I am terribly guilty of poor eating habits. I’m not really sure how they deteriorated so quickly. While I was pregnant with Levi, I ate really well. I tried to eat healthy snacks and well-balanced meals to ensure I got all the proper nutrients to pass on to him. My weight gain during pregnancy was fairly reasonable – I gained about 40 lbs total.
After Levi was born, I continued my healthy eating habits. I was nursing, and I thought it was super important to make sure I ate the right foods, since what I ate eventually went to Levi, right?
According to Breastfeeding.com:
A breastfeeding mother should try to eat a balanced diet, but neither needs to eat any special foods nor avoid certain foods. A breastfeeding mother does not need to drink milk in order to make milk. A breastfeeding mother does not need to avoid spicy foods, garlic, cabbage or alcohol. A breastfeeding mother should eat a normal healthful diet. Although there are situations when something the mother eats may affect the baby, this is unusual. Most commonly, “colic”, “gassiness” and crying can be improved by changing breastfeeding techniques, rather than changing the mother's diet.
So I tried to eat well. I did pretty well for the first few months. By the time Levi was 7 weeks old, I had already lost all my baby weight. It was around that time that we learned Levi had a sensitivity to both milk and soy protein, so I changed my diet drastically. No more pizza. No more cheese. No more chocolate pudding. No more yogurt.
But I was ravenous. I ate all the time. I would order a thin crust pizza without cheese and inhale almost the whole thing. Still, I dropped weight.
When I went back to work, I stocked my desk with snacks like granola bars and oatmeal squares. I tried to keep stick to more healthy foods, but slowly, junk food started creeping in. At first it was just a Hershey kiss here or there. On treat days (we’re big on pot lucks at my office), I was almost forced to eat healthy. I couldn’t have the creamy dips or desserts full of cream cheese goodness because of my no-dairy restriction.
But then I started back at school. Balancing work, school, and being a mom is tough. It’s hard enough to find time to pump, let alone time to sit down and make sure I’m eating a balanced meal. My solution has been to eat a healthy breakfast of oatmeal and granola every morning, then wing it the rest of the day. The result has been me eating more cookies or other unhealthy snacks because I’m still hungry, since I’m reaching for the first thing that’s available.
It’s not good, and it’s a tough habit to break. Eventually, breastfeeding will end, and I won’t be burning those extra calories every day. I know I need to correct those bad habits now, not only for my waistline, but because I want to set a good example for Levi. I know if I want him to make healthy food choices as he grows up, I need to lead by example.
This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. This week’s topic is Healthy Eating. Check out some of the other posts below and link up your own!