Looking for Healthy Foods to Gain Proper Intake to Breastfeed Baby

Updated on July 08, 2008
M.B. asks from Commerce City, CO
18 answers

Currently, I am pregnant with my second baby. He is due via Csection in 2 weeks. I was wondering if anyone out there had ideas about diet and breast feeding. I breastfed my daughter, however I ate junk food because I kept feeling deprived and hungry. Anyway, this time around I really must take care of myself. I am much heavier this time than with daughter. Also, I have health issues Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome w/ insulin resistence. I was on Metformin prior to pregnancy and it helped with my metabolism. I never really lost weight...just was able to stay away from sweets and junk food easier. With daughter, I ended up going on Metformin as she got older, however I found out now that I should have never been on Met. while breast feeding. So, now with baby boy on his way I am already worrying about consuming enough calories and feeling "content" enough to breastfeed and to have adequate milk supply. I need to stay away from juice, simple sugars ect. Any ideas of things healthy that "fill you" up? This may all sound crazy, however for once I am trying to take care of myself and hopefully my breast fed baby to be.

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C.K.

answers from Denver on

Hi there-
I have PCOS and insulin resistance, too. I waited until I was completely finished breastfeeding before going back on Metformin. Too bad your doctor did not tell you about that. Anyway, don't eat too much fruit--fruit is good for you but also has lots of carbs in it. Eat more veggies and exercise. The exercise will jump start your metabolism and help you burn the calories you are eating. Also, you do not need that many extra calories to breastfeed, but it is hard to lose weight while you are nursing because your body won't let you, since it knows you are feeding another body. Good Luck!

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E.H.

answers from Boise on

M., one of the best things I ate while breastfeeding both my children was dairy. String cheese with a few crackers or yogurt with granola both filled me up really well. I was the same way with junk food and especially sugar and the best way I found to avoid it was keep it out of the house.

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

LOTS of water!! You need only 600 extra calories a day to breast feed. So figure about how much you need without breast feeding (to get to the weight you want) then add 600 calories to that. Look for choices from the food pyramid: whole grains, fruits and lots of veggies, 2 servings of meat and one other protein, 4 servings of diary (2 glasses of milk, a cheese, and a yogurt would be great). One sweet is okay, but watch serving size. That should be plenty to fill out your caloric needs and there are so many choices you should be able to feel full enough. And I can't emphasize enough the lots of water - it will help you feel full when you don't need to eat as much and is sooo essential in maintaining an adequate supply

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R.T.

answers from Boise on

Me too, me too! I also have PCOS, taking Metformin, breastfead...so here is my advice. First drink tons of water, often hunger is the first sign of dehydration so always drink a glass of water when you feel hungry first. Secondly I found my hands were always full of newborn baby so I needed snacks rather than meals throughout the day. Cheese cubes and Kashi whole grain crackers are so easy and yummy! Cereal straight out of the box, again try the Kashi GoLean Crunch, it is super yummy (why I eat it) but it is also good for you, go figure, it has fiber and protein so it will fill you up and stay with you. I also filled the freezer with Lean Pockets, again, easy one handed food for when I was starving. Try buying precut veggies if you can afford them then make it easy to snack on them with ranch or peanut butter. I also slice apples and put in the fridge so I can easily snack on them throughout the day. PB and J sandwiches on whole grain bread will satisfy and fill you up. I never snacked so much as when I was breastfeeding (I breastfead for over 2 years) but my snacks replaced meals most of the time. I lost a bunch of weight and the baby grew a ton so it worked for me, hope this helps and good luck.

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C.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I found it really helpful to have a ready supply of nuts and granola (the kind they sell at costco in the baked-goods section) in the location where I nursed and next to my bed for when I was feeding in the middle of the night. Whole fruits have a lower glycemic index because of all the fiber also. Another idea for milk production is taking an herbal supplement. I did that with my second baby and my milk production tripled. I think the stuff I took was just called "More Milk" from the health food store. Best of luck with all of this!

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H.G.

answers from Denver on

Hi M.!

