Breastfeeding is hungry work! It increases your kilojoule requirements and your need for certain vitamins and minerals…
After nine months of carefully considering what you can eat you may have the desire to relinquish some control and eat what you feel like now that your baby is born. However, you should still try to follow a healthy, varied and balanced diet to ensure your milk supply is sufficient, not lacking in any essential nutrients, as well as helping you gradually return to your pre-baby body. You may wish to add foods with lactationpromoting properties – known as lactogenic foods or galactagogues – to your diet, along with frequent nursing or pumping to boost your milk supply. For a balanced diet while breastfeeding consider the following:
Choose wholegrain carbohydrates such as bread, oats, barley and rice to provide you with much needed energy. Oatmeal and brown rice are thought to help boost milk supply. Researchers have discovered that eating brown rice may cause an increase in serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your moods, appetite, and sleep, but it also stimulates prolactin secretion, a key hormone involved in lactation.
Include plenty of fruits and vegetables to provide much needed vitamins, minerals and fibre. Vegetables such as spinach, carrots and asparagus contain phytoestrogens, which are plant-based chemicals that have similar properties to oestrogen. These are believed to promote breast tissue health and aid in milk production. High fibre foods help to maintain a healthy milk supply and reduce constipation, commonly experienced postpartum. Asparagus also contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid which may stimulate prolactin production and improve milk supply. Pawpaw may be useful as it is a natural sedative, which may help you to relax, and