Advice from Canpol's experienced mothers.

Diet of breastfeeding mum

Many mothers starting their adventure with breastfeeding make a basic mistake. They reduce the share or completely eliminate most of products from their diet in fear they will disagree with their babies. That approach is usually caused by incorrect or contradictory information. Your friend or mother says one thing, a midwife another, and on the Internet you learn yet something different... You may feel disoriented. Therefore, I will give you some tips what in your diet requires particular attention.

Each day your milk provides your baby with many valuable nutrients, including: proteins, vitamins, sugar, phosphorus and calcium. Thus, during breastfeeding your demand for vitamins, minerals and proteins significantly increases. Eating just rice, chicken and carrots you may only cause deficiency of some components in your body. That, in turn, may result in disappearance of lactation. Furthermore, you will certainly become quickly bored with this monotony.

While breastfeeding, you may eat most of products, of course, if your baby is not allergic to them, or does not have a sensitive intestine. In such cases you need to pay particular attention to what you eat and drink. However, when your baby is healthy and develops correctly, there are no contraindications to you eating anything you want.
Common sense is the most important thing. After a while you can even have your favourite pork chop with potatoes and sauerkraut :)

What you should pay particular attention to:

Early vegetables:
There is no sense in kidding ourselves. They look very tasty and colourful, but are full of artificial fertilisers. It is worthwhile to wait a month longer, when they grow naturally, unsupported by artificial mixtures. Unless we have a verified source: allotment or granny's garden. Then we can eat fresh cucumber, strawberries, tomato or radishes without any worries.

Flatulent foods
Beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, broad beans, onion, pears and stone fruit such as: cherries, sweet cherries and plums, cause flatulence and may cause colic or stomach ache. However, it is not a rule. I gave birth to my Emilka in the summer. I kept my resolution to be careful with the products in the forbidden list only for a short time. Passing by a local greengrocers I could not resist buying half a kilogram of sweet cherries which I simply devoured in a few minutes after getting home. Three stressful days when I worried if that was not harmful for my baby, seemed to be endless. It turned out I had nothing to worry about. Emilka had no allergic reaction and I was able to eat my favourite fruit and vegetables for the rest of the summer.

First, you must know that alcohol reduces the amount of produced milk. Second, remember that alcohol gets into your milk! Thus during lactation, for your own, and first of all, for your baby's health you should not drink it.

Most common allergens include: nuts, cocoa, tomatoes, strawberries, wild strawberries, citruses, dairy products and chicken eggs. Of course, it does not mean that your baby have to be allergic to them. I could eat everything when I was breastfeeding, but before I ate a bag of my favourite nuts in chocolate, I tried a few and waited three days. The allergy symptoms can occur within that time. If nothing happens within 72 hours since eating, you can eat the rest of the package with clear conscience. :)

Be careful with raw meat. During breastfeeding it is better to avoid steak tartar or sushi, as they may be a source of zootic diseases. During the first period of baby's life try not to eat fried or grilled meat. Instead of minced chops or grilled neck, roast a piece of pork sirloin or rabbit. When your baby is a little older and its gastrointestinal tract develops a bit, you will certainly be able to have your favourite pork chop.

You should totally eliminate processed food, tinned, instant or powdered products. They contain a lot of preservatives, and have no nutritional value. They may cause tummy ache, colic or even allergy. It is also better to avoid fast food, packed ready meals, and cakes from a confectionery. The latter are made with lower quality fats.

Valuable and particularly recommended products:

Of course, the best is wholemeal and wholegrain. You can also bake it yourself. There are special bread making machines and flour, e.g., enriched with bran, available in shops.

Without any worries you can eat bananas, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, apples, peaches, watermelons and melons. You can eat them prepared in various ways: raw, cooked, as juices or jams. The best are homemade ones, but if you buy ready products, select those with low sugar content. You should always remember to wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating.

Eat them in any form: raw, cooked, stewed and roasted. You can choose from an extensive list: potatoes, carrots, parsley, beetroot, cucumbers, zucchini, marrow squash, pumpkin, parsley, maize, kohlrabi, spring beans, spinach and all kinds of lettuce. It is good to know that garlic does not cause flatulence, allergy or colic, but it changes the taste of milk and the baby may fret during eating.

Spices and herbs
I particularly recommend green parsley, dill, basil, oregano, marjoram and thyme. Apart from containing valuable components they additionally enrich the flavour. Instead of dry ones from a bag you can buy fresh herbs in a pot. Try to avoid mixes of spices as they may contain sodium glutamate.

Meat - depending on its type and preparation method - may be not recommended during lactation (see above), or quitre the reverse. I would strongly recommend rabbit, turkey, veal, lean red meat, preferably roast or stewed.

The best are sea fish. Eat them steam-cooked or roasted.

Dairy products
Yogurts (preferably natural ones), buttermilk, sour milk, kefir, quark and hard cheeses of low fat content. Goat milk and its derivatives are also very good. You can also eat eggs.

Groats, rice and pasta
I would recommend brown rice (basmati), and pasta of wholegrain, wholemeal and spelt flour.

During breastfeeding, supply your body with plenty of fluids. Give up coffee, high sugar and carbonated drinks in favour of mineral water, tea (I recommend fruit and herbal ones), compotes and juices (the best are those freshly squeezed). The best tip for all breastfeeding mums: eat all in moderation and observe the baby. Watch whether the baby has not a rash, observe his stool and behaviour. If nothing happens, we gradually increase the quantity of "forbidden products" eaten.



Mum of 7 year old Emilka and 4 year old Tomek, 12 years of professional experience

Marta PiÄ…tkowska

- consulting

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