This contributed post was a real eye-opener for me. I thought I knew quite a lot about breast milk. Turns out I was wrong.
Lifestyle Factors You Never Knew Could Affect Your Breast Milk
There’s no better way of getting your baby’s health on the right track than breastfeeding. If you’ve made the decision to breastfeed your child, you probably already know that it’s conducive to building a healthy immune system as well as reducing baby’s risk of allergies and asthma.
There’s no better food to give your baby the exact right combination of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats to facilitate healthy growth. That said, the lifestyle of a busy mother may not always be conducive to expressing milk or ensuring that your milk is as nutritious and wholesome as possible.
Some issues like smoking, drinking alcohol and using illicit substances are well known for their harmful effects, while other equally harmful lifestyle factors can be just as harmful. From getting plenty of sleep to overindulging on lattes, there are many surprising factors that you may not have known could affect your ability to express ample nutritious milk…
Lead in Your Water
Many breastfeeding mothers are unaware of how the water they drink at home or at work can affect their breast milk. While hopefully, your place of work will have the health and safety services to ensure that drinking water is free of harmful contaminants, there are no such guarantees when it comes to the water in your home.
Lead in your water can be invisible and impossible to taste so investing in a water bottle with filters can help reduce the lead content in your breast milk to normal levels. Excessive lead in your baby’s breast milk can lead to impaired hearing, slow growth and learning problems.
If your idea of culinary heaven is a table laden with fajita ingredients or a pot of spicy and aromatic curry, we’re afraid we have some bad news. While some herbs and spices are fine in moderation, an excess of strong flavors can change the taste and smell of your breast milk and make it unappealing for your baby.
Moreover, eating large concentrations of foods such as parsley, sage, parsley or oregano can impede your ability to produce milk.
Unfortunately, this also extends to any herbal supplements you may be taking for the purposes of weight loss or general good health.
The sad reality is that breastfeeding mothers lead busy and exhausting lives. Thus, it can be all too easy to become over-reliant on ready-made meals and processed convenience foods.
The trouble is that these may be not only full of harmful artificial additives but lacking in the essential nutrients that mothers need to ensure that their milk is optimally nutritious.
As well as making sure that you’re well-hydrated your diet should be rich in “milk-making foods” such as whole grains, pulses, almonds and sesame seeds.
The greatest lie that the diet foods industry ever pulled off was convincing people that low or zero-calorie foods and beverages were healthy.
Diet sodas or other foods and drinks that use artificial sweeteners like aspartame or aspartame can impede milk production and be potentially harmful for your baby.
Finally, it’s important to avoid stress wherever possible, as this can also impede milk production. Of course, when you’re looking after a newborn… That may be easier said than done.
Did you know these facts about breast milk?