This post probably contains affiliate links, to items I am in love with, and I am confident you will too! For any health advice I give on nutrition and wieghtloss, make sure you check with your doctor, as I am not a health professional. I am just a mama with lots of health and fitness knowledge and experience.
Eating well while breastfeeding isn’t always easy with cravings, hormonal changes, lack of sleep and a new baby. Breastfeeding nutrition can also seem complicated with the fear of losing milk supply. As a Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist and creator of a very unique breastfeeding diet plan that is specifically made for breastfeeding mamas to lose weight, I KNOW eating healthy after baby can be hard. Really hard. But, I created this guide to help you understand how to eat well for both you and your new baby.
Eating well and nourishing your body means that your baby is going to be well nourished too. By focusing on your nutrient intake at each and every meal and snack, you can ensure you are giving yourself and your baby the most vitamins, minerals and nutrients possible. So how do we go about doing this? Well, I have 5 rules for you to follow . 5 SIMPLE rules to follow when eating while breastfeeding that will help you stay focused on giving your body what it needs to function optimally from the inside out.
Keep in mind, in treating your body well through a great nutrient-dense diet while breastfeeding, you will have some awesome side affects.
With a great breastfeeding diet, your mood can boost, sugar cravings can decrease, weight can drop and your hormones can even balance out. So many mamas have lost weight, kept up their milk supply and felt so wonderful on my breastfeeding diet and program + APP! that also HEALS your body after baby! We work on your core, pelvic floor and strengthening, in addition to completely nourishing your body. If this guide leaves you still a bit confused, feel free to see what other mamas are saying about my program. The app is available on both the app store and Google Play!
Let’s Get Into the 5 Rules For Your Best Breastfeeding Diet:
First rule, protein:
I wrote this post on the top protein powders while breastfeeding. Today, protein powders are full of clean, wholesome ingredients that offer amazing nutritional benefits for mamas, FAST. That is why I like protein powder as an option for helping you get more protein in your diet. Protein is going to help you feel full, support your muscles and new cell generation. This is a great post on how much protein you need to eat as a breastfeeding mom.
Basically, every meal needs to have a high-quality protein source. I prefer lean proteins like chicken, ground turkey, fish, beans and of course, my protein powder. We have protein shakes for breakfast in my program, but I think eggs are a great way to go because you can add so many veggies in your scrambles. I also really like beans, particularly garbanzo beans for breastfeeding mamas because they can help with milk supply, and they have fiber, which I will talk about in the next rule. Protein needs to make up about 1/3 – 1/3 of your plate, to make things general. I have a plate ratio plan in my program too, which helps you stay on track no matter where you are.
Second rule, fiber:
Fiber is going to help you stay full on nutrient-dense foods. Many times we fall into traps of eating less-than healthy foods because we aren’t satisfied with our one grilled chicken breast (don’t worry, I don’t advise just eating one grilled chicken breast!). Staying full is really helpful to stay on track with eating healthy. Fiber-rich foods also have lots of nutrients. Basically fruits and vegetables all have lots of fiber and lots of nutrients. This is partly why I love protein shakes is because you can blend up your protein powder with high fiber, yummy fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or even cherries like this awesome lactation protein shake.
Try to have fiber and protein at every meal or snack, making sure you are getting in lots of nutrients every time you eat!
Third rule, high-water content foods:
High water content foods help you get in important liquid that is full of nutrients, which you need for breast milk. These are foods like cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries, apples and oranges. These foods will give you some hydration, vitamins, minerals and fiber!! These are super filling, which will encourage you to stop eating when you are full, and have less room for foods that don’t offer lots of nutritional benefits.
Fourth rule, 80/20:
This is one of the best rules! Eat nutrient-dense foods 80% of the time, and allow yourself some of your favorite snacks or sweets a little bit each day. For me, this means my meals are clean and full of nutrient-dense foods, and I can snack a little on what my kids are eating like crackers, cheese sticks, peanut butter and jelly or macaroni. Sometimes kid food tastes so good! So, allow yourself to have a little, and fill the rest of your diet with the good stuff. For example, if I am letting my kids have some cheese, apples and Goldfish snacks, I will let myself have some Goldfish snacks with them, then go make a nutrient-dense smoothie to make up the rest of my snack. Being realistic is super important, so you stay encouraged.
Fifth rule, healthy desserts!
Breastfeeding mamas crave sugar. It is part of your body’s response to needing more nutrients to support both you and baby. Finding healthy alternatives to your favorite desserts like chocolate chip cookies or brownies is essential to helping you stay focused. By doing this, you are eating a “craving food,” but still totally nourishing your body! I have an AMAZING lactation brownie recipe, and chocolate chip cookie recipe in my program to help my mamas stay on track when those cravings hit hard.
If you follow these rules, you will learn to eat well postpartum, which will benefit you and your baby. Breastfeeding is super important to your well-being as a new mama, and it is wonderful for your milk supply because your body will have all the nutrients it needs a building blocks for nutritious breast milk.
If you need help losing the baby weight and keeping up your milk supply, I have a very popular program, The Postpartum Cure, which comes in an app you can download.