Many women instinctively feel that breastfeeding is a good choice for their baby and it is indeed an amazing thing to do for both the mother and the baby.
Taking the right nutrients to maintain energy and immunity after giving birth is essential. If you are breastfeeding, please do pay some extra attention to your diet and your self-care.
Protective substances in breast milk
Breast milk contains a lot of protective substances called colostrum during the first few days of breastfeeding. Colostrum contains many antibodies to protect your newborn baby against infections as well as unique components such as growth factors, vitamins, minerals, lactoferrin and amino acids. In the womb, your baby has stored waste products in the intestines and colostrum has a laxative effect so that your baby can quickly remove it through the stool after birth. Breast milk is beautifully tailored to your baby’s needs at all times, therefore breastfed babies have fewer digestive problems.
Oxytocin supports milk production
Attachment is a mutual bond that develops in the first 2 years of a child’s life through (skin-to-skin) contact. The contact you have with your baby as a mother while breastfeeding contributes beautifully to this, but it also releases oxytocin.
Oxytocin is a cuddle hormone. Oxytocin is actually one of the main factors as to why breastfeeding is a positive experience for both you and your baby. Oxytocin has an antidepressant effect and is an important counterpart to the things you might experience during your postpartum period. Adrenaline and cortisol inhibit oxytocin and the regular skin contact with your baby has a calming effect on both of you.
Drinking your daily cup of coffee however increases cortisol which has a stimulating effect on your baby which is not recommended when breastfeeding. But a good replacement for your morning ritual can be a caffeine-free variant for example.
In addition to stress, reduced sleep and experiencing an illness or a cold can also significantly reduce your milk production. If this happens, making a smoothie with the right ingredients could be a great idea, as it will directly stimulate your milk production.
What Vitamins Do You Need When Breastfeeding?
To maintain good cognitive functions during your pregnancy and while breastfeeding, it is important that you get enough daily omega 3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA from natural sources such as herring, wild salmon or via a supplement.
An option would be a supplement with a daily dose of 500 mg DH. Your unborn child needs DHA to ensure proper brain development but you also need healthy fatty acids and DHA to optimally support your own brain functions and reduce the risk of postnatal depression for example. When breastfeeding, you share your nutrients with your baby. This means that it is very important that you get the right nutrients in the right proportion during this phase, just like during your pregnancy. While breastfeeding, it is advisable to take the high-quality pregnancy multivitamin complex such as our MOM TO BE. SUPS has developed MOM TO BE for the phases before, during and after pregnancy. Use it consistently (daily) to maintain blood levels of B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, iodine, zinc, selenium and vitamin C. This way you maintain your energy, immunity and recover well from childbirth. The B vitamins and iodine in MOM TO BE also contribute to good maintenance of your skin, hair and nails.
Nutritious food after giving birth supports your recovery and provides you with immediate energy. Food with proteins gives a feeling of satiety. Natural sources of protein include eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds and beans. A great tip is to mix a capsule of our REVIVE with a scoop of vegetables proteins to your morning vegetable smoothie.
You might notice that after giving birth you will want to eat more and more frequently, but a balanced smoothie can help. REVIVE also equals 2.5 portions of fruit and vegetables which is indispensable for your diet. For more convenience during your maternity period, you can also buy fresh juices and keep a stock in your freezer.
Make sure you also drink 2-3 liters of water, tea and/or coconut water daily. Coconut water replenishes electrolytes and minerals. This is important for your fluid balance, to relax your muscles and to maintain strong bones. Always have a bottle ready when you feed, this keeps your own body and brain well hydrated and stimulates the production of milk.
Hormones in balance
After giving birth, your pregnancy hormones will slowly drop back to normal levels. After about three days, your body will break down your excess hormones, like estrogen and progesterone. Restoring your overall hormonal balance will take a long time but you can support this recovery yourself with adaptogenic herbs and liver support. Adaptogenic herbs help with hormonal balance by breaking down your hormones so that certain ones don’t dominate. SUPS has processed maca, dandelion and milk thistle in BALANCE to support you with your hormonal balance after your pregnancy.
After pregnancy, many women experience dysregulation of the intestines. The reason for this is because after giving birth, your intestines have to return to their original place in the body. Whilst this happens, constipation and digestive disturbances are very common. One way you can support your own as well as your baby’s digestion is with a probiotic such as ALIVE, a probiotic with fiber. Nutrients from food and supplements that you take as a mother while breastfeeding are passed on to your baby which makes ALIVE invaluable for you and your baby.
Good self-care and high-quality nutrients are an advantage to continue enjoying the intimate moments with your baby. Our pregg + gut health bundle provides you and your baby with the support you need – your daily inner strength!