So, you’ve had nine months of eating properly and now you are looking forward to guzzling down all the naughty but nice foods you missed out on, or you’re ready to go on a diet to lose those baby pounds. Well if you are breastfeeding, think again!
Firstly, you should not even think of going on a slimming diet while breastfeeding – even if you have just seen photos of the latest “celebrity mum” who got down to a size 6 in six weeks!
While you are breastfeeding, you will be burning up at least 500 calories a day just feeding your little one. You will feel hunger and thirst more intensely, and you will need your store of energy reserves just to cope with the regular demands of motherhood.
In the first six months when you are your baby’s only source of food, you will need to keep your own strength up and ensure you get extra vitamins A and C, folate, protein, and calcium in your diet.
While general guidelines state that you don’t need to restrict your diet, if you have allergies in your family then it is suggested that you avoid eating obvious sources of allergies, such as peanuts, while breastfeeding.
Some women also avoid foods that they believe upset their babies, such as onions or garlic. However, do be careful not to eliminate anything from your diet that may limit your intake of the nutrients you need
In addition, of course alcohol is something you will need to avoid, as even small amounts can enter into the breast milk and affect your baby’s sleeping habits and digestion.
So just another year or so before you can make your favourite peanut butter sandwich, wolf down a curry and imbibe your favourite tipple. But it will be all worth it. Good luck!