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  Recovering from pregnancy and birth – role of diet
Breastfeeding makes me so hungry that I find it difficult to eat a healthy diet – I just keep cramming food in my mouth whenever I get a chance. How much will my eating habits affect my baby?

In all likelihood you ate healthily during your pregnancy. Most pregnant women do feel motivated to improve their diets. Now that the baby has been born, whether you are breastfeeding or not, it is vital that you carry these good habits through with you into motherhood. The benefits for both you and your baby of a well nourished mother are worth the effort that it will take. There is real danger that during this time you will put yourself at the end of the queue, behind the baby, your husband and the millions of chores that demand doing just to maintain a thin veneer of order in your life.

That fact of the matter is that a bad diet is going to make it all seem much harder. Having said that you can probably give yourself a bit more leeway than you did during pregnancy. The exception is if you are breastfeeding and your baby seems to be very sensitive to your diet. In this case, watching your diet, figuring out which foods affect your baby and then eliminating them from your diet, is easier than living with an unhappy, niggling baby. If you have friends who are willing to help you, it may be worth asking them to stock up your fridge and cupboards with healthy snacks. Then when those hunger pangs overwhelm you, you aren’t reaching for the sweets and biscuits because it’s a quick and easy way to get some sugar into yourself! If this support is not forthcoming then you are going to have to make the effort yourself. Just get into the habit of stocking up on those nutritious alternatives when you are going to the shops anyway.

It is unlikely that a poor diet will have a big effect on your milk if you are breastfeeding. In all likelihood, the nutrition that your baby needs will be taken from your body if your diet does not supply it. So considering all that your body has just been though with the pregnancy and birth, you will not be doing yourself any favours if you don’t eat wisely. Even in the case of women with severe nutrition problems, their milk supply is surprisingly adequate, but at severe cost to themselves. Your body has a lot of recovering to do. Your baby and your family need to you to cope as best you can at the moment. The demands on you at this time will be very tough. All these are good reasons to eat the most nourishing food that you can. You and your family deserve it!

See also:

Recovering from pregnancy and birth

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Food faux pas

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Healthy food choices

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Role of husband

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Simplifying healthy eating

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