Pregnant women often get advice as to what to eat or drink. They are warned that the baby is ingesting the same nutrients and tastes. Flavor will enter into the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby. The baby will in turn ingest it and taste what you consumed. The baby will get its nutrients from the umbilical cord.
While you are pregnant it is important to monitor how much caffeine you drink. You may also find that onions and garlic do not agree with your baby or you.
After your baby is born, you may make the decision to breast feed. Following a strict diet is also important during the months that you breast feed. A woman will typically produce anywhere from 23-27 ounces of milk daily.
However, a woman’s diet can affect how much milk she produces. A nursing mother will need to have a caloric intake of about 2500. In most cases, the woman will need to increase her diet by 500-1000 calories. Nursing mothers often find that they need calories throughout the entire day. You could implement a 3 meals/3 snacks diet. In order to continually produce milk, nursing mothers will need these calories.
Although you are increasing calories, you should not be partaking in a diet filled with junk food. Sweets, candy bars, cookies, cake, etc. offer higher calories but basically little to no nutritional value.
Rather than consuming nutritionally useless food, a nursing mother can create a diet that is higher in protein. Professionals often advise to consume 1 gram of protein for each pound that you weigh (example: 140 pound woman=140 grams of protein daily). Some possible snacks that are high in protein and rich in other nutrients include:
* Cheese (especially hard cheeses)
* Walnuts or almonds
* Protein bars
* Hard boiled eggs
* Peanut Butter and apple slices
Nursing mothers will also notice an increased thirst due to their changing hormones. It is a good idea to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. You can usually monitor how much water you need by your own thirst.
Aside from affecting how much milk is produced, a nursing mother’s diet can also affect her baby’s health. Research has found that certain foods are linked to certain symptoms in babies.
Your breast milk will take on the flavor of whatever food or drink you consume. Doctors have found a link between chocolate and colic babies. It has also been found to give babies an upset stomach. Greasy foods have also been associated with stomach aches in babies. It is best to avoid or consume chocolate or greasy foods in moderation while breast feeding.
If you are having difficulty getting your baby to nurse, you may want to consider your last meal. Did it include garlic or onions which have a strong flavor? The flavor may not enter your breast milk for several hours, depending on the food. You may eat garlic and not notice any changes in your baby’s nursing. However, at a feeding several hours later, they may refuse to nurse.
Just like while you were pregnant, you also need to monitor your caffeine consumption while breast feeding. Having one or two cups of coffee or a glass of soda will most likely not effect your baby. However, excessive consumption of sugary, caffeinated beverages may make your baby hyper and jittery.
If you are pregnant and planning to breastfeed, it is best to start implementing this type of diet early in the pregnancy. It will help in your baby’s development and health.