Best Breastfeeding Nutrition Guide

Breast Milk's All About Flavor

Do you want your baby to develop a taste for healthier and possibly more adventurous foods? It doesn't require magic. You can make it happen by eating them yourself! Begin with a varied prenatal diet. Enforce familiarity with a variety of flavor sensations when breastfeeding. Foods in your diet flavor the breast milk. Introduce the foods that you'd like your toddler and preschooler to enjoy now.

Three Sneaky Nutrition Boosts

Make a power salad. Start with a mix of greens, fresh herbs and vegetables. Add protein boosts like sunflower seeds, feta or soy cheese and black beans. Top off with a source of Omega 3's like avocado slices, walnuts, flax oil or ground flax seed.

Supplement that smoothie. Use Greek yogurt to add protein nutrients right into your smoothies. Additives like baby spinach leaves or blueberries pack in vitamins and minerals without compromising favors. Try it if you don't believe us!

Use nutrition-wise sprinkle toppings. Sprinkle nutrient-dense ground flax, sesame seeds and nuts on cereal, salads and pastas to add flavor and texture. Salads can get boring after awhile. These items can perk up any dish!

Caffeine and Alcohol Smarts

Bad news! Your baby might not appreciate your morning cup of coffee. Caffeine has been linked with an increase in colic. It could also be keeping your baby up at night.

What's the dig on boobs, booze and babies? While the APA recommends abstaining from drinking alcohol while breastfeeding, La Leche League points to research indicating that the amount of alcohol a baby receives when the breastfeeding mother drinks occasionally or limits her consumption to one drink or less per day hasn't been proven to be harmful.1 Do your research and decide wisely.

Vegetarian Mom's Breastfeeding Tips

Vegetarian diets during breastfeeding can be beneficial. Research has shown that milk produced by vegetarian women has lower levels of environmental contaminants (such as PCBs) than that of other women.1

A vegetarian diet containing milk, milk derivatives, or eggs can meet all you and your baby's needs. If your diet doesn't contain any of these foods (such as in the case of vegan and some macrobiotic diets), supplement your diet with vitamin B12. If you're vegetarian or vegan, you'll have to get the manufactured kind of B12.

If Baby Reacts Poorly to Food in Your Diet

A baby who fusses a few hours after feedings, cries inconsolably for long periods, or wakes up in discomfort might be sensitive to a particular food. Other signs of a food sensitivity include rashes, eczema, a diaper rash, congestion, itchy eyes, recurrent ear infections, colic, constipation or diarrhea, or even green bloody stools. Yuck, right? You can narrow down the culprits, however.

Cow Dairy Protein

Your source of calcium could be the culprit. Milk and dairy products contain high amount of calcium. If your baby reacts to cow milk's large protein, you might need to look for other way to include this bone-building nutrient in your diet.

Other sources of calcium include:

  • Sheep or goat's milk and cheese
  • Canned fish which contains bones that become soft during processing and are easier to eat
  • Anchovy paste (made from whole anchovies) also has a high calcium content
  • Whole grains and whole grain flours
  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Almonds or other types of nuts
  • Sesame seeds

Wheat and Soy Products

Does your baby's colic disappear when you eliminate wheat or soy products from your diet? Eric Hassall, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist, says that some breastfeeding babies don't tolerate cow dairy products, wheat or soy in a mom's diet. He suggests the breastfeeding mother eliminate likely offenders from her diet and gradually experiment with adding them back later as her baby's gastrointestinal system matures.