Eating Like a Linebacker
I wish someone had told me that I’d be MORE hungry while breastfeeding than I ever was while pregnant. And thirsty for that matter.
For the first two months of Ellie’s, about three minutes in to her being latched, this unbelievable thirst would come over me. You know when you’re a little hungover, and your mouth feels like you slept with cotton balls in it? Yeah, that feeling only none of the fun the night before.
When she started to get a little older, the hunger kicked in too. I’d get headaches while breastfeeding because I’d go from not being hungry to being ravenous within seconds.
When my husband was home on paternity leave it was no problem. I’d just whisper shout (so I wouldn’t wake the baby) and then he’d bring me whatever I needed. The real problem started once he went back to work, and I was holding a newborn the. entire. day.
So I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks that helped me get in to a routine.
1. Eat (or drink) right before you have to nurse. If you know your baby is going to want to eat soon, chug some water, and grab a snack, even if you don’t yet feel hungry.
2. Invest in two big (32oz or bigger) cups. I bought two yeti mugs, with tops, straws and handles. My husband would fill one up at night before we went to bed, and I’d bring it upstairs with me to sit by my bedside, and by morning it would be empty. In the morning before he left for work, he would bring it downstairs with him, and fill it up with water and ice, and leave it on the counter for me, ready to go. Then, bring the other one re-filled upstairs to my bedside. I’d have fresh water right when I woke up, and one waiting for me when baby and I made it downstairs.
3. Put snacks wherever you’re going to feed your baby. I fed our daughter in our bed, and on our family room couch. I kept a collection of snacks in our bedside table, and in a basket on our family room side table. That way if I forgot to eat beforehand, I could reach for something while she was eating too. Classic calories in, calories out situation ;)
Next, let’s chat about WHAT to eat while breastfeeding.
1. Fruits- Moms can make really good use of the carbohydrates in fruit while breastfeeding, so load up on high-calorie fruits you may not eat otherwise. Dates, bananas and apples are packed with carbs and fiber.
2. Hydrating foods- you can get some of the daily hydration you need just by ingesting foods like melons, berries, grapes and cucumbers.
3. Hydrating liquids-sometimes plain old water doesn’t cut it. It’s true! Sometimes you are so low on electrolytes that water alone doesn’t feel hydrating. Try coconut water mixed with water, green juice with no fruits or adding a pink of pink Himalayan salt to your water to help your body use the water you’re drinking effectively.
4. Broths and Soups-bone broth is incredibly rich in vitamins and nutrients and can help you heal and hydrate after delivery. You can buy it pre-made at the grocery store. We like Kettle&Fire or 365 brands.
Here’s a list of my favorite portable snacks to keep on hand!
1. Rx Bars
2. Epic Bars
3. Chomps sticks
4. Lara Bars
5. Fresh, whole fruits (bonus if they have a peel so you can just throw them in your bag)
6. Hard boiled eggs
7. Nuts and seeds
8. Smoothies-you can make your own or try a service like Daily Harvest or Smoothie Box that delivers smoothies all put together, or a new product called Blender Bombs that works like fizzy bath bomb, but for your smoothie!
9. To go packs of almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)
10. Roasted Chickpeas