Grazing, snacking, constant nibbling… that sums up eating like a cow, hey?! Sounds pretty good! When it’s the advice you’re given as a breastfeeding mum, it unfortunately also has a flip side… having to consider your food choices, scrutinise your food groups, plan your meals meticulously… suddenly not so good! Do I Need A Breastfeeding Diet?
So you survived the whole nine months and more than anything you’re looking forward to all those gooey cheeses, enjoying an eggs benny and maybe even a tipple or two! Unfortunately, bub has different ideas… maybe they’re suffering from itchy eczema, a red raw little bottom, or just not settling. These could all be signs of a food intolerance. Squirming, grizzling, back arching, gassiness (top and bottom!), poor uncomfortable little wiggle bottoms, just not happy with their mama’s milk.
Who even knew that bub could be intolerant to certain foods mama eats?! How do you pinpoint which foods they’re not a fan of?! How long does something you eat take to get into your milk? How long does it then take to upset bub’s tummy?! Afraid there’s no real answer as each and every one of our bubs are gorgeously uniquely different (and so are we, with our varying metabolisms and milk stores), so it’s all a bit of trial and error!
Just ‘eat like a cow’ they say… and you wonder how you have a spare moment to even consider what you’re shoving in your mouth at 2am, or attempting to cook up in between cries and nappy changes. But you’ll give it a go, because you’ll do anything for your little one, and are more than willing to try especially if it may lead to just a little bit more sleep!
There’s a few top culprits.
The first being dairy. Try cutting out milk, cheese, yoghurt etc. There’s a whole heap of milk substitutes around, as well as amazingly delicious coconut yogurt. Nutritional yeast can add that cheesy flavour you crave (but you won’t be fooled into thinking it’s the real deal). Soy intolerance can go hand in hand with dairy so be a bit wary, but it’s worth trying as if your bub doesn’t mind it, then it’ll be a lot easier to order those lattes… decaf long blacks get a bit dull after a while!
Gluten can also be a trigger for those little unhappy bellies, but the good news is you can pretty much always grab a gluten free something when you’re out and about. Track down those places that embrace gluten free to still enjoy a lunchtime sandwich or a bowl of pasta. Rice and quinoa will become your staples at home. Think more corn tacos rather than wheat burritos (and maybe without the cheese if you’re going dairy free too– just double up on the avo!)
Eggs are another tummy troubler. Easier to avoid when at home, but not so easy when you’re out for brunch. Completely cooked or baked eggs seem to be less of an issue for some bubs, which may mean holding off on that much craved eggs benny, and opting for a quiche or omelette instead.
The good news is you have an excuse to take advantage of the raw food craze… dairy free, gluten free, and egg free! Plus, if you want to be adventurous and experiment yourself, these treats are great to make in stages (think as and when naps allow!) and don’t require any real cooking, just measuring and mixing.
Coconut & Avocados
You’ll find coconut becomes your best friend… coconut anything, and coconut everything! As do avocados. They’re both great for making creamy sauces without the dairy, and without adding too much flavour of their own.
No one’s saying it’s easy… but it may just be worth it for a happier bub, and (fingers crossed!) a little bit more sleep. It’s all about getting a touch creative, and focusing on what you can eat, rather than what you can’t. Don’t cut out everything all at once, and don’t deprive yourself unnecessarily, a breastfeeding mama needs all the goodness she can get! Have trial periods and see if it makes a difference. Go with your gut… after all, mama knows best 🙂