Every new parent wants what’s best for their baby.
Feeding your baby is one of the most integral parts of building a healthy immune and digestive system, which is why here at Annex Naturopathic we encourage new mothers breastfeed their children when possible.
If you choose to breastfeed your newly born, it’s important to understand that your dietary choices will influence your breast milk and therefore your baby’s diet.
So if you choose to breastfeed your baby, it’s important to focus on a nutrient-dense diet.
At Annex Naturopathic Clinic, we can help you on your path to healthy and natural breastfeeding for your baby.
How can you provide the most nutritious breast milk for your baby?
Keep reading to find out.
Common Myths About Breastfeeding
One of the most common challenges of breastfeeding is low milk production.
Low production often occurs due to poor latching of the baby the nipple; this can be helped by consulting with a qualified lactation consultant to learn different techniques for breast feeding to find one that works best for you and your child
Another reason why it’s important to have a healthy diet and to consult with a qualified health professional while breastfeeding is to ensure that you’re obtaining sufficient nutrients to improve the nutrient quality of your breast milk
Breastmilk also contains sufficient amounts of iron for the baby’s needs but the level of iron in the breastmilk is reflected by sufficient levels in a breastfeeding woman.
Formula may contain too much iron, and is typically not present in highly absorbable forms.
Other benefits to breastfeeding including providing your baby with natural antibodies to prevent infections and promoting healthy bonding between the breastfeeding mother and infant.
What You Eat, Your Baby Eats
When breastfeeding, you do not need a special diet, but you do need to consider that you’re eating for two.
Breastfeeding actually burns calories, approximately 425 to 700 calories per day, so it’s important to increase your caloric intake to account for your daily calorie requirements.
While breastfeeding, it’s important to focus on protein-rich foods such as chicken, low mercury seafood, beans, and lentils.
Fruits and vegetables, and a variety of whole grains will provide essential vitamin and minerals, and natural plant-based fats, will keep the breastmilk rich and full of baby-friendly brain fuel.
Make sure drink plenty of water to keep your breastmilk production healthy.
Avoid inflammatory foods such as junk food, and limit alcohol, caffeine, and high-mercury fish.
While breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to avoid a detox diet or any other detoxifying products too, as these toxins can end up being flushed out through your breast milk.
If you’re baby is gassy/colicky, avoid gas-producing foods such as broccoli, cabbage, and chocolate.
Herbs For Healthier Breast Milk
In addition to a nutrient-rich diet, you can also supplement with nutrient-rich herbs to improve the quality of your breast milk.
Rosehips are high in vitamins A and C; vitamin C typically occurs in low levels in breastmilk since our bodies don’t store it.
Vitamin C is required for the proper development of many parts of the body, and vitamin A affects immune function and cellular health.
In a recent study, it was found that vitamin C levels can be doubled or tripled in breast milk in poorly nourished mothers through supplementation.
2. Raspberry Leaf
Raspberry leaf is high in many important vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and magnesium.
These herbs are helpful in the production of quality breast milk and can also improve energy in breastfeeding mothers
3. Hibiscus Flowers
Hibiscus flowers are high in selenium, which is an excellent source of manganese and chromium, silicon.
Selenium is needed for proper immune system function, and elevated intake may be associated with reduced risk of cancer.
Containing high levels of fiber, protein, niacin, potassium, and vitamins A and C, alfalfa is an important supplement due to its nutrient density.
Oatgrass is one of the best sources of magnesium, which regulates diverse biochemical reactions in the body.
It is also high in chromium, sodium, and silicon.
6. Blessed Thistle
Blessed thistle is an herb that has been used in herbal medicine ever since medieval times.
It’s commonly used as a galactagogue – a herb that helps breastfeeding mothers increase their supply of breastmilk.
You can get blessed thistle in tea form – many herbal teas for breastfeeding mothers contain blessed thistle.
Blessed thistle is commonly combined with fenugreek as well, another galactagogue commonly used by dairy farmers to increase the supply of milk their cows give.
Contact Annex Naturopathic
When ensuring breastfeeding health, it’s important to eat a nutritious diet with sufficient calories.
Take care of your body, and your baby will be taken care of too.
If you’re expecting a baby and are looking to breastfeed, contact the Annex Naturopathic Clinic.
Our ND’s will assist you in developing a diet which contains the nutrients your baby needs.
Book a consultation with Annex Naturopathic Clinic today.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Marnie Luck, N.D
Annex Naturopathic Clinic is a clinic in Toronto that offers integrative healthcare solutions from Drs. Marnie Luck, ND, and Tanya Lee, ND