Pregnancy and breastfeeding are a huge effort for your body. They often come with tiredness, when you need to take care of your baby and do not get enough sleep - all these do not favour quick recovery. Stress, fatigue and malnutrition do not facilitate lactation. Therefore, your diet should be well balanced. It can not lack valuable nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and calcium.
If your child is not allergic, and develops properly and you have previously kept a healthy diet, go on with your good eating habits. You do not have to follow a special diet. Just watch the little one and give up eating foods that caused the tummy pain, posseting, skin rash or colic.
Pay special attention if you eat spicy, heavy and flatulent dishes. What you eat partially penetrates into your milk and enters the baby's body which is more delicate and sensitive than in adults. Here is a list of products that you should eat often, and those which you should give up on.
WHAT TO LOVE
Drink a lot of fluid when you are breastfeeding. Nutritionists recommend drinking two liters of fluid a day. The best and healthiest choice is still mineral water. You can drink fruit and vegetable juices, freshly squeezed if possible, with no sugar. Dilute the carton juices with water. Drink milk if you like it. If you don't, you can replace it with kefir or natural yoghurt. When you drink milk or milk products, make sure your baby is not allergic to cow's milk protein.
Try to avoid sweet, carbonated beverages, especially caffeinated ones. Do not drink too much coffee or strong tea. You can drink decaf coffee, weak tea or fruit teas instead.
CEREAL AND WHOLE GRAIN PRODUCTS
They provide a boost of energy, vitamin B and valuable nutrients such as magnesium and fiber. Choose dark, wholewheat bread, cereals, brown rice, wholewheat pasta. Supplement your youghurt with a spoon of bran.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Eat a lot of them, and in different forms, but preferably raw or steamed. Dried fruits and vegetables are healthy snacks that you can eat instead of crisps and salt sticks.
Watch the baby after you eat citruses, strawberries, wild strawberries - they can be strongly allergenic. Pay special attention to the legumes, cabbage, onions, plums, and cherries. They are rich in valuable ingredients, but may cause flatulence in some children. However, this is not a strict rule and there is not need to give them up on principle.
You should take care to eat enough dairy products. If you do not like milk, eat milk products, low-fat cheese, yoghurt, buttermilk, etc. Dairy products provide calcium and this is particularly important for your body during breastfeeding. Milk production uses up its reserves and if calcium supply is too low you can have problems with your bones. If your child is allergic to cow's milk protein, eat other calcium-rich foods: fish, eggs, soybean, almonds.
International Lactation Specialist, Neonatologist
What is the elimination diet of a nursing mum and when is it advisable to follow it?
Elimination diet means excluding a specific product or a group of products that cause an allergic reaction in a child. It is a method for allergy diagnosis and treatment. Before you start the elimination diet, consult your pediatrician and/or allergist who will help you to decide whether it is really necessary and will provide you with detailed instructions - what to avoid, for how long, and in what order bring it back to the menu.
MEAT AND FISH
Try not to eat too much meat, especially red meat. Choose poultry - chicken, turkey. Cook it or bake it instead of frying. Replace meat with high quality fish as often as possible. Sea fish is the best, as it contains a lot of unsaturated fatty acids, proteins and vitamins. Avoid panga and tilapia - they are grown in contaminated waters and can be dangerous for you and your health.
HERBS, SPICES, FATS
For seasoning, use fresh herbs. Not all babies like onions or garlic flavor, but this is not essential. Your baby does not have to have anything against them, and they are healthy and natural. Do not use ready to use mixed spices, as they often contain flavor enhancers. Replace them with vegetable oils, olive oil and grape seed oil.
WHAT TO AVOID
It makes its way to the milk and remains there for several hours after ingestion. It is neither good nor safe for the child.
Caffeine contained in cola and coffee can make the little one anxious and irritable. One cup of coffee a day is fair enough.
Try to avoid highly processed foods. They contain chemicals, artificial additives, preservatives, colours and "nature-identical" flavours. Do not eat powdered and canned products. Refrain from eating fast food, as it is rich in fat and calories, hard to digest, and not really valuable. Have a carrot, an apple or a handful of almonds instead of crisps.
They provide a lot of empty calories and none nutrients. The only exception is dark chocolate that contains lots of magnesium, iron and potassium, and antioxidants, but be careful when eating it, because cocoa is one of the most common allergens.
It may cause zoonoses and contain parasites, so say goodbye to sushi and tartar while breastfeeding.
Milk, cocoa, strawberries, citrus fruits, nuts and honey, and egg yolk are among the most common allergens. However, there is no need to avoid them just in case. After eating a small amount watch your baby carefully for skin reaction, constipation, colic, posseting, bloating, anxiety. If nothing of this sort happens you do not have to deny yourself e.g. a piece of chocolate.