Pumping and breastfeeding mothers have enough to worry about without second guessing whether we should be eating that Mars Bar or drinking that much-needed latte.
So, do pumping and breastfeeding mothers really need to eat a healthier diet while lactating? To put your mind at ease, your baby will still get plenty of nourishment from your breast milk, even if your intake isn’t perfect. But, your baby isn’t the only one who needs nourishment. Getting as much variety and colour in your diet will help you feel less exhausted, flat and all-round depleted.
So, yes, you should prioritise healthy foods while lactating – for your own benefit. We’ve listed a few basic areas to focus on during your next grocery order - don’t forget the Mars Bar though🍒
For breastfeeding mothers, protein is especially important as it supports the production of breast milk and healing of any postpartum damage to your tissue. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds. It is recommended that breastfeeding and pumping mothers consume at least 75 grams of protein per day.
Our bacon & egg pies are a quick and easy protein option🏻
Lactating mothers need to consume more calcium than usual because a lack of it in your diet might mean your baby will leech it from your bones! 🧛 Yikes. Good sources of calcium include dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, and cheese, as well as leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli, and collard greens.
You will need to consume more iron than usual to support the increased blood volume in your body during this time. Try red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, fortified cereals, and leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale.
🥦 Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health. They also provide fibre, which helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system. You should aim to consume at least 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Pumping can be dehydrating, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Water is the best choice, but other hydrating options include milk, juice, and herbal teas. A coffee or two a day is also fine though!
Need some more nutrient dense snack ideas? Check out our fourth trimester snack series on tiktok ❤️
If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough nutrients, or have ongoing symptoms of postnatal depletion, be sure to see your doctor for testing and advice.