You do not need a special breastfeeding diet in order to provide the right nutrients in your breast milk, but you do need to eat a well-balanced diet and add an extra 500 cal to your diet daily.

Whether you make nourishing your body a priority or not, your body will still make its main priority milk production. Your baby's needs will be satisfied before yours. In fact, your baby, who weighs only a few pounds, will receive nearly 1,000 calories per day in breast milk! This should explain losing weight while breastfeeding

The best Diet for breastfeeding mothers is to eat lots of the following:
- Bell peppers, squash, green beans, avocado, chickpeas, artichokes, broccoli, spinach
- Apples, berries, plums, peaches, melons, tomatoes, papaya, grapefruit
- Fish, turkey
- Whole wheat bread, rye bread, brown rice, soy nuts, lentils
- Sunflower seeds

Foods to avoid while breastfeeding
- Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish, king mackerel (They have a high mercury content)
- Tuna (No more than one tuna steak or two 170g cans a week)
- Coffee (limit to two cups a day)
- Using artificial sweeteners like saccharin (a sucralose sweetener is safe)
- Stay away from processed foods, they contain too many additives

Extra vitamins & nutrients needed in your breastfeeding diet:
- Calcium: A minimum of 1,000mg is needed daily. Foods that contain calcium: Yoghurt, milk, cheeses, salmon, sesame seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, tofu and kale. You should eat four serving of any one of these every day. For babies with milk intolerances mom can take a calcium supplement like calcium lactate which contains no milk proteins
- Folic acid: Found in asparagus, cabbage, corn, chickpeas, spinach and orange juice.
- Zink: You need 20 mg every day. Foods that you can eat that could help if you don’t like taking supplements: Eggs, meat, oats, peanuts and prawns.
- DHA & AA: These are two very important fats needed for baby’s brain development. Foods that contain these fats are: Nuts, green vegetables, sunflower oil and fatty fish like herring, sardines, and anchovies
- Choline: Also needed for baby’s brain development. Foods rich in Choline: Eggs and beef.
- Don’t forget to add a multivitamin to your breastfeeding diet make sure that it’s one that contains iron. Eat foods containing iron every day. Red meat is the best source. For non-meat sources like breakfast cereal or green vegetables, include some vitamin C like a glass of orange juice with the same meal to increase iron absorption.

Herbal medication that is safe during breastfeeding
- Vitamin D: Foods that contain Vitamin D to add to your breastfeeding diet: Oily fish, margarine and dairy products. 

Things that can irritate the baby through your breast milk-( food intolerance):

Each baby reacts differently to the foods his mother consumes. If your baby is particularly disturbed one day, try to remember what you have eaten in the past twenty-four hours. If one food seems suspect, remove it from your breastfeeding diet for a while. Your baby may not have any problems at all with what you eat. However, if he does complain after a feeding, ask yourself if you've eaten any of the usual culprit foods:
- Dairy: A potential allergen.

- Egg whites and wheat
- Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions and brussel sprouts cause gassiness sometimes.
- Coffee, tea and chocolate
- Medication

Breastfeeding diet tips:
- Try to consume at least three fat servings daily. This could be vegetable oils, butter or mayonnaise. Eat mostly unsaturated fats like olive oil.- Drink a total 2L of water every day.
- Stay away from tobacco. Nicotine passes directly through the breast milk to baby. If you cannot do this then at least make sure that your last cigarette is at least an hour apart from your next feeding session.
- Stay away from alcohol, it can retard baby’s growth.
- Stay away from any drugs that are not proscribed by your doctor, like laxatives.
- Try to stay away from excess sugary or salty foods.
- New scientific study shows that a breastfeeding diet containing organic dairy and meat products instead of conventional products has improved results with fatty acid content in breast milk.

Breastfeeding and weight loss (postpartum weight loss):
Your baby will be consuming up to 1,000 calories from your breast milk each day. Most mothers lose weight after baby (sometimes after only a month they have lost all postpartum weight), others say they just can’t seem to lose the extra pounds during breastfeeding. It seems that it’s really up to the mother's body, lifestyle and the mother's diet... 


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