Julie Heginbottom, Care.com nanny and consultant, offers her top nutrition advice for breastfeeding mums
It’s been a long wait, but the Duchess of Cambridge has finally given birth to a baby boy (and our future king)! The newest, and as-of-yet unnamed member of the royal family was born yesterday at 16:24, weighed in at an above-average 8lbs 6oz, and takes his uncle Harry’s place as third in line to the throne.
But despite all the jubilations surrounding what has been described as a ‘textbook’ 12-hour delivery, there’s no doubt that Kate will be feeling exhausted as she begins to adjust to motherhood.
We consulted Care.com nanny and consultant Julie Heginbottom to provide her top nutritional tips on how new mothers like Kate can keep their energy levels high while they’re nurturing their newborn. ‘A healthy, balanced diet is recommended for everyone, and this is no different for breastfeeding mothers,’ she explains. Her other advice? ‘Get as much rest as you can – and when your baby sleeps, make sure you also rest,’ she advises.
Read on for more new mum nutritional know-how:
1. Prioritize protein Packing in five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and loading up on fibre-rich foods ‘will help with healing the body and with general mental health.’ But protein-rich foods such as chicken, lean meat and pulses are equally important, and ‘will help repair body cells'.
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2. Know what to avoid As in pregnancy, certain foods are best left alone. ‘It’s not always easy, but try to avoid certain foods when you are breastfeeding,’ says Julie. ‘Caffeine, chocolate and citrus fruits can, in my experience, contribute to babies feeling unsettled and restless.’ Swap in water, herbal and decaffeinated tea and coffee if cutting caffeine seems like a big step.
Nutrition tips for new mums
3. Stay hydrated ‘During breastfeeding, the hormone oxytocin is released, which increases thirst,’ explains Julie. ‘Mothers should try to drink water prior to a breastfeed and then keep a drink alongside them when breastfeeding.’
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4. Supplementary help Taking supplements can help supply your body with an extra boost of vitamins and minerals. ‘For all new breastfeeding mothers, taking 10mcg of Vitamin D is the perfect way to supplement your diet,’ explains Julie.
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5. Iron woman ‘Once your baby is six months old, the iron stores in your milk will be depleted,’ says Julie. ‘It is therefore vital that iron-rich foods are introduced as part of the weaning phase.’
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6. Have helpCaring for a newborn baby can be a draining time. 'If you can, get your partner, friend or parent to help prepare some healthy meals for you so you don't have to worry,' advises Julie. In order to keep stress levels low, Julie advises communication in all areas of life is key. If family are helping out, she advises to 'be clear about things you'd like them to help with and those you and your partner would rather do.' The same applies to nannies.
Boost your new mum energy levels to keep baby fatigue at bay
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