Breast­feed­ing mums need nour­ish­ment

South Waikato News - - Your Health -

My daugh­ter has had a baby re­cently. She is a vege­tar­ian, coeliac and is breast­feed­ing. What would you sug­gest as some nour­ish­ing snack ideas?

Breast­feed­ing is a de­mand­ing time for the body in both en­ergy ex­er­tion and also nu­tri­ent de­ple­tion. There­fore, nu­tri­ent rich and en­ergy-dense snacks are im­por­tant. Nuts and seeds make great snacks, as they’re a good source of pro­tein and es­sen­tial fatty acids. They can also be made into bliss balls and com­bined with a small amount of fruit such as dates or ba­nana for ad­di­tional en­ergy. They’re easy to make and snack on as you just roll the mix­ture into small balls – they can also be frozen. Mix­ing up the snacks is im­por­tant though, as you don’t want to al­ways eat the same things while breast­feed­ing.

Hum­mus and veg­etable sticks are a nour­ish­ing op­tion, too. Make a big batch of hum­mus and freeze the rest. Avo­ca­dos and olive oil are good sources of mo­noun­sat­u­rated fat – which will help with sa­ti­a­tion and can be added to ev­ery­thing from cooked veg­eta­bles to salad. In the cooler months it’s a great idea to make a big batch of veg­etable soup and freeze the ex­tra por­tions. Ideal for tak­ing out a ‘‘cup’’ of soup at a time. Ideally add some lentils, chick­peas or beans to the soap to add ex­tra fi­bre and pro­tein.

Nu­tri­ents such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are of­ten ob­tained through con­sum­ing fish, are of crit­i­cal im­por­tance when breast­feed­ing as they’re passed onto the baby through breast milk. Vege­tar­ian sources of omega-3 fatty acids in­clude flax seeds, chia seeds, wal­nuts and pecans. I’ve re­cently started a new busi­ness ven­ture and have started hav­ing trou­ble sleep­ing. What’s your top tip for turn­ing off a busy mind to get a good nights sleep?

Stop work­ing two hours – well, at least an hour – be­fore you want to go to bed. Cap­ture ev­ery­thing you are think­ing of and then put that list in a safe place – think of this like a brain back up. Un­for­tu­nately, I know so many entrepreneurs who take their lap­tops into their bed­rooms. Most of us are ex­posed to screens the whole day whether it is our lap­top, tablet, smart­phone et cetera. This screen time can dis­rupt mela­tonin pro­duc­tion a hor­mone that helps us to sleep, so avoid­ing screens for two hours be­fore bed­time can make a real dif­fer­ence to sleep qual­ity.

And lastly, I would sug­gest do some­thing that makes you re­lax: read a book, lis­ten to a me­di­a­tion CD, or sim­ply just chat with your part­ner – what­ever works for you!

For a good night’s sleep, it’s also vi­tal to take steps to de­crease the adrenalin (stress hor­mone) pro­duc­tion that may have been ram­pant across the day. The rea­son for this is that adrenalin com­mu­ni­cates to ev­ery cell in your body that your life is in danger and as a re­sult it doesn’t al­low us to sleep deeply. Its con­cern is if we did, we may not wake up in time to save our own life. So not hav­ing caf­feine af­ter mid­day, ex­plor­ing your per­cep­tion of pres­sure and ur­gency (th­ese are mod­ern-day rea­sons we make adrenalin) can be help­ful long-term to liv­ing less on adrenalin, as is breath­ing di­aphrag­mat­i­cally.

Check out Dr Libby’s book for more health tips, avail­able from all good book­stores and dr­

Nu­tri­ent rich and en­ergy-dense snacks are cru­cial for breast­feed­ing moth­ers.

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