The majority of mothers are aware of the importance of proper nutrition while they are expecting a baby. The nutritional needs and diet throughout breastfeeding are similar to those of pregnant women in their last trimester, though for different reasons. It is important that you maintain a well-balanced diet throughout breastfeeding.
Proper nutrition to meet YOUR needs
It’s easy to let your diet get off-track when you’re a new mom. After all, your body’s healing from childbirth and you need energy to keep up with baby. Rest assured, breast milk can meet your baby’s nutritional needs even when you aren’t eating perfectly. However, just because your baby won’t be harmed by occasional lapses in your diet throughout breastfeeding doesn’t mean that you won’t suffer. When you don’t get the nutrients you need from your diet, your body draws on its reserves, which can eventually become depleted.
A mother’s ideal diet throughout breastfeeding mirrors the healthy diet that’s recommended for most adults — one that’s well balanced and gives you the vitamins, nutrition and energy you need to survive sleepless nights and long crying spells. Many breastfeeding moms feel extra hungry, which makes sense: your body is working around the clock to produce breast milk for your baby. It is preferable to eat small meals with healthy snacks in between – the way you may have done while you were pregnant. Variety and balance are key to a well-balanced diet throughout breastfeeding, consuming a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat keeps you feeling full longer.
Canada’s Food Guide offers suggestions for choices and portions from each food group during the breastfeeding period.