I had my twins a few months ago (wow, I can't believe it has almost been two months). I really need to improve my diet. I know that I'm supposed to be eating a lot, but I feel like I have not been eating a balanced diet recently. I need advice on a healthy breastfeeding diet. Thanks.
Congratulations! Twins, boy will you have your hands full. I sure hope you're getting some help. Good for you for wanting to breast feed.
There are a few additions I would recommend in breastfeeding, but of course the Cycle Diet base plan is always good. You won't/shouldn't have a period as long as you breast feed. Which should also help keep postpartum at bay too.
A few additional recommendations for women that breast feed:
1) Increase calories 400-500 per day. Make them count though...stay away from a lot of sugar refined processed foods. A good balance of protein, complex carbs and the right fats becomes more important than ever.
2) Increase your fish oil intake for additional DHA, and EPA. Omega 3's are very important. If you're short the stores are your brain.. I would increase fish oil to 3grams a day. Flax seed are also a good source of ALA too so be sure and add a little spoonfuls in cereal or smoothies.
3) Increase foods rich in B vitamins. RDA's increase bit for lactating women. Spinach, whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, lentils and other green vegetables.
4) Increase vitamin D, we're not able to make it now if you live in the northern US. Studies show children with a vitamin D deficiency or low levels have increased risk for autoimmune disease..Type 1 diabetes, and other problems. 2,000 IUs a day isn't unreasonable if you didn't get out in the sun over the summer. Ask to have your levels tested.
5) Consult with a lactation specialist if you have any problems
6) Watch your babies for any signs of intolerance...we know IgG antibodies to Casein (dairy) and gliadin (wheat gluten) pass through breast milk. If your babies are colicky be tested for food sensitivites right away. You do not want these antibodies passed through to your babies.
7) Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water.
Stay away from smoke (don't smoke) don't drink alcohol (too much anyway) and DO NOT take any medications without speaking to your doctor first. There are many studies that are showing adverse reactions in baby development with SSRI's and antidepressents.
Congratulations again...and good luck. Hopefully you resolved your PMS prior to becoming pregnant.