Having a baby is the most amazing experience of your life. However, once your baby is born, now what happens to all the weight that you have put on. Losing weight is an important thing to do for your health, however, it has to be done sensibly. Good nutrition is very important while you are breastfeeding. Doctors recommend an additional 500 calories a day for breastfeeding moms. In fact, breastfeeding helps a mom burn off calories. Furthermore, it is a great way to start to lose your remaining weight. For some moms, the weight comes off quickly and for others, it is a struggle. So, is dieting safely while you breastfeed? Yes, if you do it in the right way. Moms are eager to shed off the extra weight that she has gained during pregnancy. While moms want to diet, it is important for breastfeeding moms to get enough nutritious foods. A mom’s diet should consist of: dairy and calcium products, vegetables and fruits, whole grains, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Ask your doctor when the right time is for you to begin to diet. So, what is a good diet to go on for moms? Crash diets are harmful to a breastfeeding mom. Moms should always make sure that she drinks plenty of fluids while breastfeeding. Furthermore, many doctors recommend that moms wait until their baby is six months old before you diet. Always ask you doctor before you begin a diet or start an exercise routine. According to the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, losing one pound a week is safe. I have looked into a few diets and this is what I have found. I will briefly go over the Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, South Beach Diet and The Plexus Slim Weight Lose Drink. There are others however, I chose to speak about these today. I recently called The Plexus Slim Company after being asked by a breastfeeding mom if it is safe to use this diet supplement while breastfeeding. The company told me that the accelerator drink is not recommended, however, the regular drink is all right for breastfeeding moms. I personally feel that both are not good while breastfeeding, and you should eat natural food because whatever you put into your body, your baby will get as well. Jenny Craig has a plan for breastfeeding moms.
There are counselor support and an individualized plan. They recommend 1/2 to 1 pound a week to take off. They do individualized calorie counts for you on your diet plan. You start off with their planned meals then transition to your own food. Weight Watchers is a plan that teaches you fundamentals of good nutrition and eating habits. Their goal is for a breastfeeding mom to lose one pound a week. There is a plan for breastfeeding moms. There are group support and weekly weigh-ins. They recommend a doctor’s approval letter, waiting 6-8 weeks before starting so your milk supply has come in well and an exercise consultation with a health care provider for your individualized need. The South Beach Diet is a diet of low carbohydrates and eating protein rich foods and healthy fats. This diet has different phases. Phase one is not recommended for breastfeeding moms because being on a low carbohydrate diet while breastfeeding is controversial.
I do not recommend you cutting down fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which are important while breastfeeding. Phase two and three are better for breastfeeding moms, which they recommend while breastfeeding to start because it adds more foods. Atkins diets help you lose and burn body fat without counting calories on a low carb diet. During the first two weeks, called induction, you mainly eat, proteins and little carbohydrates, forcing the body into a state called ketosis. Atkins restricts carbohydrates. Atkins activates body metabolism. In this state, your body uses fat stored as energy. Many say that it is not good to do this. Furthermore, the Atkins diet is not a good diet for breastfeeding because it is not balanced enough.
Many of my moms that I see tell me that eating oatmeal has helped them with their milk supply. Additionally, it is rich in iron. I recommend all of my moms if they can to start their day off with a bowl of oatmeal. You cannot go wrong and it will make you feel good. If you are healthy, you can use Fenugreek or Mothers Milk Tea, which are herbs to help increase your milk. However, as always ask your doctor before starting herbs. Diets vary from culture to culture. However, here is a list of products that can make your diet rich with good nourishing foods for your body. A daily healthy diet for breastfeeding moms consists of: meats and beans examples can be: 5-61/2 ounces a day, 1/4 cup of dry beans, 1 tablespoon peanut butter or 1 ounce of meat, 3 cups a day of calcium , 5 servings a day of fruits, an example: 1 cup of fruit, 100% fruit juice, 1/2 cup of dried fruit and vegetables, an example: 2 1/2 to 3 cups of veg. a day and 3 or more servings a day of whole grains, example include: 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta, 1 cup of cereal of Oatmeal. You should only eat small amounts of high fatty foods. Extra virgin olive oil is great on salads and healthy too.
Drink at least eight cups of water a day. Moms should try to eat DHA enriched foods such as salmon, eggs or sardines. Continue taking your prenatal vitamin daily while breastfeeding. Calcium-milk, yogurt, hard cheese, fortified cereals and spinach and nondairy foods such as: salmon, broccoli, sesame seeds, tofu and kaleCholine (Vitamin B Complex)- milk, liver, eggs, peanuts Chromium- meats, poultry fish and some cereals Copper- seafood, nuts and seeds, wheat bran cereal, whole grains Fiber-bran cereal, peas, lentils, black beans, fruits, vegetables Fluoride- fluoridate water, some sea fish, some toothpaste Folic Acid (folate)- dark leafy vegetable, enriched whole grain bread, fortified cerealIodine- iodized salt, processed foodIron- fortified cereal, beans, lentils, beef, eggs Magnesium- green leafy vegetable, brazil nuts, almonds, soybeans, halibut, quinoa Molybdenum-legumes, grains, nuts Phosphorus- milk and dairy products, peas, meat, eggs, cereals, breads Potassium- sweet potatoes, bananas, yogurt, yellowfin tuna, soybeans Selenium- meats, seafood, brazil nuts Sodium- salt Vitamin A- sweet potato with peel, carrots, spinach, fortified cereal Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)-whole grain, fortified products, breads cereals Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)- milk bread products, fortified cereals Vitamin B3 (Niacin)- meat, fish, enriched whole grain breads, fortified cereals Vitamin B5 – (Panthothenic Acid) chicken beef, potato, oats, cereals, tomatoes Vitamin B7 – (Biotin) – liver, fruits and meats Vitamin B12 – (Cobalamin)- fish poultry, meat, fortified cereals Vitamin C – red and green peppers, kiwis, oranges, strawberries and broccoli Vitamin D- fish, liver, oils, fortified milk products, fortified cereals, exposure to sunlight Vitamin E – fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter, veg. oils Vitamin K – green vegetables like spinach, collards, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage Zinc- red meats, seafood, fortified cereals It is possible to be a vegan and breastfeed. My oldest daughter has been one and has breastfed her two sons. However, it is important to eat a well-balanced vegan diet. Vegans need to make sure that their diet is rich in protein, calcium, Vitamin 12, Vitamin D and Iron. They should eat products that contain calcium such as bok choy, blackstrap, molasses, tofu, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, kale, almonds, all kinds of nuts,enriched orange juice, soymilk, soy products and calcium supplements if needed.
Your baby may need an extra Vitamin D supplement. Therefore, it is important for vegans to take a walk in the sun to get your Vitamin D with your baby if you want to avoid supplements. Remember to eat cereals with fortified Vitamins such as B and D. Drink soy milk with fortified B12. Eat foods rich in iron and protein. Sometimes what you eat affects your baby. Babies who have allergy symptoms may show it by being fussy, congested, have diarrhea or eczema on their skin. Some of these foods can be cabbage, cauliflower, cherries, chocolate, corn, corn syrup, cucumbers, cow’s milk, eggs, fish, citrus fruits, nuts, soy products, spices, strawberries, garlic, peppers, pineapples, prunes, onions and wheat products.
Too much caffeine can affect your baby too. You can have one cup a day and stay away from sodas with caffeine. Also, only drink alcohol occasionally. In conclusion, eating a well balanced healthy diet for breastfeeding moms is the way to go. Your daily diet should consist of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Eating well and avoiding certain foods can keep a baby and mom healthy and happy. After reviewing some diets, I have decided that if you ask me, The Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are the best ones for breastfeeding moms. However, this is only my opinion as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
Rapid Weight loss can decrease a mom’s breast milk, so losing weight slowly is the best way. Lastly, living well is keeping up with a daily well-balanced diet, so love yourself and take care of your body as well as your baby’s body.