Did you know that you need to continue to eat as much, if not maybe more, when you are breastfeeding as you did when you were pregnant? Although the processes change considerably, and you are not providing for your baby in the same way you were before they were born, your need for dense and healthy nutrition is just as important. You are still nurturing a new life, after all.
Making sure that you are staying hydrated and getting the nutrition you need, along with sleep and gentle movement when you can, are the foundations of self-care that will enable you to care for your baby without draining yourself. Focus on nutrient dense foods, which provide you with many of the things that you need in addition to calories, as opposed to empty calories, which provide energy, but not much else. Your body needs abundant nutrition to thrive, heal, and build your baby's milk supply. Now is not the time to try to lose weight or limit your intake of food.
Continue to take your vitamins and nourishing herbs also! You can discuss with your care provider if it’s time to change to a different vitamin, but your body still needs the extra nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. You can also add some nourishing herbs specifically formulated for breastfeeding and after you have your baby. Our Nursing Nectar Tea helps you to stay hydrated, supports healthy digestion, relaxes you, and improves your milk supply. The Nurtured Mother tincture supports you by relieving postpartum cramps, improving uterine tone, and reducing the potential for developing the postpartum blues.
Snacks that you can eat with one hand, portable, stable at room temperature, and have a good mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fat are what you are looking for. Recipes that you, or a friend, can make ahead of time and freeze or store in quantity are also good options. Simple recipes, with simple, wholesome, whole-food ingredients will give you the nutrition and calories you need while you are doing such important work - healing, resting, and feeding your baby.
I have included some links to the recipes below to get you started. However, sometimes a simple carbohydrate and protein combination is all you need. Fruit and cheese, hard-boiled eggs, or fruit and nut butter are always a good and quick option.
Herbal Lactation Smoothie
This delicious smoothie is a meal by its self. It's packed with calcium, iron, protein, antioxidants, and fiber and will nourish and support you while you nourish and support your baby! Drink a smoothie every day to maintain your milk supply.
Baked Goods That Support Lactation
Lactation Cookies: You can find premade lactation cookies and premade mixes if you can't make them yourself. This recipe is a good base for adding your own favorites, such as dried fruit or chocolate chips, and there is also a gluten-free option.
Protein Bars: Premade protein bars sometimes lack the nutrients you need and are often made with ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners, that you may want to steer clear of. This recipe can be customized to suit your own tastes, it's no-bake, gluten-free, and vegan!
Muffins: A good muffin recipe is a great way to have a healthy, quick, family-pleasing snack, or breakfast. This linked recipe contains apples, raisins, and carrots; however, you can add or subtract things based on what you like. Shredded coconut and pineapple, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries, chopped nuts, and mashed banana - the combinations are endless!
Quick Bread: A good quick bread recipe is like a good muffin recipe - delicious with just a hint of sweet, and easy to customize with your favorite additions. This recipe includes oats, which are wonderful for breastfeeding mommas.
Healthy Lactation Treats
Protein balls: These no-bake protein energy balls are made with peanut butter (you can substitute your favorite nut butter) and protein powder for an extra protein boost - and they taste like a chocolate chip cookie!
Granola: Store-bought granola is often super sweet and not that good for you. Making your own allows you to get the tastes that you like, plus add plenty of healthy ingredients to boost your nutrition. It is surprisingly easy to make and you can make it loose like cereal or crisp like a bar. Eat over yogurt or with your favorite milk for an energy boost.
Nutrition does not have to be complicated. Simple, whole food, with a focus on nutrient-dense ingredients, will help to give you what you need while you are healing after the birth of your baby and building your milk supply. And it can be delicious! Bon appetite to you - and your nursling!