Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Making Awesome Breast Milk

In the spirit of World Breast Feeding Week - here is one of my contributions to Practical Parenting some time ago.

Breast Milk is a pretty amazing liquid. It is a complete meal packed with all the nutrition a baby requires. Breast milk supports growing immunity and lowers the chance of various illnesses’ and disease. And it’s commonly agreed to be the best food (where possible) for a newborn baby.
I am often surprised that women however do not realise the effect their own diet can have on their child. Many women simply do not connect that what they ingest is being passed on through their breast milk to bubs.
Breast Milk is absolutely influenced by food!

Babies often develop skin irritation, wind and discomfort as a result of strong foods, passed on in the milk that upsets them. It’s believed that pungent flavours often upset babies, however each child is different and it’s sometimes tricky to determine exactly what may be upsetting your newborn. Generally, if it sets you off, it sets them off too! I couldn’t as much as look sideways at beans without my daughter’s tummy being upset and yes, beans do the same to me!
By the same token, what a mother ingests can be of therapeutic benefit for the newborn. Skin irritation, eczema and baby acne often responds very well to the mother using a pro-biotic or fish oil themselves, again, passed on via the milk.

Sometimes removing certain foods, commonly dairy, sees the skin improve. Skin irritation may be a reflection that the baby’s immature gut isn’t able to break down fats being passed on. It doesn’t necessarily indicate they will suffer with this condition for life, and in the majority of cases, go away as their little organ systems develop.
With this knowledge it’s simple to see why the breast-feeding mother needs to eat a wholesome diet full of good proteins, plenty of green leafy and colourful veggies and avoid processed foods that hold little nutritional value. Such a diet will benefit breast milk quality and quantity and ensure that as a feeding mother you can continue to deliver ‘the perfect meal’!
Natalie’s top five foods for beautiful breast milk:
~ Filtered water essential for adequate milk production
~ Oats or oat milk supports the production of milk
~ Protein, be it from lean meats, nuts, eggs and legumes
~ Green leafy vegetables which also contain calcium which is important for breast feeding mothers
~ Cereals and grains

The original post can be seen here:

Sometimes diet changes alone aren't enough. At The Pagoda Tree, we see all kinds of post natal conditions, including breast milk troubles.


  1. Thank you very much for making this post. It is helpful to realize what is good and bad for making the best breast milk.

  2. Great advice! I'm sending this to my friend who is pregnant :)

  3. This is a great post - I'm going to link to it on MumSpace tomorrow. It's beautiful.

  4. sent over via potty mouth momma. I'm a fan of breastfeeding, here in SLC UT (US) we do a breastfeeding cafe (community outreach) every august. I LOVE talking and helping mamas there. Thanks for a great article!

  5. thanks for this great reminder, its easy to overlook how important diet is when busy looking after a baby and breastfeeding. i just wanted to add that i also found it helpful to reduce the amount of sugar i had when dealing with an unsettled newborn. i have had 3 babies and each time i would find myself craving sugar when tired then struggling with a carying baby who did lots of frothy poos (sorry for the detail!). i found that by cutting out sugar (although would allow myself a little dark choc to get through the 5pm horrors)the crying & sleeping improved as well as the poo. hope you can pass this on

  6. Sugar cravings can sometimes be miss-read for carbohydrate cravings. Adding complex carbohydrates to the diet can help to curb those cravings as well as provide the diet with what it requires. Great point Home Girl!


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