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The right diet for breastfeeding mothers

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

What to eat to meet the needs of our body during breastfeeding

Pregnancy and the subsequent period of breastfeeding are magical moments in the life of a woman.

During these months, it becomes essential to meet the increased need of nutrients and vitamins from our body.

Eating healthily during the nine months of pregnancy, and then during breastfeeding, is the first gift that a mother can do to herself and to her child in terms of well-being.

But what is the correct diet to follow during lactation to prevent shortcomings in themselves and their baby?

First, it should be emphasised that the amount of calories required by our body grows considerably during the lactation period, for all the mothers who are breastfeeding.

Indeed, the energy cost required for new mothers may even exceed the extra 500 calories. However, the most important thing is to introduce these calories favouring the right foods.

5 dietary guidelines to follow when breastfeeding

Notwithstanding that, to establish the most proper diet, it is necessary to take various factors into account, including the "medical history" of every woman, here are some general dietary guidelines to be followed when you breastfeed:

  • Consume protein at least 3 times a week, alternating from fish to white meats favouring light cooking methods (e.g. steamed or grilled);
  • Do not overlook the consumption of dairy products (yoghurt, milk, cheese) to ensure your body the right amount of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A, important for the health of mother and baby;
  • Moderate the intake of complex sugars, to avoid an increase in "empty" calories, i.e. deficient in nutrients;
  • Give preference to fresh fruits and vegetables in season and, to ensure the intake of fibres, also include the right amount of vegetables and cereals in your diet;
  • Drink plenty of water, even between meals, to cope with high water demand of our body. Milk is made up of 80% water, so it is advisable to take at least 2 litres of fluid per day during the lactation period (giving priority to water or natural fruit juices without added sugar).

Top 5 foods to avoid while breastfeeding

During the months of breastfeeding, excessive intake of certain foods could instead alter the taste of breast milk or have "undesirable effects" on the new-born.

Let's see together what foods to limit or eliminate at least for a few months:

  • Avoid or limitthe intake of spices (curry, ginger, cumin etc.), which can alter the flavour of milk, and in general those foods such as asparagus, which alter the smell of urine, or  garlic and onions, which  instead change that of sweat;
  • In general one should remove sausages, meat, eggs or uncooked shellfish, as they might cause intestinal problems for your baby. Sausages and canned meat in general should be avoided because they often contain nitrites, preservatives that may be harmful for the health of mother and baby;
  • To reduce colic in the new-born, you should be careful not to take too much of foods that can promote the formation of gas in the intestines, such as beans,yeast, milk shakes, etc.;
  • Moderate consumption of caffeine and alcohol and eliminate spirits completely;
  • Avoid eating large amounts of vegetables with a sharp flavour, as they can alter the taste of breast milk (cabbage,turnip greens,Savoy cabbage etc.), and limit smoked fish (salmon, swordfish, mackerel ...), since breast milk tends to absorb the fats in fish and thus to take its own taste.

Check out all our supplements suitable for breastfeeding women!

 


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