Breastfeeding your child is not just beneficial but very helpful for the baby’s growth as well. If you want to improve the supply of breast milk in your body, then you will have to focus on your diet. It is essential to get all the nutrients in your diet and eat certain foods that contain plant estrogens. They will help in increasing milk supply in your breasts. It is believed that spices, garlic, ginger and some leafy green vegetables are very helpful in improving the health of breastfeeding mothers. Remember, your body will make milk depending on the nutrients available in your fat, tissues, and even your bones. Therefore, a healthy diet adopted by you would mean a healthier supply of milk for your baby.

A mother who does not munch up on foods rich in nutrients will often feel exhausted and drained. Not only this, her breast milk supply will also go down considerably. Hence, make sure that your diet has adequate amounts of fat, proteins, and carbohydrates. In addition to this, you should drink a lot of water and get some plant estrogens for food. It would help you a lot in feeling more energetic and recovering from the loss of essential nutrients as well.

Breastfeeding diet

Ideally, you should start making healthy changes in your diet as soon as you learn of your pregnancy. You should include organic, fresh, and nutritious foods in your diet and start taking prenatal vitamins that can later help you in feeling healthier. Not only this, you also have to start developing healthy snacking habits so that your body’s nutrients can be replenished. If you drink a lot of caffeine, then ensure that you cut down on its quantity. Women who start following this kind of diet while they are pregnant would feel healthier while they are breastfeeding. However, they will have to continue their diet until the breastfeeding stage as well.

While you are breastfeeding, you will need a very healthy diet that is composed of balanced meals and healthy snacks too. In order to plan such a diet, you should talk to your doctor or consult with a pregnancy and breastfeeding diet expert. Remember, what you eat will greatly change the quantity, color as well as the taste of your milk. Hence, making the milk tastier and smoother should always be your priority. It is common knowledge that your baby will taste the food that you eat through your milk. If you want your baby to have healthy food habits when he grows up, you should munch on fruits and vegetables while you are breastfeeding. This would make your children like those vegetables and they will naturally be inclined towards their taste when they grow up.

So what is a healthy diet? Well, a healthy diet should be composed of whole grains, protein, and healthy fats. Include dairy in your diet too. This kind of diet contains all the essential nutrients that your body needs. You should not pay too much attention on consuming many calories during this time. Your body will burn many calories while producing milk. Because of this, increasing calorie intake helps. If you do not, you might feel exhausted. Doctors always advised breastfeeding mothers to never skip a meal and enjoy snacking in between meals. Make sure that you are using a wide variety of foods each day. You can eat food according to their colors as well. This would help you in staying a healthy mom.

The nutrition that you will need

  • Protein- it is the most essential nutrient in your diet. No protein means that you will always feel tired and fatigued. Therefore, include a lot of lean protein in your diet. This could be had through grains, seeds, nuts, dairy, meats, and even legumes. A good protein intake means healthier heart, muscles, hormones, enzymes and better bones and antibodies as well.
  • Iron- this is the second most essential nutrient that a nursing mother needs. Iron will increase the quantity of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body. This will help in making you feel more energized throughout the day. Iron can be obtained from lover, fish, and other kinds of meat. You should also eat eggs, nuts, whole grains, and dark leafy green vegetables for a good supply of iron.
  • Vitamin A- this vitamin will help in aiding the development of skin and eyes. All fruits that are yellow, orange, or red in color have Vitamin A. Apart from these dark green leafy vegetables also have this vitamin. You should also consume dairy products in order to get Vitamin A benefits.
  • Vitamin C- it is found usually in citrus fruits like orange, mandarin, lime, and lemon. However, mangoes, strawberries, dark green veggies, and even tomatoes are a good source of this vitamin. It helps in the development of bones and teeth in your baby. Additionally, it would also help in the growth of blood vessels and ligaments.
  • Folic acid- this is an essential nutrient for the overall healthy development of your baby. This is actually a B complex vitamin that can prevent birth defects if taken in adequate amounts right from pregnancy. For getting this vitamin, start using a lot of citrus fruits and their juices in your diet. Dark green veggies are also a good choice. You can also look forward to eating dried beans and even folic acid fortified cereals and whole grain breads.
  • Zinc- when you are consuming protein, ensure that you include zinc in your diet too. It actually works along with protein in order to ensure faster and steadier development of your baby. First, it helps in improving the immune function of your baby. Secondly, it can help in healing wounds more easily. Zinc is mostly found in dairy products and meat. However, beans and a few vegetables may also have zinc.
  • Calcium- calcium is known as the bone vitamin and rightly so. It has been linked with healthier teeth and gums. Remember, your calcium supply can deplete while you are breastfeeding. Hence, this mineral will help both the mother and the baby. Get it in dairy products. You can also have leafy greens as well as orange juice to get calcium.
  • Vitamin D- calcium is better absorbed in your body is you are also having Vitamin D along with it. This vitamin also aids the development of healthy teeth and bones in your baby. Spend some time in the sun every day for synthesizing Vitamin D in your body. Along with this, you should be eating eggs, fish and fortified cereals for getting a steady dose of Vitamin D. Yogurt, milk and even orange juice can contain this vitamin.
  • DHA- DHA is docosahezaenoic acid that aids in the development of the eyes and brain of your baby. This fatty acid can be found in liver, red meat, eggs and even fish.

