Let your body decide…
One of the most common myths is that mums have to become obsessive about what they are eating. This is not the case at all. In fact, we recommend mums keep their diets as similar to normal as possible. This is because whatever mum is eating flavours her milk and this allows the baby to experience the flavours that they will be eating later on in life. Much like when they are in the womb and experiencing flavours through the amniotic fluid. Mums do need to follow a balanced diet, so if your previous diet was high sugar, fat and refined carbohydrates this will need to be changed to one that is rich in healthy fats, vegetables and wholegrain carbohydrates.
Cutting out spicy foods, garlic and “gas forming” foods won’t necessarily avoid “colic”, “gassiness” and crying in your baby. This is normally improved by changing breastfeeding techniques. In some more severe instances changing the mums diet may help, but this is a last resort.
Another myth is that mums need to eat more in order to make enough milk. In fact our bodies work so well that even if mum is on a very low calorie diet, the body will rather take away from mum and make sure the milk is adequate to feed the baby. If it is critically low for long periods of time, then this can affect the milk supply. The best advice for mum is that she should eat to her appetite; some mums find they get hungrier and so will eat more, and some find they eat less. Follow your body to decide how much to eat.
Along with the food myth, we also have a fluid myth that mums must drink plenty of fluids. Much like food, mums should drink according to thirst. It is recommended that you have something available to drink whilst you are feeding, as many mums find that they become thirsty at this time. Rather have something available than have to wait or disturb a feed just because you are thirsty.
Avoiding alcohol whilst breastfeeding is another myth that affects mums. Reasonable alcohol intake is fine whilst breastfeeding, as very little alcohol comes out in the milk. A general rule of thumb is to follow a feed with your drink of choice, a glass of wine or a beer, and by your next feed you will be fine.
After all, mamas know best!