I would suggest eating whole foods- fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc. Start a garden (its not too late!) and this can really help with costs. Your eating "junk" foods might be your body calling out for more nutrition. Try adding good fats to your diet- Omega 3's, flaxseed oil, etc and some good nutritional supplements (I personally use and love Shaklee!). The key for me to keep my blood sugar in check is to eat protein with everything. I don't eat anything sweet without some kind of protein- otherwise, my blood sugar takes a nose dive, and it gets ugly :-)

For your milk, I would encourage you to try Motherloves More Milk Special Blend. It was created to help those with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome- so I think it would work really well for you. To take a further look at it, go to http://www.naturalchoices4baby.com/catalog.php?item=28 If you are interested in getting this, send me an email and I'll send you a discount code for your order.

I am glad that you recognize the need to take care of yourself! It can be hard, but with good information and support, you can make these healthy changes! Not only will you be healthier- your kids will grow up with good food and be healthier themselves!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!
H. Gaitten
[email protected]____.com
www.naturalchoices4baby.com

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J.L.

answers from Pocatello on

Check out diabetes sites for healthy, non-carb or slow absorbing carb snacks. My daughter is diabetic and she enjoys nuts, fruit, carrot sticks, whole wheat crackers, cheese, milk, etc. Some of the best advice I got was to eat foods that remember where they come from. It means to eat foods that have not been processed much if at all.

I also have found a healthy, yummy, sugar-free shake you can make. Put 1 cup of milk and 1 frozen banana and blend. You can add berries if you like (I love it with berries). It is very sweet because of the banana and has the consistency of a thick shake so it is very satisfying when you are craving a sweet. I actually put in a few baby carrots sometime and because carrots are so sweet it is still really good.

If you are really just dying for a sweet and something junky you can have diet soda. I would recommend doing this rarely though because it's just not good for you, but it won't mess with your insulin levels. There are also sugar free candies, cookies, and bars. As with soda, only eat these when you are desperate.

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H.W.

answers from Boise on

Eat all the fruit (there's your sweet cravings) and veggies (keeps you full) that you can. Try to limit starchy veggies like corn and peas and potatoes. Go for spinach, broccoli and squash. By the by, strawberries are fabulous in spinach salad. If you think of it from the perspective of "I can eat all the fruits and veggies I want" it doesn't feel so limiting. Good luck!

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J.P.

answers from Denver on

Oatmeal, nut butter sandwiches, sweet potatoes, all fruits, whole grain pasta....

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K.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

if you need help financially,try wick or your bishop or preacher. with eating, eat your food groups. drink plenty of water and eat fruits vegetables, protein (i do peanut butter, beans, and meat for protein), and dairy. if you're allergic to dairy, there are substitutes like soy and tofu, which is yummy. :)

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A.H.

answers from Denver on

What about adding nuts or avocado slices to a salad, or having oatmeal for breakfast with nuts and raisins or cherries, etc? That will add some good fats and calories that will sustain you a bit. Plain yogurt with fruit and nuts is a great snack too. Someone once told me to have a salad a day, and it was such great advice. I just keep greens around all the time and then throw whatever else I have around that sounds good to it: boiled egg, grilled chicken, random vegetables, etc. The vegetables and good fats might help with the PCOS as well. It's a nice feeling to eat healthy while nursing your baby, no wonder you're asking. :) Good luck.

A.

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D.P.

answers from Denver on

Ask if your doctor can recommend a nutritionist- they will sit with you, listen to what you like and offer suggestions on how to satisfy your fulfillment needs as well as dietary needs. Even provide recipes. If your insurance doesn't cover it then treat yourself to a good whole foods cook book and resolve to educate yourself on nutrition. Know that fresh herbs makes dull food taste better. Put a dash of juice or a lemon wedge in your water to make it more palatable. Sweets in moderation. Resolve to make this lifestyle change for your body and to set a good example for your kids. You can do it!

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J.K.

answers from Denver on

I would talk to your Dr. or Ped. they can give you a proper diet for breastfeeding and beyond.

