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Breast milk is amazing. It contains all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, contains antibodies, and breast milk changes as your baby gets older to fit their nutritional needs. The list can go on and on! I personally love how it helps me bond with my baby. Breast milk can still meet your baby’s nutritional needs even if you aren’t eating perfectly but taking good care of your body will help you have more energy and keep up a good milk supply.
My sweet baby girl Carina is now 4 months old. I love nursing her and am so amazed at how much she has grown in the past 4 months. It makes me proud that she has everything she needs to grow just from my breast milk! Nursing takes a lot of energy and with three kids it’s important I keep my energy up for them and keep myself healthy.
Now that I’m nursing for the third time, there are a few things I have learned along the way that help keep me healthy and more energetic. Here are some of my favorite healthy tips:
1. Stay Hydrated
Drinking water is extremely important when nursing! Breast milk is mostly made of water so if you aren’t drinking enough this could affect your supply. Find a way to enjoy water that works best for you. I love my water cold so I always keep a few bottles of water in the fridge. You can also flavor your water if you enjoy it more that way. A good way to remember to drink enough water is to drink water each time you nurse and of course any time you feel thirsty throughout the day. Milk and other drinks with little or no caffeine can help keep you hydrated too. I am loving the new caffeine free Boost it Up! Protein Energy Drink developed just for pregnant and nursing moms by healthy mama® it’s so easy to grab and gives me the protein and energy I need to be a healthy mom and have the energy I need for my kids and sweet little baby.
2. Rest When You Can
They say sleep when the baby sleeps but now that I have three kids that really isn’t possible most of the time. I have found that even taking 10-20 minutes to rest when I get a quiet moment during the day and don’t have time to nap really helps me to relax and boosts my energy. Also going to bed an hour earlier has been really helpful. Especially those nights when your baby is up multiple times a night.
3. Go on Walks
As much as I would like to exercise everyday sometimes that’s just not possible. I’ve found that walking is a great way to get out of the house and my baby loves it too. She seems to enjoy the new scenery. My boys love when I take them to a park. On the days when my baby takes good naps I’ve found the easiest way for me to exercise is to pop in an exercise dvd. A little movement in your day will help keep your energy up and fight fatigue.
Vitamins are so important to take when breastfeeding and of course during pregnancy. It’s recommended to take vitamins if there is any possibility at all of becoming pregnant. I love the Be Well Rounded!™ by healthy mama® because it’s small so it’s easy to swallow, dye free and has a two month supply of prenatal vitamins and DHA.
5. Eat Enough Calories
Breastfeeding moms need about 500 extra calories a day! Making breast milk for your growing baby is a lot of work and you need to be eating enough. Don’t worry so much about losing the weight quickly but instead establish healthy eating habits that will maintain a healthy rate of weight loss. Plus these healthy habits will help you have a healthy life-style.
Eat balanced meals and snack every couple of hours. I have plenty of days where it’s quite the accomplishment to get dinner on the table for my family. I know it’s not easy planning healthy dinners so I’ve found that making it a priority to make most of our plates filled with fruits and vegetables helps us have nutritious dinners as well as makes life easier for me. We love having salad or frozen vegetable mixes as well as canned fruits for those busy nights when I don’t have the time to prepare vegetables.
Some of my favorite quick and healthy dinners are Taco Salad (with grilled chicken, salad, cheese, beans, plenty of veggies, a little ranch dressing and tortilla chips), Fajitas, Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps, Avocado Pesto Pasta, and 3-Ingredient Crockpot Taco Chicken.
6. Snack Smart
Since I’ve started nursing my baby, I have had more of an appetite than I did when I was pregnant so I need snacks each day especially when I’m out and about with my kids. As easy as it can be to just grab a not-so-healthy snack like cookies etc. it’s not worth it sucking your energy. I’ve started planning ahead and snacking smarter.
Have plenty of snacks that are easy to grab quickly. Snacks high in protein and nutrient dense are the best for nursing moms. Some of my favorite quick and healthy snacks are nuts, fruit, cut up veggies, hummus, smoothies, whole-grain crackers with cheese, granola bars (like this one or this one), Greek yogurt with granola, whole-grain bagels with cream cheese spread, and no-bake energy bites.
7. Take “Me Time”
This one is so important! Babies are the sweetest thing and I miss my baby so much even being away for a couple hours but it will help you relax and focus on yourself. My sister-in-law recently gave me some money and a light-read book to go on a date with myself to just relax. I had no idea how I would find the time to fit it in my busy life as well as nursing my baby who won’t take a bottle. I did end up taking a couple hours to go out by myself and it was just what I needed! Now I try to get out once a week by myself and it’s been so nice and rejuvenating. (It’s no-joke when they say going to the grocery store without kids is like a mini-vacation!) Whether you go out shopping on your own, take a bath, go out with friends or whatever will make you the most happy, do it and don’t feel guilty. A happy stress-free mommy makes for a happy family.
8. Love Your Body
Be proud of your body! You grew a baby and are now helping them continue to grow through your breast milk. If you ask me this is the most amazing thing! You gained the weight slowly and it’s ok and good to lose the weight slowly. You need to focus on taking care of yourself and your baby. I know my body will never be the same since having children and that’s ok. I look at my stretch marks and it makes me smile knowing that I was so blessed to grow my three babies. You are the most amazing woman and your children will love you forever. You might not look the same as you did before having kids and that’s just fine. Your heart has grown and you are a better person because of what your body has been through.
I’d love if you shared any nursing tips you have or any easy and nutritious recipes!
In addition to great products to help the nursing mom, healthy mama® also carries a great variety of pregnancy products that takes the guesswork out of knowing which medicines are safe to take while pregnant. These products makes not so fun pregnancy ailments more exciting like “Shake the Ache!”, “Move it Along!”, “Tame the Flame!” and more! I can’t wait to use these products for my next pregnancy! You can find these products at Target in the pre/post natal aisle (by the feminine hygiene) or at Walmart in the vitamin section while supplies last. (Click here to find a list of stores near you.)