Mom holding baby and eating food.

 

15 Breastfeeding Superfoods to Add to Your Diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for keeping your body and mind in good condition. Throughout your pregnancy, your body focuses all of its energy on your baby’s development, which is why fueling your cells with nutritious meals is essential. While it’s okay to indulge in cravings every now and again, the majority of your food should be helping your body, not hurting it. Certain foods and beverages not only improve the health of development, but they can also balance your hormones, elevate your mood, and give you the energy you need to conquer each day. Once you deliver your baby, this continues to remain important, especially if you plan on breastfeeding. Your baby will consume everything you do, which is why a healthy diet is the best way to ensure they receive what they need to thrive. Additionally, certain foods can help improve the efficiency of your milk production, allowing you to provide for your baby and create a freezer stash for future use. To help you foster well rounded nutrition, here we’ll discuss 15 breastfeeding superfoods to add to your diet.

The Importance of a Balanced Diet

Breastfeeding burns a lot of energy and can deplete your body of nutrients. While it’s a great way to help get your pre-pregnancy body back, you should still eat a few extra snacks to maintain a healthy energy level. A balanced diet filled with lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and plenty of minerals will help your body and mind function their best, so you can stay focused and clear-headed during the first year with your newborn. The most important part of a balanced diet, however, is that it provides your baby with the best nutrients possible for their development.

The 15 Best Foods for Breastfeeding Moms

Sometimes, it can be difficult to eat right for a healthy breastfeeding experience. Your mood, energy levels, and cravings can make unhealthy choices more appealing than the alternative, but there are plenty of things you can do to help nourish your body during breastfeeding. Try to focus on the big picture, and when you’re in need of a quick snack, consume one of the following 15 best foods for breastfeeding moms.

 

  1. Avocados

    Avocados are filled with essential healthy fats that provide a stable stream of energy and keep you full throughout the day. They’re also a rich source of vitamin E and folate.

     

  2. Nuts

    Nuts are high in healthy fats and filled with antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and protein. Different types of nuts provide benefits to your skin, heart, and bone density. There is some indication that nuts are considered lactogenic and therefore, help your body produce more breast milk. Almonds are especially beneficial for breastfeeding moms as they provide a high source of calcium, which is imperative for milk production. If you have a history of nut allergies in your family, keep them out of your diet until your baby is at least three months old.

     

  3. Seeds

    Like nuts, seeds are packed with healthy fats, calcium, and essential nutrients like magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and copper. Chia seeds are an excellent source of macronutrients and provide a powerful punch of iron, which is important for breastfeeding mothers. Different seeds have different nutritional makeups, so try to incorporate a variety in your diet.

     

  4. Whole Grains

    Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient needed for ongoing energy and stabilized blood glucose levels. However, not all carbohydrates are processed the same in our bodies. To make sure that you’re fueling your cells with healthy carbs, aim to consume whole grains and avoid processed foods. Whole grains include certain types of breads, oatmeal, pasta, and rice. These are considered complex carbohydrates, which take longer to digest and help improve the stability of blood glucose levels. Whole grains will keep you feeling full for longer and provide your body with essential vitamins and fiber. Oatmeal has also been known to help improve milk production in nursing mothers.

     

  5. Turmeric

    There are thousands of practical uses for various herbs and spices found in your kitchen. One of the best herbs for breastfeeding mothers is turmeric. Turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that can help improve your overall health, reduce breast engorgement, and boost the immune system. You can add turmeric to cooked dishes, smoothies, or make a turmeric tea.

    Order Your Insurance Covered Breast Pump

     

  6. Sweet Potatoes

    Sweet potatoes are filled with vitamin A, an essential nutrient that fuels healthy development in your baby. You can add sweet potatoes to almost any meal and they can be made into thousands of types of side dishes.

     

  7. Coconut Water

    Coconut water is packed with healthy electrolytes that can replenish lost nutrients and minerals from breastfeeding. Since hydration is crucial to your health and a successful nursing experience, coconut water is a great alternative to sugary sports drinks or soda.

     

  8. Eggs

    Eggs are great because they can be eaten as part of a meal or alone as a snack. They’re rich in protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, choline, and folate and don’t impacting your overall cholesterol levels. 

     

  9. Green, Leafy Vegetables

    Leafy greens are considered a staple in every healthy, balanced diet. They’re filled with fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins A, E, C, and K. Green, leafy vegetables are low in calories so you can eat as many as you’d like and are versatile enough to use in both sweet and savory dishes. Some of the best options to choose from when breastfeeding include spinach, broccoli, and Swiss chard. While fresh vegetables are always best, you can also use pre-cut or frozen options.

     

  10. Lentils and Legumes

    Lentils and legumes are a great dietary source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They’re filled with phytochemicals that help stimulate the immune system and protect your body from dangerous carcinogens. Phytochemicals have also been shown to reduce oxidative damage to cells and regulate hormones, which is perfect for breastfeeding mothers. Chickpeas are also a known lactogenic, thus increasing your overall milk production. Try to eat about one serving of beans or legumes per day.

     

  11. Apricots

    Apricots are filled with vitamins and minerals that can help increase your levels of the hormone prolactin, which stimulates milk production. While fresh apricots are the best option, you can also eat dried and canned apricots as long as there’s no added sugar. 

     

  12. Fatty Fish

    Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Different sources also help increase overall milk production. Eating about two to three servings of oily types of fish per week will help you improve vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies, which can help to alleviate certain degrees of postpartum depression. Salmon also contains a substantial amount of DHA, which has been shown to improve the overall development of your baby’s nervous system.

     

  13. Yogurt

    Yogurt is packed with probiotics and calcium needed to keep your bones healthy while breastfeeding. When you opt for Greek yogurt, you’ll also enjoy a great source of protein that’s low in sugar. You can add nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit to your yogurt for natural enhancements that will help you improve the success of your nursing sessions. However, if your baby has a dairy intolerance, you should avoid consuming these products until after you’ve finished breastfeeding.

     

  14. Garlic

    Garlic is known for its health benefits, which is why it should be incorporated in every breastfeeding woman’s diet. While there are indications that garlic can help improve length of feedings, the strong taste can be passed down to your baby. If you notice signs of colic after eating garlic, you may want to limit your use of fresh bulbs.

     

  15. Mushrooms

While mushrooms aren’t often seen as an important breastfeeding superfood, they do contain polysaccharide beta-glucan, which is thought to be one of the main principle lactogenic agents that helps stimulate milk production. Even if the research is lacking, mushrooms still provide you with high levels of copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and folate.

 

For additional support during your breastfeeding journey, utilize a breast pump to supplement feedings and keep your baby healthy while you’re away. One of the best ways to do this is to consider your options for insurance covered breast pumps and place your order prior to delivery. If you’re already breastfeeding, don’t worry. You’re still eligible to receive a breast pump with zero out of pocket costs.

Byram Healthcare is here to help you along your breastfeeding journey and into motherhood. We make it easy to order an insurance covered breast pump at any time. Get started with our simple, three-step ordering process today.