Did you know that in your third trimester your baby can taste the food you eat? Their taste buds will develop even more as you breastfeed. Eating a well-rounded, diverse and nutritious diet will expose them different tastes and hopefully help them enjoy the flavors of healthy food.
Nursing mothers will typically produce between 23 and 27 ounces of milk each day. It takes energy for a woman’s body to be able to do this so it is recommended new moms consume 500 extra calories. So, if you are someone who generally takes in 2000 calories, now eat 2500. A rough estimate of calories your body needs can be determined by finding out your Basal Metabolic Rate. There are many calculators online you can use to figure out yours.
Water consumption has to increase when breastfeeding. New moms need at least 2.5-3 quarts of water daily. It requires a lot of water to produce breast milk, so do not wait until you are thirsty. Keep a water bottle on hand and sip throughout the day. Read this post about easy ways to increase your water intake.
Protein is also important. The average American gets plenty of protein from meat, but use this as an opportunity to get protein from healthier sources such as nuts, beans, seeds, lentils, quinoa, tempeh, etc. You will want to shoot for about a gram of protein per pound of body weight.
Everything you put into your body gets passed onto your baby. Try to stay away from very spicy, greasy, sugary foods, alcohol, and limit or eliminate caffeine. You may notice that after eating strong flavors like garlic and onions your baby is not interested in your breast milk. If this is the case avoid the foods that discourages your little one from nursing.
Breast feeding is not a walk in the park for most new moms. It can be frustrating, time consuming, and painful. Do the best you can and know that any amount you are able to give your baby is better than none at all.