Breastfeeding feel like running a marathon. The stamina required to feed a small human is no joke. Whether you're exclusively breastfeeding, exclusively pumping, supplementing, or whatever, it's important to eat a nutrient packed diet. You definitely don't have to give up the sweets — a cup of coffee or bowl of ice cream occasionally — isn't going impact your milk that much. Eating healthy is more for the mom to help keep her energy up. The time consuming part is often choosing the right foods. Thankfully, the one fruit you should buy every week for better breast milk supply, is easy to find at almost any grocery store or farmer's market, and it packs a nutritious punch.
Behold, the banana, a breastfeeding mother's best friend. According to Baby Center, breastfeeding women need 5,100 milligrams of potassium per day. That's a lot of potassium. A medium size banana contains about 806 milligrams of potassium, according to Nutrition Data. Before you go stuffing your face with a bazillion bananas, know that it's not necessary and here's why: you are probably getting a lot of potassium from several other food sources already. Vegetables like potatoes, squash, leafy greens, and beans, are all packed with loads of the mineral and can help you meet your daily potassium goals. So what makes a banana so special then? Why is it the standout fruit for breastfeeding moms?
The potassium content of the banana helps breastfeeding moms balance the electrolytes in their bodies, which helps with fluid retention and equilibrium. This is crucial because new moms are often concerned about dehydration and getting enough water while nursing. According to the Dr. Sears website, dehydration in a mother won't necessarily impact her supply, but it will contribute to concerning issues like maternal constipation, fatigue, and impaired concentration. All of the aforementioned challenges can really inhibit how well a mother breastfeeds her baby. A mother who eats a couple of bananas a day either raw, or in a smoothie, can be rest assured that the fluid in her body is balanced and providing all the hydration she needs to stay healthy while nursing.
Another big reason why breastfeeding moms should buy bananas every week for better breastfeeding is because they're so easy to eat (even while baby is at the breast or you're pumping). All new moms, breastfeeding or not, often welcome the idea of one handed foods. When a mom isn't stressed about finding time to eat, or finding a way to eat, she can breastfeed with more ease. As a new mom holding a baby constantly, I quickly figured out that any food requiring both of my hands was not going to get eaten. It was going to get cold, old, and eventually tossed away. If I had to cut it, I was going to starve because I couldn't use both of my hands while feeding a baby. I soon embraced any foods I could take a handful of or any foods I could simply stab with a fork and put in my mouth.
The other reason you'll want to stock up on bananas every week, is that they are relatively inexpensive fruit. Their cost attractive price tag helps moms in the stress department, which helps them better breastfeed their baby. The love hormone that helps moms let down their milk and bond with their babies called, oxytocin, is released when a mother breastfeeds, according to Very Well. Stress can prohibit that hormone from being released in a breastfeeding mom, causing issues with latch, let down, and supply, as explained on the site. A new mom already has a lot on her plate, she doesn't need the added stress of buying expensive foods.
Bananas are a crucial fruit for breastfeeding moms because they're healthy and they make life so easy with an infant. Just grab one (or two) from your kitchen, throw it in your diaper bag, and go. Anything that makes life easier for a new mom is a win for mom and baby, and makes for better breastfeeding.