With the nutrition during lactation, nature makes it very easy. To enrich breast milk with the optimal amount of nutrients, your body uses its reserves. Current scientific studies show that nursing mothers do not have to do without anything. Caution is only necessary with luxury foods – coffee, tea and of course alcohol.
Nursing while breastfeeding – extra calories are important
Your body has taken care of breastfeeding during pregnancy and created extra energy reserves. Still, you need extra calories now – a bit more than in pregnancy. How many are depends on the needs of the baby and whether you are breastfeeding or you have already begun to eat solid foods?
In the first four to six months you only need 500 kcal per day for exclusive breastfeeding. If your child is already eating junk food and is breastfed at the same time, you will need fewer extra calories from the age of six months.
In contrast, fasting or a very strong reduction of food is absolutely taboo. The sudden loss of weight will release toxins from the body fat, get into the bloodstream and thus into the breast milk, which can be dangerous for your baby. If you want to slow down your calorie intake, start with it six weeks after birth at the earliest – before doing so, it will hinder your milk production.
Important are a balanced diet and adequate fluid intake
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, wholesome cereals and potatoes, as well as dairy products and occasionally low-fat meats. With a balanced and varied diet, you play it safe.
Iron, iodine, folic acid, calcium, vitamin D and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCP) are particularly important for your diet.
Sufficient drinking is especially important during breastfeeding. Your body needs at least two to three liters of fluid per day. These needs are best met by mineral water, fruit juice spritzers, and unsweetened fruit or herbal teas.
There is no medical objection to a vegetarian diet during breastfeeding. As long as you enjoy eggs, milk and ideally also fish, you and your baby will get everything you need. Especially important is only a sufficient iron intake, since the pregnancy has already stressed your iron budget.
If necessary, discuss this with your doctor. A vegan way of life is not recommended during breastfeeding. By completely eliminating animal products, there is a risk of a shortage of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B2, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. This leads to high health risks for mother and child.
Incidentally, the fact that you need milk-forming foods and drinks while breastfeeding is a myth that has not been scientifically proven. You should refrain from beer anyway because of its alcohol content. So-called milk-forming teas – for example from anise, fennel, lemon balm, and cumin – have an effect on the soul from an expert’s point of view: they focus more on breastfeeding, relax and promote your milk flow.
Milupa Pro Futura mama – For a better nutritional care for nursing mothers
By breastfeeding, give your baby everything it needs. This increases your need for individual nutrients by up to 60%. Based on our ENP * research on infant nutrition, Milupa has developed three Pro Futura mama breastfeeding products.
Each Pro Futura mama product delivers just to your taste with just one serving valuable daily nutrients that you need more in breastfeeding and their intake in sufficient quantity is often not easy to achieve.
Important Notes: Do not consume more than one serving per day of any of these products in our Pro Futura mama assortment. Please do not use these products in combination with supplements without consulting your doctor. The products are not a substitute for a balanced and varied diet and a healthy lifestyle.
* Early Life Nutritional Programming.
** This beneficial effect of DHA occurs when 200 mg DHA is added daily to the adult-recommended daily intake of 250 mg omega-3 fatty acids.
Breastfeeding as long as possible offers your baby the best prerequisites for an optimal start in life. But many mothers quit earlier than they originally planned. A common reason for this is the buildup of milk. Instead of stopping, you should stimulate the flow of milk by restoring your baby with rest and patience.
If, despite all attempts, you fail or you do not have enough breastmilk, talk to your midwife or pediatrician.
Flatulence and allergies – can certain foods harm my baby?
Many mothers believe that they need to forego some food in the nursing period from the outset because they could not get their baby. Legumes, cabbage, and onions are often discouraged as they cause flatulence. Certain fruits, especially citrus fruits, have a reputation for provoking allergic reactions or a sore bottom of the baby due to their high fruit acid content.
Scientifically proven is none of this. If you suffer from allergies yourself, you should seek advice from an allergist about your nutrition during breastfeeding. Otherwise, you should first eat everything that you like.
Most of the time your baby reacts to malnutrition or indigestion – your diet will automatically erase such foods. It can irritate if you take your child still unfamiliar and very aromatic dishes – for example, with lots of garlic -:
At the next breastfeeding, your baby may first turn his head away. Potential allergens you can barely avoid in your diet to one hundred percent – and should not. The fact that your child comes into contact with such substances via the mother’s milk trains his immune system and thus also protects against future allergies to a certain degree.
Stimulants – please only in moderation
With stimulants, you should be careful during breastfeeding and consume them at best in moderation. Caffeine and then enter directly into the mother’s milk. In the body of your baby, they are broken down more slowly compared to adults. A caffeine jam can make your baby nervous and restless and suffer from sleep problems. However, two or three cups of coffee or black tea a day are usually harmless.
