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An Interview with The Bump: What to Eat While Breastfeeding

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Recently we talked with Elena Mauer, deputy editor of TheBump.com and The Bump magazine about her top tips for eating well when breastfeeding.

Dedicated to offering “the inside scoop on pregnancy and parenting,” The Bump gives first-time parents the lowdown on fertility, pregnancy, birth, and babies with stage-by-stage advice, stylish ideas, local resources, and interactive tools, all in one savvy online community. 

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Find everything you need for baby and you for breastfeeding and more on zulily.

zulily: Should a breastfeeding mom continue to view herself as “eating for two”? 

The Bump: No, and in fact a pregnant mom isn’t really eating for two either. During pregnancy you only need about 300 extra calories per day plus a little more in third trimester. While nursing, you probably burn around 500 extra calories per day but that doesn’t mean you need to eat that many extra each day. Mostly, you need to drink a lot of water while nursing to prevent dehydration. 

For a long time, it was believed that women needed to eat more while nursing, but you won’t feel well if eating Doritos and other junk food. Having an infant in the house, you’re already most likely sleep-deprived, so eat healthy in order to feel the best you can. Most importantly, your diet should include: 

  • Lean protein
  • Whole grain
  • Lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Sufficient calcium and iron (some doctors recommend continuing to take prenatal vitamins while nursing because your newbie is still taking calcium from you) 

zulily: On your list of 10 Breastfeeding Super Foods, the only dairy item included is yogurt. Do you recommend that nursing mothers avoid other dairy products? 

The Bump: Some young babies have milk protein intolerance which means they’re digestive systems aren’t ready to digest dairy yet. It’s not that common, however, and if the doctor hasn’t told you to avoid dairy, you don’t have to. Although you have the option of drinking milk, you don’t have to drink milk to make milk. Dairy alternatives for getting calcium include leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli, almonds and fish like canned salmon with bones. 

zulily: What foods does a mom especially want to avoid while breastfeeding? 

The Bump: Most foods are not to be avoided completely, but a few should be consumed in moderation. These include: 

  • Alcohol. It’s ok to drink a glass of wine but you just need to wait awhile before nursing baby again. And don’t overdo it. It’s pretty safe to wait about two hours after drinking one glass of wine or beer before nursing. 
  • Caffeine. Consume in moderation, which means no more than two to three cups per day. Caffeine gets in a nursing mom’s bloodstream and can make baby jittery and disrupt sleep cycles. 
  • High mercury fish. These are big fish that live a long time such as shark and swordfish that you’ve already been avoiding during pregnancy. Doctors recommend limiting low mercury fish such as shrimp to about 12 ounces (2 meals) per week. These have omega 3 and other good nutrients you need, so they’re good to include in proper amounts in your weekly menu. Mercury has been linked to brain problems but it’s actually unknown how mercury affects a baby’s brain. 
  • Peppermint. It could intervene with milk production if consumed in high doses. However, dinner mints or an occasional cup of peppermint tea is fine. 
  • Sage. Same as peppermint. You can still eat Grandma’s Thanksgiving stuffing flavored with sage. 

zulily: What might an ideal day’s menu look like for a breastfeeding mom?

The Bump: Oatmeal really is a great all-around super food. It contains whole grains, fibers and iron that new moms really need plus it’s easy to prepare and fills you up. Add berries or other fruit such as apricots and sprinkle sliced almonds on top for a quick, nutritious breakfast. Pour low-fat milk on it or eat yogurt on the side so you can boost your calcium level early in the day.

For lunch, go for a salad with protein like salmon or tuna and use spinach since it’s high in calcium. Or have a sandwich with lean turkey plus lettuce and tomato. 

For dinner, select a lean steak or salmon with brown rice and vegetables. A general rule of thumb is to fill your plate half with vegetables. It’s the way people should be eating normally, but since you’re up all hours of the night, it’s easy for your diet to become irregular and you find yourself grabbing cookies out of the cupboard or Doritos. Resist the temptation of a quick fix by having healthy snack options on hand like pre-cut celery, baby carrots, hummus and peanut butter. 

zulily: Anything else you’d like to share about eating well when breastfeeding? 

The Bump: Experts tell us to eat as many natural, whole foods as possible and not load up on stuff in a box. Not only are vegetables and fruits going to be better for you, they also help you keep your energy, stay healthy and lose that baby weight.

zulily: Thank you so much for taking the time to let us interview you! 

'Talk Breastfeeding' Twitter Party!

Join @zulily and Jessica from @TheLeakyBoob for a Twitter Party in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week. Next Monday, August 6th, from 11am to Noon pacific, bring your best 140-character questions, comments and insights to out ‘Talk Breastfeeding: Fashion and Function' Twitter Party! A few of zulily’s favorite nursing and maternity brands will be joining the discussion as well and have offered up a variety of prizes to give out throughout the party!

If you’re new to Twitter or still learning the ropes, we’ve laid out the a step-by-step guide below to participating in a Twitter party.

What is a Twitter Party?
A Twitter party is a public discussion—with “tweeters” from all over the world—based on a common topic of interest …with giveaways!

Why a Twitter Party
Twitter has become the go-to forum for moms worldwide to discuss every topic imaginable. Twitter is a big place, though, and our “Talk Breastfeeding” Twitter Party will be a great way to connect on a smaller scale with women who share an interest in topics related to breastfeeding and early motherhood. Also, giveaways!

How can I follow the discussion?
At first glance, Twitter can seem a chaotic place for a discussion. Fortunately, effort has been put into providing easy ways to organize the many tweets generated by users.

While the zulily Twitter Party promises to be fast paced, the Twitter “#hashtag” feature allows followers to more easily keep up with and participate in the discussion.

Each tweeter participating in the Party will include a unique hashtag in each tweet. For our party, we will be using both #WBW (for World Breastfeeding Week) and #momtalk. The latter, #momtalk, will help to differentiate tweets related to our Party from the larger WBW discussions taking place on Twitter this week.

To more easily follow and participate in the discussion, we recommend using a Twitter monitoring website. We’ve added a few of our favorites below. They’re free to use and will allow you to view any tweet that includes the right #hashtag.

New to Twitter? Follow these simple steps to sign up and join the discussion:

  1. Visit twitter.com to sign up for an account and pick a unique Twitter “handle” (Handle=what comes after the @ symbol)
  2. Follow @zulily and @TheLeakyBoob
  3. Visit one of our recommended Twitter monitoring tools. We’ll use tweetchat.com as an example.
  • Once you’ve arrived at click ‘Sign In’ and allow Twitter to authorize the Tweetchat app.
  • In the field that reads “Enter hashtag to follow”, enter momtalk
  • Join the party! Tweet us a question or comment, or simply introduce yourself! We’ll make sure to say hello! Be sure to include #momtalk in your tweet and the @ symbol to direct your comment at the right user. Here’s an example:
“@zulily, @TheLeakyBoob, excited to be here! I have a plenty to say on this topic! #WBW #momtalk”


A few of our favorite websites for monitoring Twitter: