What you’re about to read isn’t based on solid science, this is simply what has worked for me, a dedicated breastfeeding mama. Whenever I’ve been at home with a newborn I’ve used these tricks to help make life easier, and I’m sharing them in the hope that they will make life easier for you too.
In my home, there are six hungry humans who can’t seem to find food for themselves, even in front of a full refrigerator. When my new baby comes along and occupies all of my time and effort I don’t particularly want them (or myself) to starve, so I prepare a freezer full of meals. I do this when I’m two weeks off my due date and can’t really do anything else except stand in front of the fridge wondering why I came into the kitchen in the first place. The recipes that work the best are here. Just remember that you might want to leave the chilli, garlic and cruciferous vegetables to a minimum until you know what the person (the one about to exit your body) is into.
- Stock up
If you can, spend time before your new bundle arrives stocking up on your non-perishables and snack foods. It’s amazing how much food you can go through when there’s a new baby, heaps of (somewhat unwanted) visitors, and an overwhelming lack of desire to go to the supermarket. Get tea, and snacks that don’t require any preparation. “Thanks for the pop-in Aunt Nell, have another nori cracker”.
- Supersize your nutrition
When your baby actually arrives, if you’re going to breastfeed, why not make the pledge to only eat what’s beneficial to your baby and your body. This will make for super milk, and help the baby weight come off at its natural pace. I say that I only eat superfoods, and man does it make me feel surprisingly chipper for someone who’s forced to wake up every 2-3 hours through the night. First, I eliminate the big allergens (wheat, dairy, unfermented soy, potato) – a lot of the population has little underlying intolerances, and some babies struggle with allergies too, so I eliminate these things for health, and leave room for all the amazing superfoods I want to cram in. Basically I live on great proteins, a rainbow of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, sweet potato and occasionally grains. Check out my crazy little eating plan and discover my delicious recipes that will get you properly hopped up on all the goodness of the superfood diet.
If you’re feeding, you’ll most likely go through a completely ravenous phase when your body is learning to keep up with making all the milk. So it’s good to have some epic snacks on hand – this will help to stop you reaching for something that will inevitably leave you feeling flat. Go for fresh fruit, paleo toast with nut butter, walnuts, linseed crackers (rumored to be good for milk supply), hummus and carrot sticks, or just have a mini meal of leftovers from your fridge. You need the extra calories, just don’t let them be empty.
This is the KEY ingredient. Walk around with a big drink bottle and aim to drink 2-4L every day. It makes you feel better, flushes toxins and keeps your milk up. Water therapy – it fixes almost everything.
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Diana Archer Mills has a love of health and fitness running through her blood. She was just 12 when she started working in the gym owned by her parents (Phillip and Jackie Mills). Now, as Les Mills Creative Director she is behind the music and moves that feature in some of your favorite workouts. But that’s certainly not Diana’s most important role. Diana is a mom of four – so it’s fair to say she knows a fair bit about pregnancy, parenting and how to juggle a busy young family with a passion for health and fitness.