Congratulations on your newborn! Now is the time to set yourself, and your baby, up for success with a healthy postpartum diet. Your eating habits as a new mom are about much more than just losing the baby weight, even though that is likely a big part of it! Dieting while breastfeeding means balancing your weight loss goals with ensuring quality milk production for your baby. Nourishing your body is very important for both your postpartum recovery as well as the quality of the milk that your baby will consume. This contributes not only to the health of your baby but also your ability to have the energy to take the best care of your little one!
What’s Best for Baby
There is plenty to keep in mind to give your baby the best health possible. A breastfeeding diet to lose weight might entail the quickest weight loss strategies for you, but is likely not going to be what’s best for your baby. For example, cutting carbs might be your go-to weight loss trick. But carbs are necessary for proper milk production and quality. It is important to take your time with losing baby weight, so remember that drastic measures are risky for you and your baby. A goal of losing four pounds per month, with an average of one pound a week, is a healthy amount.
What Matters to Moms
A healthy and balanced postpartum diet is important for recovery and stamina as a new mom! The way you nourish your body impacts your hormones and mental health too! So beyond just milk production, you want to feed yourself in a way that makes you feel good and most prepared to tackle the challenging job of motherhood ahead of you. Especially if you are focused on losing weight quickly, it is important to note that breastfeeding women actually need more calories, up to 500 additional calories per day! This might make the weight loss process slower at first but keep going at a healthy pace that provides the most benefit for you and your baby.
Foods for Breastfeeding
Dieting while breastfeeding means consuming tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for the happiness and health of you and your little one! In addition to lots of fruits and vegetables, it is important to also focus on protein, fibrous carbohydrates, and healthy fats to obtain the best nutrition for you and your baby. Things like eggs, avocados, whole grains, nuts, and full-fat yogurt are all examples of excellent sources of healthy protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Not to mention, these foods are filled with so many wonderful nutrients. And don’t forget to keep taking those prenatal vitamins — even after your baby is born!
Save the Diet for Later
With all of the pros and cons of dieting while breastfeeding, you might want to consider holding off on for now. Although you might be thrilled to reconnect with your morning cup of coffee for its energizing and metabolism-boosting effects, be sure to not overdo it. Although caffeine is safe to drink while breastfeeding, it passes to the infant in low amounts which, while not unsafe for your baby, is also not ideal. Also, keep in mind that although fish is a great source of healthy fat and protein, avoid any that has too much mercury, just like you would during pregnancy.
Every postpartum diet can look different based on the needs of you and your baby. For example, any health conditions could change up the standard advice for dieting while breastfeeding. Be sure to make an appointment with your doctor and your Coastal Kids pediatrician for guidance on the best way to support your health, and your baby’s well-being. We hope to meet you and your little one soon!