Breastfeeding mums need nourishment
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 drlibby.com
Nutrient rich and energy-dense snacks are crucial for breastfeeding mothers.