Being a new mum is a wonderful time, but it can also be a stressful time. There is so much to remember, and so much health advice to take on board. This is even more so the case if you are a breastfeeding mum, as you of course want to make sure you give your baby the best nutrients and best start in life possible.
If you are breastfeeding then it is important to eat right to ensure your baby gets all the nutrients it needs to grow up into a healthy and happy child and adult. Don’t panic however. As long as you follow the basic rules of a healthy diet, you don’t need to worry.
Although there is lots of conflicting advice out there for breastfeeding mums, most foods are fine in moderation, and general healthy eating advice is worth following. So, make sure you are getting your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, varied if possible and fresh wherever you can.
Ensure that your diet contains enough calcium, from dairy products for example, and iron, found in spinach and meat, amongst other things. Fibre is also important, so include wholemeal bread, pasta, rice and potatoes as the main staple in your diet.
Much advice states that breastfeeding mums should try and consume around an extra 500 calories per day, but see what works for you. As long as you are not under-eating or feeling weak, you are probably striking the right balance naturally.
As well as following general healthy eating principles at this time, food safety and hygiene is also important. You don’t necessarily have to undertake a hygiene course however. Ensuring breastfeeding hygiene is as simple as making sure milk bottles are sterilised sufficiently before expressing your breast milk to put into them and keeping your breasts and nipples clean in the normal way; simply by washing with plain water in the bath or shower.