It is essential for a mother to breastfeed in order to provide their baby with enough nutrients. These nutrients protect their baby from diseases, infections and help digestion. There are certain foods mothers should have in their diets to breastfeed their baby healthily. Healthy Children provides 5 components to healthy breastfeeding:
Calcium- When mothers breastfeed they lose 3 to 5 percent of all calcium in their body. It's important to make up for this loss in calcium. Mothers are required to have 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily when breastfeeding. You can obtain calcium by drinking milk, yogurt, and eating cheese. This will ensure your bones will remain strong through the process.
Vitamin D- Although getting sunlight is one way to get Vitamin D, it is not the safest due to the risk of skin cancer. Salmon, mackerel, fortified milk or orange juice, and yogurt are also high in Vitamin D. Your baby needs this vitamin in breast milk but it is not enough. Babies must also take Vitamin D supplements.
Protein- While nurturing, you must have 6 to 6½ ounces of proteins a day. Foods high in protein are meat, fish, cheese, tofu, beans, lentils, yogurt, eggs, nuts, and seeds. According to Healthy Children, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel have "DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid that is found in breast milk and contributes to growth and development of an infant’s brain and eyes."
Iron- Iron preserve high energy in mothers while breastfeeding. Some examples of high iron are clams, liver, sunflower seeds, nuts, beef, lamb, beans, whole grains, dark leafy greens (spinach), dark chocolate, and tofu.
Folic Acid- By eating foods rich in folic acid like, leafy green vegetables, such as spinach you will decrease the possibilities of birth defect in future children. Healthy Children encourages women to eat foods high in Folic Acid during their reproductive years.
Come learn more about breastfeeding and receive support! Below are classes you can take at Community Well:
Lactation Clinic/ Breastfeeding Support: Every Other Wednesday 1:00 - 2:00
La Leche League San Francisco (Free): Every 4th Sunday from 3:30-5:30pm