Still Eating For Two


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While many health experts dismiss the idea that you are eating for two while you are expecting, at least in terms of how much you need to eat, they tend to agree that you are very much eating for two while you are breastfeeding. Not only should you be eating a bit more than you needed to before pregnancy, but you should be very mindful of what kinds of food you are eating.

On average, breastfeeding women burn about 500 calories per day simply by producing breast milk. Of course, you should also be eating a bit more while you’re breastfeeding, but you will still find that you burn more calories than you take in with a balanced diet.

The diet you should follow during breastfeeding will be familiar to you, though it is (thankfully) a bit more relaxed than it was while you were carrying your little one inside. For example, it’s OK now to have one or two glasses of wine or beer per week, though you should try to schedule them as far from the next feeding time as possible, allowing any alcohol to work through your system before baby eats. Coffee or caffeinated beverages are also OK in moderation. One or two per day is fine in most cases.

More importantly, make sure that you are taking in enough of the right kinds of food. Follow your doctor’s recommendations, of course. A general idea of what you should be eating in a given day looks like this:

  • At least one serving of food rich in iron. There are a variety of foods across several food groups (especially legumes, vegetables, and meat) that offer high iron.
  • Three servings of protein. Stated simply, meat, fish, nuts, and legumes.
  • Two servings of orange juice or other source of Vitamin C.
  • Greens and yellows. Four servings or more of green veggies, yellow veggies, and yellow fruit.
  • Water or juice. While you can have a cup of coffee or soda now, don’t try to subsist on it. Continue drinking 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Calcium. You actually need it more now than when you were carrying your baby, and should bump your intake up to five servings per day.
  • Carbohydrates. Now is not the time for the Adkins diet. Take in 3-4 servings of whole grain carbs.
  • Consult your doctor concerning whether to continue taking prenatal vitamins. In most cases, you should.


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