If breastfeeding you may need to eat a little more than usual but generally your appetite will act as a good guide for this. Try to opt for foods that are nutritious and eat a diet that is varied, so it contains a range of nutrients. These simple adjustments will help to replenish nutrient stores, boost energy levels and if you’re happy and healthy, your baby will be happy.
Fluids are also important as breast milk (if you are feeding this way) is 90% water. In Europe is it recommended that breastfeeding women drink an extra 700ml per day (about an extra 4 glasses). It can be useful to take a glass/bottle of water with you to bed and to have a glass by you when you are breastfeeding.
Caffeine and alcohol may also pass into your breast milk and could cause changes in the babies feeding and sleeping patterns – best avoided if you are already sleep deprived!
So, here are a few top tips for new mums:
- Continue eating nutritious foods, as the quality of your diet affects the quality of breast milk
- Eat small meals and often to help keep your energy levels up.
- Eating a variety of foods will help your baby get used to different tastes.
- Make sure you are getting some omega-3 from your diet or supplements (this nutrient helps to support infant brain and eye development).
- Unless you are allergic to peanuts yourself, there seems to be no harm in eating peanuts during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
- Drink lots of fluids to help support milk production.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Have a milky bedtime drink may help you sleep well.