When you are breastfeeding, drinking fluids is even more important than when you are pregnant. If during the nine months there was a continuous mother-fetus interchange, with breastfeeding, the baby draws a considerable amount of water from the mother (which is the main component of milk!), without ‘giving it back’.
About 85% of the milk composition is water, which is why the mother’s water needs increase. Those who experience breastfeeding know well that while breastfeeding or immediately afterwards one feels very thirsty; it is a natural physiological mechanism that allows you to restore maternal water reserves immediately necessary to maintain a good state of hydration of the mother and to allow a continuous and cyclical production of milk.
It is therefore important to drink at least two liters of water per day, a dose that it will be advisable to increase even more in summer, when you add the waste of liquids represented by sweat. Finally, remember that the more you drink, the more you make the milk fluid and easily absorbed by the baby.
What to drink during pregnancy besides water?
Not just water: herbal teas are also good as long as they are unsweetened. However, the consumption of fruit juices is not recommended due to the inadequate supply of simple sugars.
Drinking alcohol while pregnant? Better not
Better to avoid alcohol, both for the effects that alcohol can have on the baby, and because it lowers the pH of the milk, making it more acidic, with the result that the child may refuse to drink it.
No to excessive consumption of tea or coffee, because the caffeine passes into the milk and could create a state of excitement in the baby. 1 coffee per day allowed, when you want to drink it – in the morning with milk, mid-morning or at the end of lunch – at other times, better a barley coffee, a decaffeinated tea or green tea, which contains less theine compared to black tea.
There is no need to eat more protein while breastfeeding. so ok a
- meat 3 times a week,
- alternating with fish (3 to 6 times a week)
- eggs (maximum 2 per week)
- and cheeses (two or three times a week.
However, the need for calcium increases.
Legumes during breastfeeding
They are perfect when paired with pasta or rice: thus they form a complete dish with fiber, complex carbohydrates and vegetable proteins. Perfect beans, chickpeas and peas.
But can they cause fermentation? Only if it is used too much. However, to make them more digestible, they can be blended after cooking: a trick that changes the structure of the fiber.
Sugars and breastfeeding
Better to limit the consumption of simple sugars and give preference to complex ones.
Examples of simple sugars:
- refined sugar
- sugary drinks
Examples of complex sugars:
- other cereals such as spelled, barley and oats
The sweets? Can they be eaten? Two or three times a week yes, but a small portion is better at the end of the meal.
Breastfeeding and fats
The absolute best source of fat remains extra virgin olive oil. It does not change the taste of milk and provides the baby with precious monounsaturated fatty acids.
Fruit? To be consumed 3-4 times a day, preferably in season. Banana is also fine during breastfeeding: rather caloric, it is an excellent source of slowly absorbed sugars and potassium. And the vegetables? It must be a constant at both lunch and dinner, both cooked and raw. The potatoes instead? They are a possible alternative to bread, so they can go well in the evening instead of a sandwich, as a side dish. To be consumed once in a while.
The general advice is to start eating certain types of foods in moderate quantity: if the child likes them, you can go ahead and consume them.
But what are the foods that could interfere with the taste of milk?
- foods that can change the smell of urine or sweat, such as asparagus, onions and garlic
- strong flavored vegetables
- very tasty meats
- very strong spices
- smoked fish
Advice from Dr. Diana Scatozza, a specialist in Food Science with a dietary-dietary approach in Milan.