A Guide For A Proper Breastfeeding Meal Plan

By | January 16, 2019

Now that the bouncing new baby has finally arrived, it’s time to not only bond but to breastfeed as well. Sure breastfeeding is nowhere near as exciting as bonding with your newborn infant, but oh well, it’s that necessary evil that has to be done. However, we understand that some women may not be able to, for one reason or the other, but if you can and you’ve made the decision that you’re going to breastfeed, the process would have begun when your baby tasted colostrum for the first time right after birth. For those of you that might not know, colostrum is a specialized breast fluid that’s nutritionally as well as specifically designed the first few days of your newborn’s life.      

There are several reasons why you should consider breastfeeding your newborn baby. A few of the most commonly recognized reasons are; 

  • The bonding and joyful closeness with your infant baby  
  • The specific nutritional value only you as a mother can provide  
  • The cost savings  
  • The health benefits for both you and your baby     

However, breastfeeding your baby is something of a learned skill. You don’t just automatically get that knowledge after birth. It usually takes a lot of practice as well as patience. For a lot of new mothers, learning how to breastfeed properly can sometimes prove to be both an uncomfortable and frustrating process. It’ll even seem more difficult if you suffer from certain health complications or if your newborn arrived earlier than scheduled. But let that not worry you too much, it gets a lot easier along the way for most new moms. Not only that, breastfeeding mothers normally happen to have a lot of support available to them. One example is this article right here. 

The Importance Of Breastfeeding    

1. The First Batch Of Milk Produced Is Liquid Gold 

This milk is referred to as liquid gold because of its richly deep yellow color-tone. It’s colostrum, what we had highlighted a bit earlier on. It’s that thick first batch of milk mothers make both during pregnancy as well as just right after birth. This milk is not only very rich in nutrients but also contains antibodies that’ll help protect your newborn child from potential infection. Colostrum will also enhance the functionality and growth of your newborn child’s digestive system        

2. Mother’s Milk Changes As The Baby Grows 

Colostrum, by around the 3rd to 5th day after the birth of your child, starts to turn into mature milk. This milk that colostrum turns into contains the right amount of water, sugar, fat and protein which is used to help along the continued growth of your newborn infant. It’s much thinner than colostrum is, however, it contains the antibodies and nutrients your newborn child requires for healthy growth.     

3. Digesting Formula Is Much Harder 

For most newborn children, especially the premature ones, breastmilk substitutes such as formula and so on are normally much harder for your baby to digest when compared to the all natural mother’s breast milk. The milk from a cow is what’s used to manufacture formula and so it often takes a small while before your infant’s stomach has the ability to fully digest it.         

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4. Breast Milk Helps Fight Disease     

The antibodies, hormones and cells in mother’s breast milk help protect newborn infants from illness. This happens to offer a very unique kind of protection and changes according to your newborn child’s requirements. Research shows that babies that have been breastfed are at a lower risk of suffering ailments such as: 

  • Childhood leukemia   
  • Childhood obesity  
  • Asthma 
  •  Eczema (atopic dermatitis)  
  • Vomiting and diarrhea 
  •  Lower respiratory infections  
  • Ear infections  
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS  
  • Type 2 diabetes and so on    

Why Is Breastfeeding Right For You? 

If you didn’t know, babies can smell you as well as that unique scent your breast milk produces. This is largely why babies turn their heads toward their mothers whenever they’re hungry. A baby is born with that natural instinct at their mother’s breast. Anyway, why it’s right for you is because: 

1. Breastfeeding Can Make Your Life Easier     

Formula feeding might look a bit easier at first, however, once both of you settle into a good breastfeeding routine things will become so much easier for you. For instance, when breastfeeding, unlike baby bottles, you don’t have to worry about sterilizing your nipples. Furthermore, with breastmilk you don’t have to purchase, measure and mix as you would formula.  

2. Not Breastfeeding Costs More Money 

Feeding supplies and formula can sometimes end up costing you over one thousand five hundred dollars a year. Breastfed infants also happen to get sick less often as compared to their formula-fed counterparts which, in turn, means reduced health costs  

3. Breastfeeding Enhances The Mother And Baby Bond 

Physical contact is very important for newborn children. It helps them feel comforted, warm and secure. You as a mother as well can benefit from this closeness. That skin-to-skin physical contact a mother has with their baby helps boost oxytocin levels. This is a hormone that helps calm the mother as well as help the breast milk flow properly.     

While the quality of milk may not be such a very big concern, your health certainly is. The breastfeeding procedure happens to be a metabolic process that helps burn calories. This means that you’ll definitely need to replace those lost calories through your diet if you want to maintain energy levels. Additionally, this can also prove to be a good opportunity to lose some excess weight if you want by holding back a little. 

During breastfeeding, most mothers can consume up to about 3 liters of liquids each day. Water still remains the best source, however, some particular juices and teas can be included as well. But, you should try and avoid soft drinks and coffee as much as you can. Things like caffeine can be transferred into the breastmilk which can end up causing possible agitation to your child. Hopefully, this goes without saying, but alcohol should strongly be avoided during the breastfeeding process.         

