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  • Dietary Requirements

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  • What to expect

    It is recommended to breast feed for 12 months. However some Mums do  it for more or less and others don’t do it at all. Do whatever is best for you and there are formulas for your baby should you decide not to.

    How do you know if your baby is getting enough food? Sometimes when breast feeding this can be hard and it is easier to know when feeding your baby from a bottle. Try to continue feeding until your breast feels empty and the baby seems satisfied. Another tip is to check your baby’s diaper for how much is passing through their system. If you are concerned your baby isn’t getting enough food please consult your health care professional.

    The average recommended calorie intake is 2200-2700 calories a day and more if you plan to exercise.

    Breastfeeding for the first 4-6 months is the most calorie intensive period as during these early months the baby is sometimes exclusively drinking breast milk.

    If you find it hard for the baby to latch on remember that breastfeeding is a learned skill and not a natural one. There are health care professionals and people who specialise in this area that you can reach out to for help and assistance.

    Continue to take supplements

    – Omega 3

    – Iron, if your iron levels are low or there was significant blood  loss during the birth.

     

    Exercise

    Consult physician before returning to an exercise routine. Particularly if you have had a Caesarean or any difficulties during birth.  

     

    Food requirements to consider

    3-4 servings of calcium rich foods

    6 servings of vegetables (at least 2 rich sources of folic acid)

    4 servings of fruit (at least 2 rich sources of Vitamin C)

    3 servings of extra lean meat and/or legumes (try to include 2-3 servings of fish and 4-5 servings of legumes per week)

    9 servings of grains (at least 5 whole grain choices)

    8 servings of hydrating fluids

    Aim for 2-3 servings of Omega 3 rich foods

    Protein requirements are highest here

    The nutrient content of a Mothers milk has been linked to diet.

    Vitamin K is a very important nutrient for babies but after day 4, the baby can start producing their own supply with the help of their gut bacteria.

    Calcium rich food is very important and especially when breastfeeding as the calcium can be secreted in the breast milk (can vary depending on circumstances).

    The only nutrients and vitamins your baby receives (if you exclusively breastfeed) come from you and your vitamin/nutrient stores.

    These herbs could help assist in increasing milk supply when breastfeeding; Fenugreek capsules (2-3 capsules taken 3 times daily) along with Blessed Thistle tablets (same dosage). You can also try taking Brewers Yeast tablets (3 tablets taken with meals, 3 times per day) and Red Raspberry tea or capsules several times each day. As with any herbs or supplements during pregnancy, birth and beyond, please consult with your health care professional.

     

    Weight loss

    We know that weight loss can be a challenge as a new Mum when time becomes a luxury. Ask for assistance, whether that means ordering your meals with Feed Me 2, enlisting a trainer, asking your health care provider or even having a friend that helps you stay accountable.

    If you are trying to lose weight during breastfeeding extreme care must be taken. This is because reducing your food intake can reduce your baby’s nutrient intake. Weight loss is not advised until after the first six weeks and then aim for a loss of no more than 1kg per month.

    Plan. Planning ahead can really help, whether that means cooking lots of meals and storing them in your freezer or making time each week for exercise, have a plan.

     

    Food requirements

    2 servings of calcium rich food

    5 servings of vegetables (at least 2 rich sources of folic acid)

    3 servings of fruit (at least 2 rich sources of Vitamin C)

    6 servings of grains (at least 4 whole grain choices)

    2 servings of extra lean meat and/or legumes (try to include 1 serving of fish or legumes)

    5 servings of hydrating fluids

    Cut down on oils and dairy products. Consider your fat intake

    Cut down or cut out processed and refined sugars

    Cut down or cut out process foods

    Small frequent meals

    Measure your serving sizes

    Monitor your iron intake

    Ensure you are getting enough sleep

     

    Exercise

    Find exercise you enjoy doing, be creative!

    Walking, swimming or light cardio

    Cycle classes, circuit training or boxing classes

    Pilates and or yoga.

    Click here to see our Vitamins and Nutrients Glossary to get more information about the Vitamins and Nutrients that are important for your health, pregnancy, breast feeding, birth and beyond