Top Foods to Eat While Breastfeeding - Tips from a Nutritionist
You don’t need a special diet while breastfeeding. But what you eat does need to be nutritionally balanced.
You need extra nutrients when you are breastfeeding as your baby is depending on you for 100% of their nutrition. Extreme diets that cut out major food groups are a no-no while breastfeeding as you miss out on getting the nutrients you and your bub need.
The good news is dietary restrictions from pregnancy do not apply to breastfeeding mums, so everything is back on the menu!
So, which foods should you eat while breastfeeding?
1. Wholegrain, high-fibre foods:
Aim to get most of your carbohydrate intake from grains such as quinoa, oats, brown rice, brown pasta, and dark rye bread. Carbohydrates provide the energy you need to care for your baby and yourself throughout the day. Your carbohydrate sources should be high in fibre. High fibre foods take longer to digest, and therefore stay in the stomach for longer. This keeps you feeling fuller for longer and reduces the need for snacking.
A large portion of your overall food intake should come from vegetables. Try to include 7.5 servings per day of a wide variety of colourful veggies.
Beans, peas, and lentils are all nutrient-dense, high fibre foods that will keep you feeling full.
4. Protein-rich foods:
Eggs, poultry, red meat, and fish are all great sources of protein. For vegetarians and vegans, tofu, chickpeas, lentils, and nuts are all easy high protein options. Protein is also necessary to heal from childbirth and a requirement for your baby’s growth. It also helps to reduce cravings and helps you to feel full for longer. Include high protein foods 2-3 times per day.
The recommended fruit intake for breastfeeding women is two pieces per day.
6. Dairy products:
The Institute of Medicine recommends that nursing mothers above the age of 18 consume 1,000mg of calcium per day. 1000mg can be made up from 100g almonds, 200g of yoghurt, and two cheese slices.
7. Healthy fats:
when you are breastfeeding, the only source of fat for your baby’s growing brain is from you. Therefore, it’s critical to get adequate amounts of fat in your diet, especially the essential fatty acid DHA ,one of the omega-3 fats. Omega-3s can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon, and also in plant-based sources such as walnuts, flax, and chia seeds
Can you have treats?
At In Shape Mummy, we believe in the 90/10 rule. Eat an abundance of unprocessed, good quality whole foods 90% of the time and allow yourself to relax completely with the remaining 10%.
It's all about balance. If you’re trying to lose weight, it doesn't mean you need to eliminate treats like ice cream and chocolate from your diet. You can still eat these foods guilt-free once in a while, as long as you're eating quality, wholesome foods the majority of the time.
Allergies in babies
In rare cases a breastfed baby may have an allergy or intolerance to foods the mother is eating. The most common foods that cause allergies are dairy products, soy products, wheat and eggs.
Keeping a food diary of what you eat alongside a record of the symptoms your baby exhibits should help you determine which foods are causing the problem.
Removing the possible foods from your diet should solve the problem but it may take around one month for your baby’s symptoms to resolve. A visit with a food allergies specialist may help you plan your diet.
Can you drink coffee?
When you’re breastfeeding in the early months of your babies life, concentrate your effort on eliminating or restricting your caffeine consumption. You may find it easier to know that you can slowly increase your consumptions as they grow. In really young babies their liver takes up to 5 days to process caffeine. This gets better with time as their body starts to improve its metabolism of caffeine. After about 6 months, generally the clearance of caffeine is quite good.
The caffeine level in the breast milk peaks at about 2 hours after consumption. As with an alcoholic drink, if you are going to drink a caffeinated drink you will limit the impact on your baby if you drink it straight after a feed. This ensures that the peak level in the milk is passed by the time the next feed comes around (unless they are demand feeding, then it is obviously a different story).
Chocolate also contains some a small amount of caffeine, although only about 1/10th as much as coffee. Dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants, therefore it can be a nice, healthy treat when consumed in moderation. A square or two of chocolate can really help improve a challenging afternoon chasing after kids!
A solution to help
Preparing healthy food all the time can be a challenge as a busy mum. That’s why the In Shape Mummy Health Shake can be your saviour! It is jam packed with the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and easy to digest protein you need for a Healthy Weight, to Sustain Energy levels and Support your Milk Supply, alongside a balanced diet.
And for those times when you're craving something sweet, the Chocolate Brownie and Caramel Fudge In Shape Mummy Health Shakes are the perfect way to curb your cravings.
Maintaining a healthy diet will help you and your baby thrive, as well as help you achieve a healthy weight. Aim to have a healthy diet for 90% of the time. For the remaining 10%, choose foods that make you feel happy. Breastfeeding is an incredibly selfless act, don't deny yourself a treat here and there. You deserve it.
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.
Boost Your Milk Supply & Get In Shape with the
In Shape Mummy Health Shake
Many Busy Mums don't have time to cook health food and exercise ALL the time.
