Can a Mother’s Diet Affect Their Breastmilk?

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To answer the article title’s question, no. Although what mothers eat during pregnancy does have a profound impact on their baby’s development, what they eat after delivery is no longer that important from a developmental standpoint.

Although, the long answer is that some of the foods that they can eat may somehow affect milk production, but the thing that people should remember is that you can be more forgiving about what you eat if your baby is already born.

You see, a mother’s body is primed to produce milk no matter what they eat. That is because it is biology’s way of making sure that the mother is able to provide for the child regardless of social status or famine. In fact, some mothers are known to overproduce milk in that they would require baby milk bottles just to store the extras.

That being said, even though you can eat a lot of foods that you normally shouldn’t eat during pregnancy, it is crucial that you still eat in moderation since your added weight may impact how much milk you’re going to produce.

Why Calories Are Important

Producing breastmilk requires a lot of energy and that is why most mothers feel that they are hungry throughout the day. Although you do not have to do some calorie counting, having a sensible diet is necessary.

I would also advocate that you eat foods that are rich in Iron and folate as it can help increase your energy, vitality, as well as have an impact on the quality of the breastmilk you produce as well.

According to Dr. Katherine A. Dettwyler, anthropologist and breastfeeding researcher, she said that almost all of the women in the world eat more rice and carbohydrates and add some protein into their diets because these foods will not only help keep them satiated but it also ensures that their bodies are given the energy it needs to produce a lot of milk.

So, what about those dietary tips that would somehow require women to eat healthier  foods? Well, the reason why some mothers and nutritionists advise new mothers to eat healthy foods is for their general health. A healthy mother often produces milk without any problems and your overall health can also impact your psychology as well. A healthy mother recovers from postpartum depression much quicker than those who have bad diets.

So, What is Needed?

There are only three things that you need to concern yourself with in terms of your milk production and they are calories, liquids, and satiety.

For the most part, you want to eat calorie-rich foods (not junk foods!) in order to meet the energy requirements of your body to keep producing milk.

Of course, you also want to make sure that your fluid intake is on point as well. A general idea of when you should take fluids is if you are thirsty and that’s it.

With regards to satiety, just listen to your body. If you are hungry, eat. If you are thirsty, drink.