Breastfeeding your baby is highly recommended at least for the first six months. While not everyone is able to or chooses to do it, this practice has several advantages for both mother and baby. It’s not an easy route either; you have to deal with leakages, swollen breasts, back pain, low or high supply, and many other issues.
By maintaining a healthy and proper lifestyle, though, the breastfeeding journey can become a little easier.
Wondering how to establish something like this?
The following tips may be of help:
Get More Nutrients
A breastfeeding body needs more nutrients than before, especially for stimulating milk production. Your body’s working overtime to make the perfect breast milk for your little one. So, it needs the fuel to get going. The food groups to concentrate on here include:
- Vegetables : 7.5 daily servings
- Fruits: 2 daily servings
- Whole grains: daily servings
- Protein: 2.5 daily servings
- Dairy or calcium-enriched items: 2.5 daily servings
It’s also essential to get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, iodine, and calcium while breastfeeding. Make sure to drink a lot of healthy liquids, including water, fresh fruit juice, and green smoothies.
Exercising regularly can help your body stay toned, lose weight healthily, and generally be more able to withstand the demands of breastfeeding. Workouts will also help you get in a more stable frame of mind, which can again help with milk flow.
When you stay active, your bones, joints, and muscles also go through a strengthening phase. The overall experience can reduce the chances of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Along with reducing stress levels, exercise will control your weight and may even help you sleep better.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should start thinking about high-intensity cardio or full-blown workouts. It’s best to consult your doctor first, start with planks, and move on to other gentle exercises. These may include short walks, yoga, swimming, Pilates, etc.
Drink a Lot of Water
The more water you drink during the breastfeeding phase, the better your experience will be. Around 10 cups of non-alcoholic and non-sugary fluids should be the average aim. However, if you lead a very active lifestyle, sweat a lot, or are in a hot and humid area, you should increase that intake by a few cups. While more fluids won’t necessarily increase the milk supply, they will keep you hydrated. You’ll also feel a lot better than otherwise.
Make sure to check your urine for signs that your diet includes enough liquid. The urine should be clear to pale yellow. A dark yellow color is a signal that you should drink more water.
You might be tempted to indulge in options called “sometimes” foods or comfort foods. While it may be tempting to stock up on these and indulge yourself while breastfeeding, it’s probably best to minimize such foods as much as possible.
These are the foods that have a high content of sodium, sugar, and/or saturated fat. They are also low in nutrients and healthy fiber. Examples include processed snacks, desserts, condiments, etc. High consumption of such foods will usually lead to unnecessary weight gain, a higher risk of health issues, and a lower level of wellbeing.
When you’re trying to get pregnant or already there, you avoid alcohol, drugs, and smoking (even second-hand smoke). This should continue into the breastfeeding phase as well. Everything you consume will affect the baby you’re nursing.
Whether you’re interested in stimulating milk production, preventing clogged ducts, or just working on your well-being, the tips above can really help out. Try out the most relevant ones and see the difference!