Low-fat dairy products
Whether you prefer yogurt, milk, or cheese, dairy products are an important part of healthy breastfeeding. Milk delivers a boost of bone-strengthening vitamin D. In addition to providing protein and B vitamins, dairy products are one of the best sources of calcium. If you’re breastfeeding, your milk is loaded with calcium to help your baby’s bones develop, so it’s important for you to eat enough calcium to meet your own needs. Try including at least three cups of dairy each day in your diet.
Boost your energy as a new mom with iron-rich foods like lean beef. A lack of iron can drain your energy levels, making it hard for you to keep up with the demands of a new-born baby.
Nursing moms need to eat extra protein and vitamin B-12. Lean beef is an excellent source for both.
Iron-rich beans are very good for a breastfeeding mother, says Sandra Kalisa, a mother to three with a 4-month-old baby.
“Legumes are a must-have for new mothers, particularly dark-coloured ones like black beans and kidney. They’re a budget-friendly source of high quality, non-animal protein,” she says.
Breastfeeding moms should be sure to get two or more servings of fruit or juice each day. Blueberries are an excellent choice to help you meet your needs. These satisfying and yummy berries are filled with good-for-you vitamins and minerals, and they give you a healthy dose of carbohydrates to keep your energy levels high.
You might be tempted to cut back on carbs to help lose the baby weight. Don’t. Losing weight too quickly may cause you to make less milk and leave you feeling sluggish. Mix healthy, whole-grain carbs like brown rice into your diet to keep your energy levels up. Foods like brown rice provide your body the calories it needs to make the best-quality milk for your baby.
Portable and nutritious, oranges are a great food to boost energy. Oranges and other citrus fruits are excellent breastfeeding foods, since nursing moms need more vitamin C than pregnant women. Can’t find time to sit down for a snack? Sip on some orange juice as you go about your day -- you’ll get the vitamin C benefit, and you can opt for calcium-fortified varieties to get even more out of your drink.