Eating Well for Breastfeeding

Breast milk provides your baby with all or some of their nutritional needs. So, it is normal to wonder whether you need to change your own diet in order to optimise this.

As part of breastfeeding awareness week our lead dietitian Kirsten Jackson has put together some simple guidance for you to follow. The below article covers the fundamental elements of a good diet for breast feeding.

What Type of Diet Is Needed for Breast Feeding?

When breastfeeding, you do not need a ‘special diet.’ It is recommended that you follow just a normal healthy, balanced diet.

A healthy balanced diet should include the following categories;

  • Protein e.g. beans, pulses, eggs, meat or fish
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Healthy fats e.g. olive oil, nuts, avocado or oily fish
  • Whole grains e.g. oats, quinoa and whole-meal bread

Vitamin D

The rates of vitamin D deficiency are high in the UAE. You may therefore require a supplement whilst breast feeding.

Calcium

When you are breast feeding, your calcium requirements increase to 1250mg / day.

It is quite difficult to achieve this amount through diet alone. Failure to get enough calcium regularly can result in your own bone health being put at risk. This is because your breast milk contains a lot of calcium which it will then take from your own bones.

Calcium content of foods;

  • 200mls milk – 240mg
  • 200mls Fortified plant-based milk – 240mg
  • 120g yoghurt – 200mg
  • 85g Broccoli – 34mg

Breastfeeding Burns Extra Calories

One of the benefits of breast feeding is that it burns 300 – 500 calories extra per day. This means it can help you lose the weight that you gained during pregnancy.

Most people should not eat additional food to meet this extra calorie need. Instead, your body will use the fat stores gained during pregnancy to match your increased energy need.

If you have a low body weight, please consult a dietitian for further information on this.

Alcohol

The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology recommends that it is safest to avoid alcohol intake whilst breastfeeding.

Caffeine

Caffeine intake may harm your baby so limit your intake to no more than 200mg / day.

 Caffeine contents;

  • 1 mug of instant coffee = 100mg
  • 1 mug of filter coffee = 140mg
  • 1 small coffee shop latte = 150mg
  • 1 mug of tea = 75mg
  • 1 can of cola = 40mg

Peanuts

You may have heard that you should avoid peanuts whilst breast feeding. This is a myth.

Research shows that this has no effect on whether your baby develops an allergy or not. If you are concerned about your baby having a food allergy, please speak to a specialist paediatrician.

Summary

For the most part, you do not need to make any changes to your diet, just eating a healthy balanced diet is all you need to do.

There are some specific micronutrients that may need supplementing (vitamin D and calcium). However, this is individual so please seek advice as needed.

Also be aware of myths which could lead you to avoid foods unnecessarily.

If in doubt – seek professional advice, tailored to you from a registered dietitian.

 

Do You Require Further Help?

Our lead dietitian Kirsten Jackson has a post-graduate qualification in pre and post-natal nutrition advice.You can book in to see her for a 121 session at either our Marina Clinic on Saturdays or Sunday – Thursday at our Dubai Hills Hospital.

We also proud to announce our new Healthy Mums Package which is a 3-month nutrition package designed for busy mums. The package includes 5 consultations with our dietitian, as well as weekly email check-ins to keep you on track.

Contact us on 04 519 9999 to book an appointment

 

  • 5 Foods to Eat for Energy

      All foods contain energy, but not all foods will make us feel energetic. In fact, some foods can make us feel sluggish. In this post, we will advise you on some of the top foods you can eat to get the best energy and keep it sustained throughout the day. Oats Oats come under…

    Read More
  • HH Sheikh Hamdan inaugurates King’s College hospital in Dubai Hills

    His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and President of the Dubai Health Authority inaugurated the new King’s College Hospital London in Dubai Hills. The flagship 100 bed hospital is the fourth King’s facility in the UAE and has already begun admitting patients. All the King’s medical…

    Read More
  • King’s College Hospital London opens the doors of its Dubai-based hospital featuring the best of British healthcare

    Dubai, 15 January, 2019: King’s College Hospital London in Dubai has opened its doors, both for outpatients and inpatients. The impressive 100-bed facility has already welcomed numerous patients and begun surgical operations, including general surgery and paediatric orthopaedic cases. Located at the heart of Dubai Hills, the hospital cost 200-million-dollars and took one-and-a-half years to…

    Read More
WhatsApp us