Storing breast milk

A lot of women may want to store breast milk. Working mothers usually do this but even homemakers might feel the need to do this. We are providing you a few guidelines about breast milk storage so that you can also do the same whenever needed.

Fresh breast milk

Breast milk can remain fresh and good for consumption for 5 to 8 hours at room temperature i.e. 25 degree Celsius. You just need to collect the milk in a bottle and keep it away from direct sunlight or any other heat source. If the temperature is higher than that, keep the milk in the refrigerator. It can last for up to 5 days at a temperature of 4 degree Celsius. Make sure that the milk is placed at the back of the refrigerator, as it stays cooler there. If you opt for a frozen insulated cooler, the milk can last for 24 hours.

Frozen breast milk

Never leave your breast milk out in the room to defrost. Frozen breast milk must be defrosted inside a bowl of warm water. You can even run it under warm water or simply let the refrigerator do its job. Never leave it out at room temperature. If you need to travel for a few hours, then an insulated cooler might help. Once you have defrosted frozen breast milk, make sure that you do not freeze it again. Simply use it within 24 hours. Depending on the type of freezer you are using and the temperature at which the milk is stored undisturbed, your breast milk will remain good for consumption from 2 weeks up to a year.

Once your breast milk has been warmed and thawed, you should never freeze it again. Thawed milk can still last for 4 hours in room temperature but warmed milk should immediately be discarded after feeding the child. However, warmed milk should never be stored again or refreeze once it has been used. The same rule can be applied to milk left over after feeding. Do not think about reusing this milk. Just throw it away.

Can the color of your breast milk change?

Yes, different woman have different kinds of breast milk. Their consistency, sweetness, texture, and composition may change over time as well. The color of breast milk is also different for different women. In most cases, breast milk is usually white or clear. However, tan, bluish and even yellow breast milk is very common. The color of your milk will also change during the course of your breastfeeding. Generally, the milk is supposed to have a very slight tint of flow when it first begins to flow. This is known as foremilk. This milk is lower in fat.

After this foremilk has flowed, you will have a thicker, whiter, and creamier milk flowing through. This is known as hindmilk. This milk has higher fat content. Some foods, medications, herbs, and even nutrition supplements will change the color of your breast milk. You will see the changes in your breast milk, your urine, or even your child’s urine. However, changes in breast milk color are usually not alarming and may happen only because of dietary changes. Still, you should immediately call your doctor when you see changes.

  • Green milk

If you are eating too may green veggies and foods that have green dyes, then your milk can turn green. Most of the times, spinach and green beverages are responsible for this change.

  • Brown, red, orange or pink milk

Again, this kind of change is solely because of dietary chances. Yellow, red, and even pink can be caused because of vegetables and fruits of this color. Therefore, there is hardly anything to be alarmed about. If you stop the consumption of these foods, the color of milk will become white or clear.

However, if the color of milk is brown, then you might suffer from rusty pipe syndrome. This is a condition when the blood in your breasts starts leaking and often reaches the milk ducts. If you have cracked nipples or chapped skin around your nipples, then the blood from there can mix with your milk and you will see pink or even red streaks in your milk. It is not harmful for the baby at all. In fact, a little leakage is common with most women. In general, the problem reduces in intensity in a few days and it goes away on its own. However, if you face issues consistently for a week or if the problem seems to intensity, you should call your doctor.

  • Black milk

Humans do generally not produce black milk. It cannot be linked with any diets as well. Usually, it happens when you are consuming Minocin. This is an antibiotic medicine that will darker your skin color as well. However, this medicine is not given to nursing mothers. Hence, you should always tell your doctor that you are breastfeeding before you take any medications, even if they are painkillers.

In the end, we would only like to say that breastfeeding is a wonderful thing. It helps you in bonding with your baby and even helps him in fighting away diseases and remaining healthy for a long time. Doctors recommend that you breastfeed your baby for at least 1 year with the first 6 months exclusively on breast milk.

 

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