The Role of Nutrition in Breastfeeding - Amanda Hilton
The Role of Nutrition in Breastfeeding

January 2019 / Amanda Hilton 

Nutrition plays a key role in breastfeeding moms. With all the excitement of birth and a new baby, it is easy to forget to consume nutrient-dense foods. Your only thought at this point is keeping your tiny human(s) alive. The postpartum period or fourth trimester is certainly not a time to deprive yourself of calories or nutrients whether you are breastfeeding or not. Your body has gone through a great deal of work and needs plenty of time to recover. Regardless of the type of birth you had, your body will require time, water and lots of healthy foods.

Since caring for a newborn is very time consuming, it is essential to be prepared for the changes that are going to take place in your life. Making frozen dinner dishes before baby is born, such as soup, stews, and casseroles can be a life saver once baby arrives. Check out my services page for the Pre-Birth meal planning package that I offer to help you get prepared for when your precious little one arrives. It is also important to make sure you have lots of fresh fruits, veggies and raw nuts on hand for snacking. Making a big batch of protein balls to keep in the freezer will also be helpful. 

If you choose to breastfeed, it is important to make sure you are consuming enough calories to keep up your milk supply and energy. Some breastfeeding high protein and high fat (the good ones, of course) “super foods” that you should include in your diet are: oats, coconut oil, yogurt, avocado, eggs, quinoa, hemp seeds and almonds. If you are concerned about your milk supply and are hoping to give it a supply boost, some natural galactagogues that you could include in your daily intake are: oats, fennel, fenugreek, blessed thistle, alfalfa, brewer’s yeast, red raspberry leaf and hops. A simple lactation smoothie to kick start your day can be thrown together in minutes and will help keep your milk supply supple. 

Lactation Smoothie
1 banana
1 cup almond milk
Large handful or two of spinach
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp almond butter 
1 tbsp brewer’s yeast
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 tsp spirulina 
1 date (pit removed)

Toss all the ingredients into a blender and top with crushed ice. Blend well and enjoy! 

Good fat vs. Bad fat
A mother’s diet has a significant influence on the fat content of her milk. Fat should not be restricted from infants or children under the age of two. At this stage of their lives, children’s bodies are building the necessary fat cells that will last them a life time.  It is important for breastfeeding mothers to ensure that they are consuming plenty of good fats to set up their children for health success. Foods such as avocado, coconut oil, eggs, yogurt, nuts and oily fish are great sources of omegas. When it comes to fats, trans fats should definitely be eliminated from everyone’s diet, especially breastfeeding moms. Trans fats found in processed and commercial fried foods will lower the fat content of mother’s milk. 

If you need support finding out what foods are right for you and baby or if you need some help preparing meals before baby arrives, message me to set up a consultation. I would be happy to help!