When one transitions to parenthood, good nutrition takes on a whole new significance. During pregnancy and while breastfeeding, the things a woman consumes are imparted directly to her child. Similarly, even when a child moves beyond that, their perceptions of food and eating are largely shaped by the example set by their parents.
The challenge is in making that good nutrition consistent, though. Before children, it is often easier to budget time and money so that you’re consuming the right things. But when a newborn arrives, amidst the sea of dirty diapers and midnight feedings, it becomes far more difficult to make that happen.
But it can be done. Having the right idea about nutrition and a game plan to follow through on can make all the difference. Mamas have the ability to make it happen!
One small disclaimer: this article is not meant to shame those who are not breastfeeding for whatever reason. It is meant to educate and encourage those who are breastfeeding. Mom-shaming stops when we’re able to have an open dialogue from every perspective, and when we’re able to acknowledge the benefits of some tactics without attacking others.
Moms are uniquely equipped to give good nutrition
The good news for the mom invested in the nutrition of her kids is that she is uniquely positioned to do so. And one doesn’t have to look far to see examples of how breastfeeding has been shown to have positive impacts babies.
For example, studies have shown that breastfeeding cuts the risk of SIDS in half in babies of certain of ages. Moms impart customized antibodies to their babies via breast milk, and some research has even found that telomeres, which protect the end of chromosomes from deterioration, are longer in the bodies of breastfed babies. Research results that echo the above are easy to find.
Anyone who has breastfed knows it’s not for the faint of heart. It can seem like it should be natural, when in reality it takes baby and mama a good while to get the hang of it. So much so that Bradley University notes, “Only 29 percent of women who have initiated breastfeeding continue breastfeeding on past the six month mark.”
Thus, one of the key components of managing to stick it out, even when it is tough, is realizing that there are a host of benefits for the mamas and babies who do breastfeed.
Eating Smart While Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding in and of itself means you’re making a solid commitment to the health of your baby. But you can maximize the positive impact you have by making thoughtful choices about your diet.
It may seem overwhelming, but if you know what you’re looking for it, it becomes much easier. Some straightforward ways to boost the health of your family include:
Eating healthy whole foods essentially means that you’re removing as much processed food from your diet as possible. The advantages to doing so include research that suggests a correlation between whole foods and a higher IQ in kids.
- Organic fruits
From birth, healthy gut bacteria ensures that the body’s systems run appropriately, and fermented foods are a surefire way to keep the bacteria in the gut healthy.
Milk supply foods: One of the main stress points for a breastfeeding mom is supply, but incorporating foods that help promote supply is not hard to do! Doing so will provide a first line of defense so that baby can get as much food as necessary, straight from mom.
Focus on the Big Picture
The undercurrent that will grant a mom pursuing good nutrition success is remembering the big picture. The matter of central importance is how mama feels physically and emotionally, and what she’s doing to promote that same health in her kids.
This is not about never giving your kids sugar, or any number of things that can produce mom-guilt. Instead, it’s about establishing a lifestyle that mama is content with. And beyond that, it’s about realizing a pattern that your own kids can adopt and implement.
Fostering a pro-breastfeeding and pro-nutrition outlook will reap major rewards in the long run. Remembering the value of good nutrition, and the way that it will grant your family a sustainable path to life where they feel good and can do the things they want to do, is one of the best healthy habits you can foster as your family begins to grow.