Breastfeeding and returning to work comes with its challenges, and if we know you, you may be wondering, “how can I maintain a healthy diet?”
Here are 5 quick tips, to get you together, while you chase your dreams:
1. Consume a “big girl” calorie intake.
Studies have shown that the healthiest breastfeeding women maintain an adequate milk supply while taking in 1800-2200 or more calories per day. In order to maintain your
pre-pregnancy weight, you need to take in an average of 300-500 additional calories per day than what was needed before you were pregnant.
2. Listen to your body.
Any breastfeeding mother will tell you that she is always hungry! Listen to your body and eat until you are comfortable – that is usually all you need to do to get the calories you need.
3. Consume the proper amount of meals a day.
It is recommended that you eat 5-6 meals a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and two to three snacks. The key to consuming enough calories is to eat small meals throughout the day. My favorite snacks include almonds, Greek yogurt, and fruit. All of these items are easy to carry and quick to eat!
4. Focus on consuming healthy, whole foods.
To do this you will need to take the time to plan your meals. I usually meal plan on Sunday morning before I go food shopping.Batch cooking of staples, such as brown rice, roasted vegetables, grilled chicken, will help you to prep your meals quickly.
5. H2O is your best friend.
You guessed it! Drink lots of water. Depending on your age, activity level and health, you need between ½ and ¾ ounces of water per pound of body-weight. A simple way to figure out your hydration needs is to take your body-weight and divide it by two. Your body can utilize water from many sources, including vegetables, fruit, soup, all-natural juices, milk, tea and other beverages.
For a great read on breastfeeding and the research behind the benefits of breastfeeding, we suggest checking out Kimberly Seal Sallers’ The Big Let Down.