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M.H.

answers from Denver on

Hi M.. I have PCOS as well, and know how important a proper diet is to controlling the symptoms of that. One thing I found, was that if I elimanate ALL sugar and grains from my diet for one week, my sugar cravings stop. Then I can add in whole, unprocessed grains (not breads) like brown rice, barley in soup, steel cut oatmeal, etc... and not have those cravings for sweet things. However, for this to work, you have to continue to stay away from sugar--even the sugars in things like ketchup and BBQ sauce and salad dressings. Anything with sugar or corn syrup in the ingredients. One really satisfying thing from me is a cut up apple dipped in natural peanut butter (no sugar added). I cut the apple into 8 pieces, and use that as a snack--grabbing a slice from a plate on the counter whenever I walk by. The apple satisfies my sweet tooth and the protein and fat in the peanut butter help me to continue to feel full.

For me, with milk production, I found I needed more carbs breastfeeding, but I did better with my weight if most of them came from fruits and veggies, with just a few from grains or starchy veggies like potatoes.

Good Luck. Enjoy your little one!

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S.M.

answers from Casper on

Read all these links:

http://health.msn.com/fitness/articlepage.aspx?cp-documen...

http://www2.oprah.com/health/beauty/health_beauty_superfo...

Another list I said mentioned beets. They suggested eating them raw on a salad. Oh, that reminds me, speaking of raw, raw nuts are especially healthy too! So are raw vegetables, except tomatoes (for some reason they contain more lycopene when cooked) and broccoli (which is better for you steamed, I can't remember why. more potassium?)

http://www.cspinet.org/nah/10foods_bad.html

One thing I keep on hand - I need to go buy more is squash. You can get it in a box, pop the box in the micro for a few minutes, add honey (not sugar!) and you're done.

When you get the munchies, according to my husband (who has studied nutrition a lot because of his horrible disease), especially if you want cake and treats, it means you are low on your omega 3s from healthy oils, like flaxseed oil, which I put on tunafish and in my peanut butter, and on taboule.

http://www2.healthtalk.com/go/health-now/webcasts/what-ar...

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/lf_hl_nutritional_all-sta...

Good luck!

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J.D.

answers from Denver on

Hi there- i agree with the others about eating as many fruits and veggies as possible. i tried to start the day with a really good breakfast--like a scrambled egg with frozen chopped spinach and cheese (parm or asiago is yummy), with bread & fruit. That way, at least your day starts in a healthy manner. i keep nuts on hand, as well as granola bars so that when i am hungry on the go, i'll eat that instead of junk food. i also eat yogurt with granola and berries/fruit several times a week. you could also check out using agave nectar in smoothies and in place of sugar. it's yummy. we also eat tortilla chips with salsa instead of potato chips and pita chips with roasted garlic hummus--takes care of the junk food need, but in a healthy manner. Drink tons of water. Hang in there & good luck!

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S.T.

answers from Colorado Springs on

well, any time that you are hungry you should eat, and this REALLY goes for when you are nursing. My problem was always eating out of bordem, I wasent really hungry-just needing to fill my hands with something to do, and therefore eating junk. I found a few things that helped me while nursin gmy babes: continue taking your prenatal vitamins, load up on the "super foods" like spinach, bell peppers, cauliflower, walnuts,blueblerries and other fruits and veggies. spinach salad with waknuts and chunks of chicken breast. keep cut up fruit/veggies in bowls in the fridge fo easy snacking; like cut up nectarine,peaches, apples, baby carrots, snap peas.If you MUST have a sweet treat try angel food cake(its fat free!) with strawberries, buy the skinny cow ice cream bars that are low fat/calories, keep your fav sweet cereal in the house like captian crunch, keep frozen yogurt or sherbert in the house (usually fat free). Google "superfoods" it will list all of them, and maybe you can find some healthy filling recipes. good luck!

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J.A.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi M.,
A great food to add to your diet is coconut oil. It has caprilyc acid which is the same thing in breast milk and it excellent for breastfeeding. Coconut oil also speeds up your metabolism which helps shed those pounds. It is a very nourishing food which has been used for centuries in Asian countries. If you want to research it for yourself check out www.coconutoil.com . We have been buying our oil from a from Tropical Traditions on the internet.

Good luck with taking care of yourself and your health. It is definitely worth it!

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