked in my kitchen for easy access to healthy choices.

FRESH FRUITS & VEGETABLES

Keeping the fridge and pantry full of healthy, lactogenic foods (food that helps increase breast milk supply) make it a lot easier to grab a healthy bite when you have a moment to munch, while also increasing your breast milk production!

Fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) fit the bill for this and are excellent options to stock up on. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fibres and antioxidants to nourish your hard-working body, as well as your baby’s growing body.  

Carrots, yams, and beets are high in beta-carotene (vitamin A), a vitamin that’s needed in greater amounts to promote lactation.

Dark leafy greens, like kale, spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, spinach and collard greens contain minerals, vitamins, enzymes and phytoestrogen which also helps the body produce more breast milk.

It’s also important to incorporate foods that are high in monounsaturated fats (healthy fats, found in foods such as avocados) that help mom absorb vitamins A, D, E and K— these are crucial vitamins to help the baby develop healthy vision, bones, skin and blood clotting!

WHOLE GRAINS AND LEGUMES

Galactagogues, such as oats, millet, rice, barley, lentils, chickpeas, and beans, are foods that increase the flow of a mother’s breast milk.

Oats are especially high in iron, and since anemia and low iron levels can result in decreased milk supply, porridge makes for a perfect breakfast or snack!

Almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts also support breast milk production and make for great grab-and-munch snacks. Walnuts contain two types of omega-3 fatty acids that help baby’s growth, brain and vision development and immunity.

Looking for a delicious, quick and easy breakfast that incorporates some of these staples? I rely on my Morning Maple Porridge as my go-to breakfast.

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