Birth in the Know

Dieting When Breastfeeding


Dieting when breastfeeding is not recommended, if it’s the kind of dieting where you give up lots of different food, and you’re hungry all the time. Dieting is really about lifestyle changes. If you are breastfeeding, you’ll want to eat a variety of healthy foods. Vegetables, whole grains, low fat proteins and fruit.  We all know what’s considered a healthy diet.

If you’ve been a junk food junky your entire life, it will be challenging to suddenly stop eating all those foods you love.  Maybe you gave some of them up while you were pregnant. Dieting when breastfeeding might look like giving up some of the sugar, or the soda. You can start small, and work your way to a healthy diet.

When you have a baby, and you’re breastfeeding, you spend a lot of time and energy fueling yourself and your baby. You might not have the time to think about a breastfeeding diet.

Don’t forget that what you eat, your baby eats.  It might be a great time to rethink what you eat.  You might consider meal planning vs. dieting when breastfeeding. Your Mom, partner, friend, or doula may have some great recipes they can cook for you. I’m not a nutrition expert, but I do know that eating healthfully and exercising is beneficial for your physical and mental health.

People always want to help after a baby is born. Enroll them into the cooking and meal planning. Many communities organize meal trains through churches and other organizations.

If you’ve always eaten healthfully, share recipes with the people that’ll be cooking for you. Dieting when breastfeeding will be seamless.  Let others cook for you no matter what.  You might find that you are extra hungry, and that’s okay. Have some snacks available like fruit salad, crackers and peanut butter, or nuts.

Breastfeeding doesn’t require you to give up foods you love, or to do anything special.  It’s more about feeding yourself and your baby the best nutrition you can.  Your baby is growing rapidly, and will take from you what’s needed. If you find yourself exhausted, that can be normal. Sleep and nutrition go together. They are both important for healing and day to day functioning.

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