For women that breastfeed, breastmilk supply and composition is influenced by many factors including:
- Body composition (either underweight or overweight)
- Natural daily variations
- Stage of lactation
- Daily energy intake (specifically if undereating)
- Dietary macronutrients (how much protein, fat and carbohydrates are being consumed daily)
- Hydration levels (influenced by daily amount of water and diuretic substances consumed, temperature and activity level)
This means there are things we can do to help with maintaining a healthy breastmilk supply.
- Eat three meals a day.
- Add in one to two snacks based on hunger levels between meals.
- Have quality protein, low GI carbohydrates and beneficial fats with each meal.
- Drink plenty of water (have a 500mL water bottle in the kitchen and aim to have one to three bottles each day)
Here are some extra tips:
- Before birth, stock up on nutrient-dense, easy to prepare freezer meals.
- After birth, take up any offers from your support network to provide meals for the freezer.
- Double the recipe when cooking dinner to put in the freezer for another night.
- Make a big batch of easy to grab meals or snacks to keep in the fridge (muesli, bliss balls as a slice, poached mixed berries).
- Make meals as easy as possible (one-pot stews or soups, smoothies, salads, tray-bake meals, whole fruit, nuts, yoghurt snacks)
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