How Many Extra Calories Do You Really Need After Birth?
Today’s I want to prepare you for after you’ve had your baby!
There’s so much confusion about what to eat and how much to eat after you have your baby.
Bottom line is if you breastfeed you need to eat an extra 300 calories a day. But this does not mean 300 extra calories of junk food!
To produce good quality milk, a nursing mom needs an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat and most minerals—so it’s important to have B6, B12, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D in your diet. Do not consume less than this or it may hinder your milk production and affect your baby’s nutrition.
Make sure you eat a well balanced diet, full of good quality protein and lots of fruit and vegetables. This will help you stay alert, in a good mood, and not to mention, regular with your bowels (which can be a BIG problem for a lot of breastfeeding women!).
- If you’re planning on breastfeeding, here are some great tips:
- Drink tons of fluid because your hydration level affects your milk output. Aim for at least eight to ten glasses of water a day!
- Keep away from spicy, garlicky foods, especially at the beginning. I slowly started introducing more foods at around four months and that worked very well.
- Don’t wash your nipples with soap, warm water is good enough.
- If your nipples get irritated, squeeze some breast milk on them and rub in. Warm wet compresses also work well.
- Relax! Stressing out will affect your milk flow.
What to watch for in baby:
Make sure baby is latching on correctly. This means a wide-open mouth like a yawn over your areola. Breast-feeding shouldn’t be painful!
Expect to feed a lot—new babies eat at least eight times in twenty-four hours (and feeds are very long in the beginning, but they do get a lot shorter when your baby gets more efficient at drinking!)
When your baby is born his/her stomach is the size of a walnut, so don’t panic if you feel he/she is not drinking a lot—aim for small, frequent feeds.
Make sure your baby has lots of wet diapers to keep hydrated. A baby should wet at least six diapers per day.
For more tips for New Moms click here.