Breastfeeding Association Q&A

Thanks to the wonderful people at the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Lose Baby Weight has some specially created Q&A for followers of our website and plans.  We gave the ABA our most commonly asked questions by mums on our plans and we hope this will be really helpful to you and we thank the Australian Breastfeeding Association for their time in formulating the answers.
Q. Is there a standard amount of calories I should consume each day when breastfeeding or is it more about getting the right nutrition rather than looking at calories?
A.There is no one-size-fits-all recommendation for calories needed. It depends partly on the woman’s pre-pregnancy weight/BMI and her weight gain during pregnancy. Mothers should eat according to hunger, using a balance of healthy foods She should aim to return to the healthy weight range but not try to lose more than 500 g per week (unless under medical or a dietitian’s supervision).
Q.How will I know if my milk supply is affected from any foods I am eating?
A.Milk supply is controlled initially by hormones and then by how much and how frequently milk is taken from the breast. Foods do not influence milk supply. Your baby should control your milk supply according to his/her appetite and be given free access to the breast when and for how long he/she wants.
Q.If my baby doesn’t like the foods or nutrition I am eating will he let me know?
A.Some babies are sensitive to certain foods in a mother’s breastmilk, although this is certainly not universal. They may respond by crying a lot, not sleeping well or having a rash. If a mother thinks her baby is reacting to foods in her diet, she should consult a dietitian with an interest in food intolerance and allergy. If it is an ‘extra’ food like chocolate, she may like to prove this by avoiding it for 2-3 weeks to see if the baby’s symptoms settle down. Then she can eat some again and watch for the symptoms to return. Good nutrition while breastfeeding is more about the mother’s health than the milk and baby, although there are some nutrients that are important A mother not eating well may be extra tired and be less able to cope with the demands of motherhood.
Q.Can I do too much exercise when breastfeeding?
A.Light to moderate exercise is healthy for breastfeeding mothers. This includes walking, bike-riding, swimming, jogging and social sport where you are not pushed beyond a comfortable limit. It also might depend on the mother’s level of fitness and what she was used to before the birth. Exercise at a serious elite level is fine for those who are used to it, however check with your medical adviser or physiotherapist about the best types of exercise for you. There are programs specially designed for women who have recently given birth. Avoid or prepare well (good support!) for exercises that cause the breasts to bounce a lot, as this can be very uncomfortable and might cause blocked ducts. Also, avoid pressure on the breasts from clothing or lying on your stomach.
Q.If I drink too much water will it affect my milk supply?
A.No. It is best to drink to thirst and don’t ignore thirst. Water is the best drink when you are thirsty but fluids in foods and other drinks (except alcoholic drinks) also count, including tea and coffee. There is a theoretical chance that extremely high intakes of water may affect some of the body’s hormones and decrease milk supply, but this is unlikely to be relevant in real life. Extreme intakes of water in any person have the potential to cause hyponatraemia (not enough sodium in the blood) and can even be fatal. This is unlikely to happen to breastfeeding mothers.
Q.Is 6 weeks after birth ok to start looking to lose weight, providing I use healthy and safe methods?
A.Yes, as long as it is done gradually, at no more than 500 g per week, unless under medical or a dietitian’s supervision.
© FAQ’s are copyright to the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Reproduced with permission December 2010.
*This material is for information only and not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional.  Please consult with your Doctor before starting any weight loss program and do not begin any exercise routine unless you have your Doctor’s clearance.
We also recommend talking to your Doctor if your baby suffers from Colic before starting any diet plan as certain foods may exacerbate the colic if you are breastfeeding.
The owners of Lose Baby Weight shall have no no liability or responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by the information contained herein