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Pass the biscuits and no one gets hurt! Food for breastfeeding mums

Have you ever wondered what to eat when breastfeeding?
I worked as a Paediatric Dietitian for several years and would provide breastfeeding advice to mums. This was typically allergy and generic healthy eating advice. I knew the arbitrary figure of breastfeeding requires 500-600 extra calories a day but never really gave much attention to this, most mums were just pleased that they had lost weight post baby that they put down to the breastfeeding. This was and is the sad reality of the thin obsessive society that we live in.
Now as a mum of an almost 5-month-old I have lived experience of how hard breastfeeding can be. I know many women struggle with babies not latching, tongue ties, cracked nipples and limited supply, but never did I ever imagine how difficult breastfeeding can be at times. I have never felt hunger like I have in the last few months and the weeks when my son went through growth spurts. I literally cried walking home after a group one time as I was SO hungry and I had had a decent breakfast hours earlier! 
In the first few weeks after birth, I didn’t experience the hunger but by week 6 it was real! I couldn’t stop thinking about food, I wanted to eat literally an hour after my dinner, and I would wake in the night and raid the fridge and cupboard for snacks. It’s not surprising when you think that when your little one is 3-6 months your body is producing a litre of milk a day!
Stylish Mum Breastfeeding in public
So how am I surviving this period. This is what is working for me:
⁃ Minimum 3 meals and 3 snacks/days and not going longer than 3 hours between meals
⁃ Breakfast every day (ideally as soon as possible after I’m awake for the day…often before 6am!)
⁃ Larger meals if I’ve done exercise (e.g., long walk)
⁃ Choosing the full fat, high calorie options e.g., Greek yoghurt and butter
⁃ No cutting the carbs! They are the body and brain’s preferred source of quick fuel
⁃ Eating in the night if needed. You can’t beat peanut butter on toast at 2am, 4am. If I have another baby, I’ll be setting up a Tea Maid like my Nana had in my bedroom with a big biscuit tin!
⁃ Having ready meals, very simple meals when cluster feeding episodes happen at dinner time.
⁃ Ensuring I’m hydrated. Carrying a bottle of water with me and having one by the bed.
⁃ Snacks, snacks, and more snacks! I’m enjoying -South African rusks (they are a bit more substantial than an English Rich tea), Granola bars/flapjacks, nuts and nut butters with apples/carrots/oat cakes, pastries, and cake.
⁃ I also took a multivitamin (including vitamin D) and iron supplement for many weeks to make sure I was meeting all my body’s micronutrient needs
Breastfeeding mamas you are amazing, cut yourself some slack like when you were pregnant , You are literally eating for two! Schedule/allow time for rest, a bath, and maybe some meditation and remember to connect with others (my local breastfeeding group and mums group always provides a cuppa and biscuits/cake!)
Stylish Mum Breastfeeding Tunic
By Elaine Cleaver from