A newborn baby is a wonderful experience for all those new moms out there, and there aren’t many things in life that give you a better opportunity to bond with your little one than breast feeding. It can be very demanding, though, so it’s important to get enough rest, exercise, and eat well. Since it can be incredibly draining, your energy level will go down on those busy days that your are taking care of your baby – it’s vital that you take care of yourself and your infant during this time.
One important way to take care of both of you is to make sure you’re both comfortable and stress-free during nursing. A way you can accomplish this is to make sure you have an assortment of plush and comfortable breast feeding pillows to use while nursing. Some can even be positioned under your tot that that will allow them to get gentle vibrations that massage them while they nurse. What a soothing way for you and your little one to get to know each other!
Another way to take care of yourself involves getting essential nutrients from wholesome and delicious food. You’ll be able to dip into your energy stores better with a diet that is high in fiber and protein. These nutrients allow stabilization of blood sugar that allows you to have consistent energy all day. Here are some suggested nutritional food ideas and recipes that fight postpartum fatigue and increase the supply and quality of the milk you feed your infant:
To reap the best nutritional benefits and build your energy levels up while nursing, it’s important to digest foods that are high in protein. Vegetable protein meets those requirements, and it’s a nutrient most individuals tend to neglect. Try chickpeas, lentils, peanuts and dried beans that are rich in both iron and protein. This food group is especially important if you are a nursing mom following a vegetarian diet. If you’re looking for a quick snack, you’ll find hummus, raw vegetables and whole-grain pita chips to be an excellent source of fiber.
Oatmeal the Super Food
Most busy moms fail to realize the importance of eating right when breast feeding. It helps keep your body in tip-top shape and some foods, like oats, will increase your milk supply when breast feeding. Oatmeal is easy to make and high in fiber, protein, and iron. You can also cook a large batch and portion it out in smaller containers for an easy breakfast or snack. Try adding fruits, nuts, honey, and Greek yogurt to your recipe to get an extra boost of fiber.
Moms should drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially after they nurse. While milk, green tea and water can help you stay hydrated, you may want to drink something energizing and delicious that is a little more filling. You can try making a high-protein smoothie by placing a 1/2 a banana, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 cup of milk and ice into a blender. Mix together and enjoy.
Eggs are another essential food that is high in protein. If you’re looking for a convenient snack, try cooking hard boiled eggs and keeping them in the refrigerator to munch on. You can also prepare a healthy omelet by mixing together a couple of eggs, low-fat milk, cheese, and some vegetables such as grilled spinach, mushrooms or asparagus. Add a couple of pieces of whole-grain toast to sneak some fiber in, and you have a bountiful breakfast, perfect for any nursing mom.
Yogurt is a convenient snack that is rich in protein, vitamin D and calcium. You can take your yogurt eating experience to the next level with a parfait. In a glass or bowl, you can start by layering a few tablespoons of your favorite yogurt. You can then add fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries or raspberries. Top that with a layer of yogurt and repeat the layers. When you get to the top, you can lightly drizzle your parfait with honey.
Red Meat and Fish
Lean beef can also provide energy to a nursing mom who is battling fatigue. A lean filet or hamburger can make for a delicious and nutritious lunch or dinner. You can serve your filet sliced by a bed of greens and top it with bleu cheese or chopped egg, vegetables and a low-fat salad dressing. Fresh fish is also a good source of protein to provide mom with some needed energy. You can also make broiled salmon topped with olive oil and serve it over grilled greens for a delicious and healthy entree. Don’t like fish? substitute firm, grilled tofu in the place of the salmon.
Pumpkin Pick Me Up
This pumpkin smoothie deserves special mention because it’s both tasty and packs an energy punch. It’s also loaded with beta-carotene, a strong, natural antioxidant that strengthens your immune system. Try substituting the canned pumpkin with fresh pumpkin when it’s in season.
Mix the ingredients in this smoothie together and top with some toasted and chopped pumpkin seeds for the extra benefit of their cancer-fighting properties.
• 1 cup of milk
• 1/3 cup of canned pumpkin
• 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
• 1 level scoop of vanilla-flavored protein powder
• 1 level scoop of chai-flavored protein powder
• 2 Tbs. of honey
• 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1 cup of ice
Nursing your infant can be nutritionally depleting and leave you feeling tired and listless. However, incorporating protein and fiber enriched foods into your diet like the ones in this article can give you the energy your body requires to properly care for your baby. There are other things you can do to keep your energy levels high, such as eating five small meals a day and resisting the urge to diet. Breast feeding alone has some pound shedding benefits, so don’t stress your body with strict diets.
Holly Chavez is a freelance author who has two children who breastfed. She didn’t know they had automatic bottle warmers and breast feeding pillows when she had her kids, or she would have definitely gotten them. She took prenatal classes to learn about breastfeeding and really benefited from them. She learned several useful nursing facts in the class, such as how breast feeding helps get your uterus back in shape, and that you can consume an extra 500 calories a day while nursing.
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