Becoming a new mom can be a very exciting, but slightly terrifying experience for many women. It is easy to get caught up in the baby, but mothers need to be taking care of themselves as well, especially if they are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding requires proper nutrition, a lot of time, and energy. For National Breastfeeding Month, here are some tips that can make your breastfeeding life a little easier.
Diet & Sleep
When you choose to breastfeed your child, taking care of yourself and your health is very important. Having a child takes up a lot of time, and breastfeeding can take up a lot of energy. In order to ensure that you and your baby are getting all of the proper nutrition that you need, it is necessary to use nutrient dense ingredients. This would include foods such as meat or protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, oats and eggs. Try and limit the amount of processed foods you are taking in, in order to avoid the extra sugars, fats & calories. It also doesn’t hurt to add some multivitamins to your daily routine. Breast milk is not sufficient in Vitamin D, therefore it is recommended to give your baby supplements in order to avoid any deficiencies.
Trouble with milk production? Keep in mind that there are quite a few ingredients that assist in milk production, such as:
- Brown Rice
- Whole Grains
- Brewers Yeast
There are all types of recipes that you can incorporate these ingredients into, such as lactation cookies/bars or smoothies. It never hurts to get creative on recipes, but whatever you do, don’t try to decrease your caloric intake, as it can hinder your milk production as well.
Another factor that can hinder milk production is not getting enough sleep. If your situation allows, having your significant other assist with nightly feedings helps immensely. Also, keeping your stress down can both help with milk production and your sleep pattern. One very common phrase when talking about new mothers is “sleep when your baby sleeps.”
Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable at times, especially when you don’t have clothing that makes it easy. There are a couple of ways to accommodate breastfeeding when it comes to how you dress. Many companies are now making shirts and dresses that you are able to unzip or pull up around the breast area to make yourself more accessible when breastfeeding. It’s also worth investing in a good nursing bra or two, as they make the task a lot easier.
You may be wondering: is breastfeeding really worth the work? There are some benefits to breastfeeding if you choose to do so. It helps your uterus shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size, and can help you lose some of the baby weight considering the amount of calories you are burning. It can also help you save money! You don’t have to spend money on formula, and also don’t need to worry about buying feminine products for a while, as breastfeeding delays your period from returning. If you are still on the fence about breastfeeding or if you have additional questions about pregnancy, we can answer any questions you have! Set up an appointment with us at any of our locations.