Great news! Now you can Fast Track Getting In Shape with our Quick, Easy and Delicious Superfood Meal Replacement, the In Shape Mummy Health Shake for Breastfeeding Mums.
Support your Milk Supply and Boost Your Energy while you Lose Weight with our Premium blend of Organic Pea & Brown Rice Protein, 25 Vitamins & Minerals, Probiotics plus Organic Superfoods.
Enhanced with Milk Thistle and Fenugreek which are herbs that have been used for centuries to Support Breastfeeding. Plus, Probiotics to help strengthen your babies immune system.
100% Breastfeeding & Vegan Friendly. Contains NO Artificial Nasties, NO Soy, NO Dairy, NO Gluten & NO Caffeine. Made in Australia.
Enjoy as the Quickest and Easiest Healthy Meal!
FREE 12-Week Healthy Weight Loss Support Program worth $168 with any shake purchase.
Did you know there are 2 types of In Shape Mummy Health Shakes?
We want to help mums of all stages of life look and feel their best.
That’s why we have two options to help you get the best results. One to support breastfeeding mums and the other to support mums who are not breastfeeding.
Mums are RAVING about the In Shape Mummy Health Shake...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"I'm loving it so far.. I'm already down from in weight and I feel great :) Not exaggerating when I say this is the best purchase I ever made .. can't wait to get to my first mini goal of 65kgs then set my new goal of 60kgs :) .. so far it's been life changing, thank you so much!! It has literally boosted my milk supply. I used to pump 160mls and now I average 240mls .. I've never been able to get that."
- Tania, Vic
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
""I discovered In Shape Mummy Health Shakes not long after my second baby was born. He has an intolerance to dairy so I was looking to find something that was safe for breastfeeding, and also vegan friendly. I have recently started a detox program with the help of a naturopath. She was so impressed with the ingredients that she has encouraged me to continue having it! In Shape Mummy has not only helped me lose weight, but it’s helped me nourish my body when I’ve been time poor and sleep deprived. It’s the only shake that I actually enjoy the taste of! My breakfast everyday includes ice, almond milk, water, a banana and my In Shape Mummy (my current fave is the caramel fudge!). At 11 months postpartum I feel great! And my breastfeeding journey is still going strong - my milk is in perfect supply for what Bub needs. I cannot recommend In Shape Mummy Health Shakes more highly!”
- Melanie, Vic
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"I am so grateful for all the people behind the In Shape Mummy Health Shake. It has helped me lose my post-pregnancy weight in a healthy way and very helpful during days where I had to wake up early for school drop offs and going to work. I've lost 15 kgs and I couldn't be any happier. I've regained my energy and have lots of time to play with my 2 kids. It's breastfeeding-friendly which is even better for me because the nutrients this Healthy Shake has is good for my little one. I feel great and motivated to work out even more when I saw my results. I'm so in love with this Healthy Shake!!! Thanks to Lisa and the rest of their team. ♥️"
- Maureen, WA
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"I've lost 35 kgs thanks to the In Shape Mummy Health Shakes. 110 kgs to 75 kgs! Juggling two little boys under 2 years old doesn't leave much time for healthy choices for Mummy and the In Shape Mummy Health Shake is such an easy solution to get all the goodness I need to keep going! My older son is 20 months and I didn't get the chance to lose the weight gained whilst carrying him before I was pregnant again with baby #2. I easily gained 40kgs across the two pregnancies and no thanks to terrible pelvic pain in pregnancy #2 wasn't able to keep active. Now that my second son is here and the pelvic pain has gone I have stuck to replacing breakfast with my shake and walking every morning for the duration of the morning sleep. Some days I will do a second shorter walk during his nap. I'm still able to enjoy yummy healthy foods and definitely do not feel like I'm going without. I no longer crave sugary foods as the shake sets me up for the day with its magical satisfying ingredients! The shake has become even more of a must since returning to work! If I thought I was busy before, life just got a whole lot busier! Now that I've lost the weight, I have more energy, zero aches and pains and have a better mood. I tell all my friends about In Shape Mummy because easy weight loss doesn't need to be a secret! Xx"
- Carly, Vic
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"I have lost over 30kg with In Shape Mummy Health Shakes, exercise and a complete diet change. I started at size 22 and am a loose size 12 at the moment… and nearly a 10! I feel so much better! With my injuries in my spine, pelvis and knee my weight loss has been the best thing for my pain. 7-8 months ago I couldn’t have even imagined I could drop this much weight! The change in my life has been insane! My advice to other mums is “stick with it and don’t give up!” Thanks so very much for your In Shape Mummy Health Shakes. They are the best thing for mums on the go and while breastfeeding as well. Words can not express how grateful I am with my weight loss. I couldn’t of started this without your shakes. My life is forever changed."