As a mom of three, I already have a combined three, or so, solid years of breastfeeding, and I must say that the roady has not been a smooth one for me. There are times when I have felt dizzy and hungrier; I had the worst experience with my firstborn baby boy. But that was because I was a first-time mom, and I did not have experience breastfeeding babies. After consultations and advice seeking, I realized that my diet was wanting and had to change it pronto. It worked and that’s why I’m here to tell a story. I know that every mom have their side of the story, but many of them would agree with me on most of the things I will say in this writeup. Here are the foods that have helped me.
As a breastfeeding mom, lean meat has been my cup of tea thanks to its iron-rich content. I mean poultry, lamb, pork, and lean beef. Low levels of iron in the body can result in low milk production and may cause loss of body energy. With lean meat, I’m able to breastfeed my little Jeff while remaining energetic throughout the day. However, I don’t have to include meet in my meal every time. Too much of it is highly discouraged, just like everything else. Again, researchers are yet to nail down the relationship between milk production and meat consumption.
Yes, no healthy diet would be complete without greens, and here it is. I have been eating leafy vegetables (kale and spinach) to boost lactation. It has also been claimed by researchers that exposing kids to vegetables when they are still young makes them like the taste even in their old age. Whether that is true or not, I don’t want to go off at a tangent, at least for now.
These seeds are aromatic, I tell you and are rich in estrogen-like compounds, which boost the production of milk. I usually take fenugreek tea thrice a day when I’m at the height of breastfeeding, and it works. I reduce it to twice, and then once during the weaning process. However, because there is no solid evidence linking fenugreek to milk production, it is not surprising to note that not all pediatricians will recommend it. Fenugreek is not recommended for asthmatic moms because it can worsen the symptoms. Thank God, I don’t have asthma.
Seafood? That’s one thing I can’t help stocking up. As a lactating mom, salmon is the real deal. It comes loaded with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which helps in the development of the central nervous system of the young ones. Salmon is also rich in vitamin B12 and lots of omega-3s, all of which are essential nutrients for breastfeeding mothers and developing babies. While most salmons are great, I prefer the wild-caught one because it contains more nutrients than any other type of salmon.
I’m one of those mamas who swear by oatmeal to boost my milk supply, with lack of scientific evidence to prove the same notwithstanding. What I know for sure is that oatmeal is rich in iron, a nutrient that I need so badly when I’m breastfeeding. Evidence or lack of it, the fact remains that oatmeal has worked for me, as well as many other mamas out there.
If we don’t eat well, breastfeeding can drain our energy and push us to limits. That means our immune system needs replenishing, and vitamin C consumption is the way to go. Frozen or fresh, I eat virtually every berry I lay my hands on, including raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. With the nutrient occurring naturally in abundance, I don’t have to go shopping for supplements. Berries are also touted to help with proper bone development.
It is all about nutrient supply, and pumpkin seeds are perhaps the mother of all nutrient sources. Fiber? Tick. Protein? Tick. Iron? Tick. That is why my shelves will always have these seeds as long as I’m breastfeeding. The best part is that I don’t have to eat too much of it; only a few ounces a day are enough for my needs.
While many of us have been using ginger to fight pregnancy-related morning sickness, what most women don’t know is that ginger does have some benefits for lactating mothers. While everyone may have their own ways of consuming ginger, I consume it in tea.