Nutrition And Fitness 

A majority of new mothers ponder whether they should start a special diet when they begin breastfeeding. The answer to that’s no. You’re allowed the same amount of calories you used to take before you became pregnant. In fact, this will help you with weight loss right after birth. There aren’t really any foods you need to stop eating. You can go on enjoying the food both you and your family like eating. Including those few special meals you guys love.  

As for how eating habits affect newborn babies, there aren’t any known special foods that help a mother make more milk. Some foods, however, you’ll find can cause your baby to suffer stomach upsets. If you come across any foods like that try avoiding them and then see what that results in but if your baby doesn’t end up feeling better then consult your child’s doctor and seek his guidance immediately.  

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Nevertheless, below are a few important nutritional tips that you should consider keeping in mind during breastfeeding; 

-.Ensure you’re keeping constantly hydrated by drinking as many fluids as you can. But remember, your fluid intake will neither increase nor decrease the amount of milk your body produces. Drink whenever you’re feeling thirsty and when you notice your urine getting dark yellow you should take that as a sign for you to add more fluids. One very common suggestion is to take a beverage or glass of water every breastfeeding session you have.      

– Avoid beverages with added sugars, for instance, the likes of fruit drinks and sodas. 

– Keep track of your daily caffeine intake and make it as low as you possibly can. Drinking moderate amounts (such as maybe 1 or 2 cups per day) of caffeinated drinks or just coffee will not cause complications for most breastfeeding newborns. Drinking too much caffeine may cause your infant to not sleep well, be irritable and fussy.  

– Consult your physician about taking supplements. Mineral and vitamin supplements should never act as a replacement for healthy eating. With that said, in addition to the healthy food options, a few breastfeeding mothers usually find themselves needing a mineral and multivitamin supplement.  

– While diets don’t affect your breastmilk’s overall composition, it can affect the number of minerals and vitamins your newborn is getting. For instance, vegetarian or vegan mothers can lack enough vitamin B12. These type of mothers should ensure they have enough of that particular vitamin in their diet. This includes eggs as well as dairy products. Vegans, on the other hand, might need an additional B12 supplement with their levels being monitored throughout the pregnancy duration. 

– Another glaring concern for most breastfeeding mothers is Vitamin D. Especially due to the fact that most newborn children are kept away from the sun by their mothers, This type of vitamin is usually found in fatty fish, certain kinds of margarine and eggs. It’s also found in supplement form as well. Those babies that are born during the winter season are especially susceptible to such poor vitamin D statuses.  

-Both pregnancies, as well as breastfeeding, take their toll on a mother’s bone calcium levels. Consuming some seeds, nuts, dairy products, green vegetables and tinned fish with their bones still intact are a good daily source of calcium. 

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– The growth of your newborn alongside at the very least two bowel movements per day will assist you in knowing whether your newborn infant is getting a sufficient amount of breastmilk. Your clinic or hospital visits are what will help you closely monitor this growth.     

How To Tell They’re Not Getting Enough Milk 

At first, the breastfeeding process can be a lot like a guessing game. Oh, how many mothers wished there was a tiny millimeter measure they could use to know whether their baby is getting enough milk. Realizing your baby’s hunger is one thing, how to know whether they’ve had enough is a whole different ball game. With that said, always keep some breastmilk at hand. Breast pumps are perfect for this scenario. My Traveling Baby does well when it comes to reviewing gear that can help make things a bit easier for you in this aspect. Anyway, here are some helpful tips. 

1. If He/She Is Having Five To Eight Dry And/Or Wet Nappies Daily  

This normally equates to the ratio of a diaper change per breastfeeding session. Seeing newborn stool should normally be a very frequent affair. They are explosive, yellow and can sometimes appear to be watery and loose. When you see this take it as a good sign that your newborn is getting sufficient milk. It’s really that simple. 

2. Weighing Your Newborn Weekly For At least The 1st Six Weeks  

You’ll definitely notice a funny breast feeling during the first weeks of breastfeeding. If that feeling disappears after a while, do not be alarmed. It’s simply your body telling you that it has finally adjusted itself to the milk production sequence. so if the breast starts feeling soft all of a sudden during your breastfeeding campaign, don’t panic. 

3. Follow Your Child’s Cues  

Just the way your baby tells you he’s hungry is equally the way he/she can signal you that they’ve had enough. Sometimes, all you need to do is just pay really close attention to them. When your child stops portraying signs of hunger such as sucking or rooting their fingers might just mean they’ve had enough. If your baby slows down there sucking that also might mean they’ve had their fill of breastmilk.     

Honestly speaking, feeding your newborn breastmilk is encouraging a happy and healthy baby. If your baby isn’t settling well, is irritable and seems unhappy, it may be because they’ve not gotten enough milk in their system and could possibly still be hungry. Newborns generally have no limit to how many times they can feed in a day, so avoid the temptation of forcing them into a regular schedule or routine. When it comes to eating, let them decide. All in all, breastfeeding is nowhere near a walk in the park, however, you never really have to go at it alone. You’ve got assistance and advice available to you in abundance. All you really need to know is just where to look. Hopefully, this article has nudged you in the right direction.                     

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