Getting the Additional Calories You Need During Breastfeeding
During breastfeeding, just like during the second two trimesters of pregnancy, you need additional calories in your diet to ensure adequate energy for making milk. The suggested calorie increase ranges from 330 to 500 a day. While counting calories isn’t usually necessary, opt for nutritious foods that will help keep up your energy and provide the vitamins and minerals baby needs from your milk.
Add In Some Snacks!
In order to get enough energy for breastfeeding (and the hunger pangs that often come with it!), you may want to eat 1 to 2 snacks daily in addition to your meals. Here are some easy, nutritious snack ideas to incorporate these nutrient-dense foods into your low-FODMAP diet while breastfeeding.
- Lactose-free yogurt (e.g. Green Valley Organics)
- Smoothie made with 1 cup (240 ml) lactose-free kefir, 1/3 small banana, 1 cup (38 g) baby spinach & 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- Corn tortilla spread with ⅛ Hass avocado, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta & 1 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup (90 g) cantaloupe & ½ cup (120 ml) lactose-free cottage cheese
- 2 brown rice cakes topped with 2 hard-boiled eggs, 4 cherry tomatoes, salt & pepper
- Homemade trail mix with 10 almonds, 4 Brazil nuts, 10 banana chips, ¼ cup (18 g) shredded coconut*
- FODY snack bar
*For the trail mix, you could make a large batch and portion out into snack size baggies to take on-the-go.
If you’re breastfeeding and on a low-FODMAP diet, the following are IBS-friendly foods that are rich in important nutrients for you and baby.
A Word on Galactagogues – Beware of Fennel as a Possible Ingredient
There are various products on the market that claim to increase milk supply (galactagogues), including teas, cookies, and supplement capsules. While research is limited to show if these galactagogues are safe or effective, many women have reported using them during breastfeeding. If you choose to use a galactagogue supplement, like a mother’s milk or lactation tea, be aware that fennel is often one of the main ingredients. According to Monash University’s FODMAP Food Guide, fennel tea is a source of oligos. If you’re sensitive to oligos, you should avoid teas containing fennel.
- Nutrition During Lactation. Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC, National Academy Press, 1991.
- Maternal experiences with and sources of information on galactagogues to support lactation: a cross-sectional study. Int J Womens Health. 2017; 9: 105–113.Published online 2017 Feb 27.
- Ward, Elizabeth. Expect the Best, Second Edition.