Beverages for Breastfeeding Mothers
Breastfeeding can make you thirsty, so drink plenty to stay hydrated. You may need up to 700ml of extra fluid a day.
To keep your breast milk supply up it’s important to stay hydrated—and breastfeeding can make you really thirsty. Which means you’re going to need to be sipping something most of the day. And though pure water is best, it can get a bit dull.
5 Beverages for breastfeeding moms
When it comes to beverages for breastfeeding moms the golden rule is always to drink those that not only boost milk supply but are also good for your body.
Although there is a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to great beverages for breastfeeding moms, the following are what most health experts and nutritionists would recommend.
It’s recommended that you drink more water than usual when you’re breastfeeding. On average it’s recommended that we drink 8 cups of water daily to keep up with regular functions. The body processes more water when you’re nursing so they recommend drinking closer to 13 cups, or 3.1 liters, daily. Moms who don’t drink enough water can get constipated, feel fatigued, and have trouble concentrating.
Vegetables are essential for your overall health and hence also for your baby’s well being when breastfeeding. And if you do not always feel like taking them you can make them more interesting by blending them into some juice. Juicing vegetables also means that you can take a lot of them without having to consume a large plate of the greens. Contrary to what most people assume vegetable juices do not always taste bad.
Combining different vegetables can create a refreshing drink that you will enjoy taking. However, it is important to avoid adding artificial sugar to your vegetable juices because this can ruin their nutritional value. Also, remember to check the sodium content on the vegetable juices because too much of it is not healthy for your baby. And you can do this by avoiding vegetables with too much sodium. Breastfeeding moms should also avoid ‘gassy’ vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, and cabbages.
3. Fresh Fruit Juice
When you feel like taking something sweet and refreshing glass of fresh juice is always a good option. Instead of going for sodas to quench your thirst, a banana or avocado smoothie is a sweet and healthier option.
Fresh fruit juices should make a significant portion of a lactating mother’s daily fluid intake as they not only increase milk supply but will also supply vital nutrients to both mother and infant. Although fruit juices are very nutritious, it is vital to make sure that you only take those that are 100% fruit without any artificial additives. But it is also important to know that some babies might be sensitive to certain types of fruits such as oranges and so you should always check your infant’s reaction after taking them.
4. Herbal Teas
The relaxing and calming effect of herbal teas is very beneficial for lactating mothers. One of the common reasons for low milk supply is stress and anxiety. And so taking herbal tea can help to calm you and hence boost your milk supply. Also, the herbs have many other benefits such as clearing toxins in the body which will also benefit breastfeeding moms.
As you take herbal teas, it is important to note that there are some like peppermint that can reduce milk supply. Others like Kava Kava are also not suitable for lactating mothers as they can harm the baby.
5. Infused Water
Your body needs a lot of water when you are breastfeeding but taking it can feel monotonous. However, you can change this by infusing it with cucumber, lemon, strawberry or even watermelon. Infused water is tasty, but it still manages to quench your thirst and supply the body with all the fluid it requires to enhance lactation.
And the good taste will encourage you to take more water even without realizing it.
Some healthy snacks for breastfeeding moms
Healthy snacks will help you to keep up your energy levels while you’re breastfeeding and adjusting to life with a new baby. Here are some snack ideas:
- fresh fruit and raw vegetables, such as cucumber, carrot or celery batons
- a sandwich made with salad, and cheese, tuna or cold meat
- rice crackers with a healthy topping, such as cottage cheese or avocado
- hummus with breadsticks or vegetable sticks
- a boiled egg
- dried fruit, such as apricots
- unsalted nuts
- vegetable and bean soups
- porridge, muesli and fortified unsweetened breakfast cereals
- baked beans on wholegrain toast or a baked potato
How do I make sure my breast milk is healthy?
Unless you consume a very low-calorie diet or consistently eat from a single food group, the quality of your breast milk will stay about the same no matter what you eat. But if your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it’ll draw from your own reserves, leaving you feeling run down. Don’t stress over the occasional pepperoni pizza and ice cream splurge, but think of your breastfeeding diet as a continuation of the healthy eating you did when you were pregnant.
Low milk production
Low milk production can be caused by many factors. Some of these include:
- not nursing often enough
- ineffective latch
- some medications
- certain medical conditions
Many women worry that they’re not producing enough milk when in fact they’re producing plenty.
Many issues with low milk production can be overcome. Your diet can do a lot for boosting lactation. The most important thing is to make sure you’re eating regularly and getting enough calories through a variety of healthy foods. However, certain foods and spices have been found to increase milk supply for some mothers.
Foods that help boost lactation
Getting enough water can be key to boosting lactation. It’s a good idea to always keep a bottle of water close at hand while breastfeeding. It can cause you to become thirsty.
Try adding these lactation-boosting foods to your diet:
- Oats contain lots of iron. A warm bowl of oatmeal can also help with relaxation. Both of these will aid in milk production.
- Garlic has many health benefits, including boosting milk production. It also adds great flavor to your food.
- Eat plenty of vegetables like carrots, yams, and dark leafy greens. These not only boost lactation but provide a lot of other health benefits.
- Look for sesame seeds. Tahini and halvah are two options for getting enough sesame seeds for the lactation boost you’re trying to achieve.
Low milk supply is a breastfeeding moms greatest concern because no mother would want their child to go hungry.
Although the body will always use its internal mechanism to try and produce enough milk, you also have a role to play.
As long as you have a healthy, balanced diet, you don’t need to take any special breastfeeding supplements.
Also Read: Diet Guide For Breastfeeding Mothers