The healthy eating habits that you maintained during pregnancy must continue as you nourish your newborn infant. In fact, your nutrition is just as vital now as it was during pregnancy.
Are You Breastfeeding?
- Good nutrition means good milk.
- If you're breastfeeding, eating well is essential for maintaining an adequate milk supply. Be sure to consume adequate amounts of nutritious foods to satisfy both yours and his dietary requirements.
- Get your extra calories in healthy ways.
- You need even more energy now than you did when you were pregnant. Doctors say the average woman needs 330-400 more calories a day for the first year of breastfeeding. Make nutritious food choices to satisfy this increased caloric intake. Remember that you must nourish yourself as well as your baby.
Without proper hydration, your milk supply can become depleted. Aim to drink 13 cups of fluid or more each day – your body needs extra when breastfeeding. Water is a great option; other healthy choices are low fat milk or 100% fruit or vegetable juices. Limit your consumption of alcohol, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks and energy drinks.
Eat foods that contain DHA (an Omega-3 fat)
Once your baby arrives, he will receive DHA from your breastmilk, so continue to eat a DHA-rich diet. DHA and ARA (sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats) are important nutrients that support your baby’s normal brain and eye development and healthy growth. DHA is found in foods such as low mercury, fatty fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring)* and DHA-enriched eggs, milk, bread and yogurt. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that Canadians eat at least 2 servings (of 75 g or 2 ½ oz each) of fish a week.
*Health Canada provides advice for limiting exposure to mercury from certain types of fish.
Visit Health Canada’s Prenatal Nutrition Guidelines on Fish and Omega-3 Fats
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Continue to avoid alcohol, cigarette smoke, medications and foods that can contain toxins or pesticides. They say: "Everything you inhale or eat goes directly to your baby.”
Learn What Foods to Limit and Avoid
Are You Formula Feeding?
Nourish your baby's brain development. Even though you're no longer pregnant, your baby is still relying on you for nutrition. With all of that rapid brain development going on in there, you'll want to be sure that the formula you choose has levels of DHA and ARA recommended by experts. DHA and ARA (sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats) are nutrients naturally found in breast milk. The DHA and ARA in Enfamil A+ support babies’ normal brain and eye development and normal growth.
Learn more about Enfamil A+
This "fourth trimester" is just as developmentally challenging for your baby as the first three, and just as physically demanding on you. A balanced diet can help give you the energy you need.
Learn How Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide Can Help Balance Your Diet
Remember to eat.
It's easy to forget with so much on your mind these days. Try and plan out healthy menus in advance, and pack healthy snacks for when you're out and about.