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Answers to the Most Common Questions on Diet When Breastfeeding

Now that you’re feeding him your milk, your baby’s health depends as much on you as it does during the nine months of pregnancy. Take care of your diet conscientiously, as you did during pregnancy and trust the quality of your milk. It’s the best you can offer him.

In today’s article, we are going to answer the most common questions that mothers usually have about their diets when breastfeeding. Interested in learning more? Keep reading below to learn more.

If I eat more, will I have more milk?

In industrialized countries like ours, the mother’s diet barely influences the composition or production of milk, so the amount of milk does not increase by consuming more energy or decrease by reducing calories.

How many extra calories should I take in while breastfeeding?

It would be recommended that you follow a nutritious and balanced menu that provides you with about 2,500 kcal, that is, about 300-500 additional calories to the normal diet. These should be divided into 50 percent carbohydrates, 35 percent fat and 15 percent protein.

Should I eliminate certain foods from my diet?

Not at the beginning. Foods such as garlic, asparagus or onion can change the taste of milk but you should consume them in high quantities and even then your child may like it. Only if you notice that your baby rejects your milk, you should avoid them.

Should I drink more liquid?

Drink fluids but not excessively. If you quench your thirst –more intense during and at the end of the shot–, it will be enough. In fact, more than 10 glasses a day is related to a drop in milk production.

Should I take more dairy products?

Not necessarily; what you need is calcium. While breastfeeding, you should get 1,500 to 1,700 mg/day of calcium from your diet. The health of both depends on it, as some studies have shown that its deficit implies less quantity in breast milk and greater decalcification of your bones, which you will notice in the long term. Therefore, consume fresh food that contains calcium. While cow’s milk is an option, if this does not suit you, try vegetable milk, such as almond milk. Note that green vegetables are also great sources of calcium.

Do I have to take supplements?

Iron will come in handy, especially if you were already suffering from anaemia at the end of pregnancy, and an extra supply of 200 mg of iodine per day, even though you season your meals with iodized salt.

In this way, you will ensure that your child receives an adequate supply to avoid brain damage due to thyroid hormone deficiency. As for calcium, you do not need a pharmacological supplement; if you consume 2 to 4 servings of dairy products a day is enough. If you are allergic or do not tolerate it well, get foods rich in this mineral such as nuts, green leafy vegetables, fish with bones… Check with your doctor about the need to take any supplement.

What substances should I completely avoid?

Tobacco, alcohol and caffeine. Nicotine and other toxic substances contained in cigarettes pass into the milk and are related to poor weight gain, more frequent colic… In addition, passive exposure to tobacco smoke carries a greater risk of sudden death of the baby and respiratory infections. If you can’t kick the habit, reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke, and avoid smoking just before taking.

As for alcohol, it reaches the same concentration in your blood as in milk, and your baby will be more irritable and less hungry. However, occasional small amounts of alcohol – a beer or a half glass of wine – do not affect the child; but if you do take them, do so immediately after nursing. And likewise, caffeine will have its exciting effect on your baby’s nervous system. You should also take precautions with medicines, wash food carefully to remove pesticides and fertilizer remains and of course not try any drugs.

There you go! Do you have answers to any other questions on breastfeeding? Let us know in the comments below.

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