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Foods to support breastfeeding

This week is World Breastfeeding Week.  Here Alchemy founder and nutritionist Karen Newby shares her top foods for breastfeeding:

Protein

If you’re breast feeding then do make sure you’re eating enough protein (actually protein is good for all the non breast feeding new mothers too!). So often we crave sugar because we’re so exhausted and this gives us a quick pick me up. However, it then leads to a blood sugar low which then leads to cravings for sugary foods again to bring us back up! Remember that you need to keep eating plenty of protein rich foods and essential fats to help fueling your little one. Protein and fats are digested slower than carbohydrates so they help to give us that drip feed of energy and help to improve the quality of the protein in our milk and to help keep baby satisfied.  It can also help reduce the number of feeds.  Chicken stock, bone broth and chicken soup all good here to increase milk production! 

Fat

Milk also has about 50-60% of its energy provided as fat however fat content of breast milk can vary widely.  Possible reductions can be down to high-carbohydrate & low fat diets. Fat content can be supported by a good balance of natural animal and vegetable foods. Avoid processed food with hydrogenated fats because trans fats can interfere with essential fatty acid metabolism.

Micronutrients

Babies equal no time.  However it’s INCREDIBLY important, and something that isn’t often focussed on as the emphasis switches from pregnancy to nourishing our precious child, that your replenish your body with lost vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids!  This is when smoothie making comes in useful because it takes 2 mins to make and can flood our body with micronutrients to help get us through the day (and night!). Add our Morning Elixir (which is also good for pregnancy) for natural occurring minerals and vitamins for your energy levels – such as iron folate and Vit C.  It also contains hemp and pea protein too and psyllium if you’re suffering with constipation.

Hydration

Keep up the water to help with milk flow.  Use drinks to help improve both the quality and quantity of the breast milk supply such as fennel, fenugreek, nettle & raspberry teas.

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