On alcohol should be abandoned entirely – the liver of your baby is unable to cope with his loss. Half to one hour after drinking, the concentration of alcohol in breast milk is greatest. So if you want to treat yourself to a glass of wine, sparkling wine or beer: Please really only a single glass and only in the evening after the last breastfeeding.
Smoking harms both the production and the quality of breast milk and should be taboo until your baby is weaned.If you need medication while breastfeeding, you should discuss this with your doctor before taking it.
Answers to the most common breastfeeding questions
We accompany you with the experts in Aptawelt Elternservice through breastfeeding. All have many years of experience and are happy to advise you personally. Here we have put together the most frequently asked questions for you.
Can I breastfeed with a small breast?
Yes, this is just as possible as it is great – a small breast has less fatty tissue, but the mammary glands are responsible for breastfeeding. These increase in size during pregnancy to prepare for breastfeeding. After breastfeeding, they shrink again.
Can I get pregnant again while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is contraceptive only to a limited degree; in some women, no ovulation occurs while breastfeeding. But surely that is by no means. It is best to talk to your midwife or doctor about breastfeeding protection.
Does long breastfeeding cause dandruff?
No, more importantly, what happens during pregnancy: The greatest stretch of the breast occurs during pregnancy, not during breastfeeding. Today it is believed that the number of pregnancies, the age of the woman and the body mass index play a role, especially if the elasticity of the breast tissue decreases. A stable nursing bra is still recommended during breastfeeding to support the breast.
Is it true that breastfeeding makes you forget?
Yes, it may be the still hormone prolactin, which stimulates milk secretion. Together with the hormone oxytocin, it causes mothers to feel the need to focus on their child. Also, prolactin is supposed to promote forgetting. But do not worry: after breastfeeding returns the usual memory.
Can I exercise while breastfeeding?
If you have already done so before pregnancy, nothing speaks against. It is recommended to start with recovery gymnastics first. To protect your pelvic floor, you should sport with vibrations such. As jogging, jumping rope or ball sports, start again after half a year – after a cesarean section usually later. This gives your body time to tone up the stretched muscles and tissue in the abdomen and pelvic region. Your physical activity should not be too intense either now. Competitive sports leads to the increased lactic acid formation. This changes the taste of the breast milk and some babies then reject it. So you better wait until after weaning.
Can I go to the sauna or the swimming pool while breastfeeding?
In the first time after the birth, you should abstain for hygienic reasons on a swimming pool or sauna visit. In a full bath at home, you should make sure that your breasts and especially the nipples are outside of the bath water and thus do not come into contact with the weekly flow. Later, you may like to relax completely in the bathtub. If the childbed is over, nothing speaks against a swimming pool visit. Maybe you enjoy a baby swimming class together with your child. Then you should shower off with a gentle soap and rinse off chlorine water and especially soap scraps thoroughly with clear water. On the sauna, you should abstain throughout the lactation.
Is active slimming useful during breastfeeding?
No, you should refrain from reducing diets while breastfeeding. If you run out of energy in the long term and you lose too much weight, it can have a negative effect on milk production. Also, there is a risk that you may be taking in too little essential nutrients through a restricted diet, which you will need now is breastfeeding in higher dosage amounts than usual. To keep you healthy for your baby, your nutrient depots must now be well filled. Breastfeeding mothers often take off slowly and completely naturally anyway, as they need about 500 to 600 calories more a day to make milk. Important: eat when you feel hungry and eat well. And allow yourself to enjoy.
Can I breastfeed if I had a major blood loss at delivery?
Yes, because the loss of iron during breastfeeding is less than during a single menstruation. It should be noted, however, that women with high blood loss often have a delayed milk injection. If you suspect anemia, you should contact your doctor. Iron can easily be added to a suitable dietary supplement. An additional iron needs your child only after the 4.-6. Months, i.e. in the complementary age.
Can I breastfeed when my baby is ill?
Especially then you should continue breastfeeding because your baby now especially needs the protective substances of breast milk. But it will probably have less appetite while ill. If your baby vomits or has diarrhea, which is relatively rare in breastfed infants, breast milk provides him with the fluids he desperately needs. But you should inform your pediatrician and make an appointment for safety at short notice.
Can I breastfeed despite illness?
As a rule, yes, because your breast milk contains protective substances against your illness. Your baby is protected from infection. However, if you need to take any medications, be sure to seek advice from your doctor. In principle, nursing mothers should, of course, take a break from medication while breastfeeding. In unavoidable cases, however, there are usually suitable medications that allow you to continue to live. If not, you can also pump and freeze breast milk before starting treatment.
Do healthy breastfed babies need extra fluids?
No, even in hot weather, frequent breastfeeding completely covers the fluid needs of a baby. If a baby is ill, the addition of water or tea in consultation with the pediatrician may be useful.