fbpx

Nutrition for Breastfeeding Mothers Print

Postpartum nutrition 101  + One simple trick to hydrate and nourish well when breastfeeding

  A new mother in a tank top and pyjama bottoms sits on a bed breastfeeting her newborn baby who is wearing blue striped pajamas and cute bare feet

Most people are surprised to find out that breastfeeding your newborn takes more energy than growing a baby in utero. The fact is that nursing requires more calories than pregnancy, even in the third trimester when the baby grows most. 

 

The 4th trimester is a popular term attributed to the first 3 months postpartum. It is a phase of heightened vulnerability due to fluctuating hormones, erratic sleep routine and the intense physicality required to look after a baby that’s completely dependent on you (especially when exclusively breastfeeding!).  Postpartum blues, therefore, can be a troublesome outcome of this sensitive time. Good nutrition can play a major role in helping mothers navigate this transition a tad more gracefully.  

 

The 3 top nutrition priorities for the 4th trimester when exclusively breastfeeding:

 

Proper hydration

Fluid demands naturally increase when lactating. Missing out on proper hydration can lead to headaches or even massive migraines which coupled with increased caffeine intake and poor sleep can really become debilitating. Inadequate hydration will also affect digestion and complicate bowel regularity. 

Nutrient and energy dense foods

You will need extra nutrient dense foods because the caloric demands are high during this time. It’s best to focus on “bang for buck” foods that will give you lots of nutrients while also adding much needed calories for lactation. These nutrient and energy dense foods should make the bulk of your daily intake. While it is perfectly good and necessary to have energy dense foods that are less nutritious such as a donut,  a cinnamon roll, fries or chips to keep your sanity while enjoying something tasty, all too often, when under the spell of the newborn haze, it is easy to fall into making these foods the normal and usual. Leaning on dense food with low nutrition will leave you feeling energy deprived and may affect your mood further- making postpartum blues more challenging to handle

 

High fiber diet  

Ahigh fiber diet is highly recommended for postpartum as constipation can easily arise with lack of routine and increase hydration needs for lactation. Choosing whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables is the way to go. Prune juice and dates are top natural stool softeners. And of course high fiber diets need high fluid intake to be effective, so again don’t forget to drink galore! 

 

While there are many different ways of meeting these top priorities one easy trick that tackles all three in one go is drinking smoothies. 

 

Mix and match these ingredients to make great nutrient- dense whole food smoothies

Nutrition for Breastfeeding Mothers

  • For hydration – add milk, yogurt, coconut water, nut milks, juices.  
  • For nutrient and energy density – add dates, nut butters, chia seeds, oats, nuts and seeds, cocoa powder, high fat milk or yogurt, coconut milk/oil, avocado.  
  • For high fiber– prune juice, dates, hemp hearts, flax meal, your favourite fruits (banana, berries, mango and more) and veggies like spinach or kale.  

 

Looking for one of my favorite options to top up your energy and help beat postpartum blues?  Try this tasty recipe for a blueberry cocoa smoothie. 

 

Blueberry Cocoa Smoothie

Makes 24 oz (1-2 servings)  

 

Ingredients 

 

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk 
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries  
  • 1 small banana 
  • 1 cup spinach/ swiss chard 
  • 1 large date 
  • 1 TBSP flax seeds  
  • 1 TBSP pumpkin seeds 
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder 

 

To Prepare

  1. Blend all ingredients. Serve and enjoy! 
  2. If you have other kids to feed other than your newborn, double the recipe and share, they will love it!  

A mother and toddler share a blueberry smoothie with two straws

Looking for more simple meal planning tips and healthy recipes for a healthier lifestyle? Sign up for our weekly newsletter for a healthy recipe of the week (and nutrition articles and videos with a balanced living philosophy to help encourage healthy habits but still save room for your favorites). Our nutrition newsletter is written by the Online / Calgary Nutritionists on our team who each hold a professional Registered Dietitian license to ensure you are getting credible advice.

 

 

 

As seen in

  •  

Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This