“Pregnancy and nursing increase all nutritional requirements, with the possible exception of vitamin D, copper and iron. Calorie intake should increase slightly in pregnancy, and considerably in nursing. Zinc, folic acid, B12, and probably B6, and vitamin E, requirements are increased more by pregnancy than by nursing, while protein, other B vitamins, calcium, iodine, and probably magnesium, vitamin A, and possibly fats, are needed in larger amounts for nursing.” Raymond Peat, PhD, Nutrition for Women
“When an actress takes off her clothes onscreen but a nursing mother is told to leave, what message do we send about the roles of women? In some ways we’re as committed to the old madonna-whore dichotomy as ever. And the madonna stays home, feeding the baby behind the blinds, a vestige of those days when for a lady to venture out was a flagrant act of public exposure.” Anna Quindlen
“Imagine that the world had created a new ‘dream product’ to feed and immunize everyone born on earth. Imagine also that it was available everywhere, required no storage or delivery, and helped mothers plan their families and reduce the risk of cancer. Then imagine that the world refused to use it.” Frank A. Oski
“They convinced our mothers that if a food item came in a bottle — or a can or a box or a cellophane bag — then it was somehow better for you than when it came to you free of charge via Mother Nature….An entire generation of us were introduced in our very first week to the concept that phony was better than real, that something manufactured was better than something that was right there in the room. (Later in life, this explained the popularity of the fast food breakfast burrito, neocons, Kardashians, and why we think reading this book on a tiny screen with only three minutes of battery life left is enjoyable.” Michael Moore, Here Comes Trouble
“Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, one of the most beautiful things that exist in nature. Think about how a woman can literally feed her baby with her body! In my eyes, this is a certain form of beauty, of divinity! To know that my body can not only form and bring another human being into the world, but that I can actually feed babies with my own milk from my own breasts— that puts me in a state of awe each time I think about it. It is an honour to be a woman.” C. JoyBell C
“My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard.” David Allen
“If a multinational company developed a product that was a nutritionally balanced and delicious food, a wonder drug that both prevented and treated disease, cost almost nothing to produce and could be delivered in quantities controlled by the consumers’ needs, the very announcement of their find would send their shares rocketing to the top of the stock market. The scientists who developed the product would win prizes and the wealth and influence of everyone involved would increase dramatically. Women have been producing such a miraculous substance, breastmilk, since the beginning of human existence.” Gabrielle Palmer
“I think it’s a bit of a worrying sign of the times that when people have seen me with my newborn, many times the reaction has been: “gee you look good and slim for having just had a baby” like that’s my goal and I’d be complimented. We equate slimness with health. If anything I’ve been trying my best to retain weight for backup to support me through breastfeeding. In saying that, I’ve worked my metabolism (pre pregnancy) to a place where I can consume adequate calories, without gaining excess weight. Although some fat stores wouldn’t go astray.
Immediately post pregnancy is definitely not the time to be restricting calories or stressing the body with high intensity exercise, breastfeeding or not. Your body is in a compromised state. This is such an important time to be taking it easy; replenishing, resting, recovering.”
Foods to help encourage milk flow in the early weeks: Milk (the type that you personally digest best), orange juice and salting food to taste helped me enormously. And again, eating enough calories in general.
“Studies have shown that most healthy breastfeeding women maintain an abundant milk supply while taking in 1800-2200 (or more) calories per day. Consuming less than 1500-1800 calories per day (most women should stay at the high end of this range) may put your milk supply at risk, as may a sudden drop in caloric intake.“ Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC
I found it a wee bit nerve racking at first to just be patient and trust that my milk supply would meet her demand, but with everything I was doing and her persistent suckling, I’m lucky it did all get into sync eventually. Fenugreek can be a great aid too if things still aren’t happening a few weeks in.
Also to encourage ample milk supply, and aid in your own recovery, don’t underestimate … sleep & light
I realize now that talking about sleep to a new mum (especially one with multiple kids) is cruel irony, but if you could forego other activities (ditch the non-essential house work for as long as possible!) and take every opportunity to at least nap whenever you can, it’s probably more important than anything else. See it as a necessity, not a luxury.
Darkness and sleep deprivation are both stressors in themselves, so to a body that’s already in a compromised state, sitting up through the night with an unsettled little person is additional stress to address. Also factor in that sleep loss effects metabolism (lowers it).
“Good nutrition and plenty of rest are essential to postpartum recovery.” Dr John Lee, Hormone Balance Made Simple, 2006
Daily exposure to natural full-spectrum light for both mum and bubs is essential for so many reasons: increasing thyroid, decreasing stress, obtaining Vitamin D, establishing circadian rhythms and improving night time sleep quality. If I couldn’t muster up the energy for a walk in those early week, at the very least I’d feed her on the balcony early in the morning, or by a window. During the day I will lie out in the sun, baring some skin; maybe just lay on a rug in a park, with baby in filtered light in the shade of a tree.