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Breastfeeding mamas need specific nutrients to ensure they are able to produce a healthy milk supply, as well as take care of their body postpartum. Nutrition is so important during the postpartum period, and most of the nutritional needs for breastfeeding mamas can be solved with a healthy, clean diet.
As a Pre/Postnatal Fitness Specialist, I am a firm believer in food and fitness for postpartum mamas. I LOVE food, but my love for food transcends cravings for icky chemicals and artificial tastes. I LOVE nourishing my body, so it can function properly. This takes time, and I’ve learned the importance of nourishing your body while breastfeeding after breastfeeding three babies for over a year each. Proper nutrient intake can make all the difference in your breast milk supply and your weight loss, which is why I created my full, nutrient-dense program with a meal plan, grocery lists, recipes for milk supply and weight loss, and lots more. I’ve recently developed this program into an app available on both the App Store and Google Play, and so many mamas are loving the program.
I am going to go over 5, important nutrients you can focus on while breastfeeding. These nutrients are very helpful for producing a healthy milk supply, as well as keeping mama healthy and happy.
In addition, I am going to mention some nutritional supplements that can help ensure you are getting enough of this specific nutrient in your diet. This will help give you options if it is difficult to eat specific foods, or stick to a nutrient-dense diet. Nutritional supplements can really be a game-changer for breastfeeding mamas trying to lose the baby weight. It is hard to eat enough to keep your supply happy, while still lose weight. Constant sugar cravings don’t help either! Nutrition is one of the building blocks for healthy and sustainable milk supply, so I’ve put together a very special lists of nutritional supplements that are amazing for milk supply. I have a very popular post on protein powders for breastfeeding mamas, which is a great read if you are struggling to get protein in your life.
Here are 5 important nutrients for breastfeeding:
It’s been proven that the fat you eat enters your breast milk. I wrote a detailed post on how to make your milk richer and fattier, but basically that fat is very important to baby’s development, and you can make sure you have healthy fats present for baby by eating them! This omega-3 by Ora Organics is amazing! Literally 2 capsules and you get 500mg of vegan DHA per serving. Sustainably sourced from algae that is cultivated sustainably in an enclosed system to ensure minimal impact on the marine ecosystem.
Protein is very important for postpartum mamas to heal, repair cells and produce breast milk. Our bodies don’t narually make protein, we need to consume it. Because we are also providing a baby with nutrients, protein and carbs (breast milk), protein is essential to take in. The protein source ideally needs to be a clean protein source. This means that high-fat stakes, ribs, or bacon aren’t the best options unless you are going for organic, grass-fed. It is more and more difficult to get clean sources of protein, so that is why I opt for a delicious, CLEAN, protein powder. I wrote all about why this is the cleanest protein powder for new moms and babies, as well as why it is the best protein powder for postpartum weight loss. I love this protein powder because it is pure, full of various plant-based proteins including pea protein, brown rice, chia seeds, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds!
Lots of Greens For Vitamin C, Calcium + Vitamin K:
Eating your greens like broccoli, spinach, kale and romaine lettuce is really important while breastfeeding. These greens are super foods, and they carry essential nutrients like Vitamin C (helps repair cells and heal postpartum), Vitamin K, Calcium and more. The phytonutrients act as antioxidants for healing as well, and all of these support a healthy and happy mama, which has extra nutrients to deliver to baby through breast milk. Many people have trouble eating a lot of greens. I LOVE to roast mine, but that does cut down on some of the nutrients. Ora Organics has a great Greens Powder that is one of my favorite ways to add in more greens to my life. This product is certified USDA Organic and made from over 20 veggies, grasses, herbs, algae and superfoods. The alkaline veggies helps detoxify the body, deliver high amounts of antioxidants and provide greens specific phytonutrients. It also has Ayurvedic herbs Ashwagandha and Triphala which boost the immune system, support stress relief, aid in digestion and add powerful cleansing antioxidants!! Seriously amazing for breast feeding mamas. There are also prebiotics, which are good bacteria for digestion, and it isn’t artificially sweetened at all.
Zinc for Cell and Blood Support:
Zinc is really important to support your cells for recovery postpartum. Your cells are repairing both inside and outside from birth, which zinc plays a major role in this repair process. Having healthy cells is really important, and you can find zinc in many foods like eggs, fish, nuts and seeds. Having some healthy trail mix with a variety of nuts and seeds, particularly pumpkin seeds is really helpful!
Carbohydrates for energy:
Carbohydrates are a macro nutrient that are really important to breastfeeding mamas because they feed our brain energy. Carbohydrates are the brains first choice of fuel, and play a major role in our functioning. Because many mamas are worried about weight loss, often times carbohydrates can be reduced, but that isn’t always the best idea when breastfeeding. Healthy carbohydrates are the ones like sweet potatoes, quinoa, fresh fruit, vegetables, beans and some sprouted breads. These all are packed with nutrients and fiber, which keep the sugar spikes to a minimum, but provide a lot of energy and extra nutritional value. Sticking to these carbs can really help keep your energy up and running all day, and in my program, I am a big proponent of healthy, well-rounded meals full of clean foods. No low-carb only, or tracking as much as every meal needs to be necessary and full of nutrients.