Best Nutrition for Breastfeeding Mums - The 10 Top Foods

what to eat after child birth

Nursing mums actively make milk 24/7, and it's hungry work! It's so important that you consume nutrient-dense foods that will give you the energy you need to soldier through the day while producing milk. Mum's nutrition during breastfeeding should ideally be based on a diverse diet that includes an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and dairy products.

Ten Best Foods for Breastfeeding Mums

1. Green Leafy Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables are a vital part of any healthy diet. They're jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals and loads of fibre. In addition, leafy green vegetables help keep you regular and help reduce bloating. Some of the best dark green leafy vegetables to include in your diet include kale, spinach, cabbage and bok choi.

2.    Eggs

Eggs are a fantastic source of protein. A large egg also contains:

  • Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
  • Folate: 5% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B12: 9% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA
  • Selenium: 22% of the RD

The best part is, whether you like them scrambled, boiled or fried, they're super quick and easy to make, so even the busiest breastfeeding mums can fit some eggs into their day.

3.    Wholegrains

While avoiding heavily-processed grains like white bread and white rice is a good idea, whole grains should be part of every breastfeeding mum's diet. 

Rolled oats, brown rice, rye bread and quinoa are easy ways to increase your whole grain intake. The whole grains will help you feel full; they'll give you a tonne of energy, and they're packed full of iron, B vitamins, selenium, magnesium, and potassium.

Adding oats to your smoothie for breakfast or a slice of rye bread with avocado are quick and easy ways to up your nutrient intake with the power of whole grains.

4.    White Fish

White fish is an excellent low-fat source of protein; it's also a fantastic source of B-Vitamins, including:

  • Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 helps to fight inflammation in the body
  • Vitamin B3: Vitamin B3 is the immune system booster breastfeeding mums need to fight off infections
  • Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 supports the healthy functioning of your nervous system and blood cell health

White fish is also quick and easy to cook. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes at 200C to give you a tasty portion of B vitamin-packed goodness.

5.    Nuts and Seeds

We understand eating healthy is not always easy for busy mums. It's hard to find time, and after all the feeding, burping, washing and changing, sometimes you just can't be bothered making a meal. That's where seeds and nuts come in. 

A handful of nuts and seeds will give you and bub a powerful concoction of macro and micronutrients. 

Nuts and seeds are:

  • Excellent sources of protein (a great alternative to animal protein for vegetarians and vegans)
  • Full of phytochemicals that act as antioxidants
  • Rich in B vitamins, as well as Vitamin E, folate, niacin, zinc, calcium, copper and potassium
  • Low in saturated fats
  • Source of good fats

Nuts and seeds are also an excellent alternative to highly-processed or sugary snacks. Having a big bag of mixed nuts and seeds handy will help you avoid the temptation of sweet treats and make snack time more nutritious.

6. Legumes and Pulses

If legumes and pulses aren't part of your diet, being a new mum is the perfect time to introduce these wonderful foods into your weekly rotation. Chickpeas, lentils and beans are the ideal base for curries, stews, salads and veggie burgers. The best part is that they cost a fraction of the price of meat. 

Legumes and pulses are also key food items in the 'blue zone' population. Blue zones refer to areas with high longevity rates, and in every one of these areas, the population consumes large amounts of legumes and pulses. So add them to your diet to supercharge your breastmilk, and set you and bub up for a long and healthy life.

7. Fermented Foods

The world is just starting to wake up to the importance of gut health. Building good gut health is especially important for young babies, and fermented foods are a great way to fill your breastmilk with healthy bacteria.

Sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi are great ways to introduce fermented foods into your diet.

8. Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are vital for breastfeeding mums. Healthy fat is essential in helping your bub build a healthy immune system. In addition, the lauric acid found in healthy fats is a powerful microbial and will help your bub fight off any nasty infections.

Besides the wonders it does for bub it will also help you feel full, keep your breastmilk supply strong and give you the energy you need to power through the day. 

9. Brightly-Coloured Fruits and Vegetables

Eating the rainbow is an easy way to fill your diet with vitamins and nutrients. A diet full of brightly-coloured fruits like apples, blueberries, oranges and mangos, as well as vegetables like eggplants, capsicums and sweet potatoes, will ensure you're giving your body the variety it needs to thrive. Each colour has different nutritional benefits so eating a rainbow every day will help keep your nutritional requirements covered. 

10. In Shape Mummy Health Shake

Often busy Mums will need a bit of help to keep on top of their nutritional needs. The In Shape Mummy Health Shake is packed with vitamins, nutrients and probiotics to fuel your body and keep your supply strong. Each serve has over 12g of protein, 25% of your daily essential vitamin & mineral requirements, probiotics and herbs that have been used for centuries to support milk production.

Deciding what to eat while you’re breastfeeding can be hard, so just try and focus on the key things.

  1. Avoid processed foods as much as you can. 
  2. Eat a diverse diet full of brightly coloured vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts & seeds, dairy products, and fish.
  3. Incorporate the In Shape Mummy Health Shake into your diet to help you reach your daily essential protein, vitamin and mineral targets.

Shevi is a qualified nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food sciences. As a new mum herself, she is passionate about postnatal-related nutrition. Shevi has worked alongside some of the most famous leaders and celebrities in the fitness industry throughout Australia and the UK.

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