Amy's Corner. our lactation consultant answers your questions about nursing.

Media Portrayal of Pregnancy and Postpartum Body Image

Media Portrayal of Pregnancy and Postpartum Body ImageMovies, television shows, magazines, websites and social media are affecting the way pregnant and new moms view their own bodies. A new study from the University of Illinois published in the journal Health Communication highlights the impact of media portrayal of pregnancy and postpartum body image. For nearly half of women it’s not helping them feel good about themselves during this incredibly special, and often stressful, time in their lives.

The study interviewed 50 women during the perinatal stage, which is just before through just after giving birth. They were asked about the impact of media images and messages regarding pregnancy and postpartum body image.

Many moms said they felt the media puts undue emphasis on pregnant and postpartum bodies. Between showing idealistic pregnancy bumps in bikinis, an unrealistic portrayal of childbirth in movies, and celebrities who return to their pre-baby weight in merely days or weeks, women are left feeling depressed and frustrated by their own bodies.

The interviews found that, on top of conjuring up negative feelings, women were skeptical that media depictions of pregnant and postpartum were real or realistic and wanted to see changes in the way these sacred periods are represented.

“Participants felt that media portrayals of women ‘losing all their baby weight’ in a short time frame set unrealistic expectations and did not account for the realities of giving birth, such as hormones, physical healing and the stress of caring for a baby,” Toni Liechty, Professor of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois, said.

The truth of the matter is every woman’s body is different and every woman handles pregnancy and childbirth differently. Therefore, there should not be an ideal standard set for how a woman should look. Hormones, physical and biological differences and each woman’s unique circumstances play a role in her aesthetic response to pregnancy.

While the media may portray celebrities as “bouncing back” from childbirth lickety-split, those celebrities may have lost weight using unhealthy means, or have the resources to hire nutritionists and trainers to help them drop the baby weight. Also, the photos and media messages fail to report whether or not celeb moms are taking on the bulk of childcare, waking in the night with their newborns, breastfeeding every 2-3 hours, and feeling the normal anxiety and confusion that most new moms feel. That new mom cover model you’re admiring may look slim and refreshed but she’s probably not under the same circumstances as most moms in America.

Women also reported a complex relationship with social media. In some instances they felt social media helped inform and support their role as new moms. At other times indirect messages and images made moms feel bad about themselves.

Sources: Science Daily and University of Illinois

When Parents Have Different Parenting Styles

When Parents Have Different Parenting StylesIn many ways having different parenting styles benefits your children. Life is full of coping with change and accepting differences. When mommy and daddy change diapers, give baths and play differently, it helps your kids realize that different is OK. However, in the world of raising children, everything is not that simple and there are certainly issues that may arise when parents have different parenting styles.

As you’ve surely come to realize, falling in love with a person doesn’t mean that person is going to stay the same for the rest of your blissful lives. And loving a person doesn’t mean you will love their parenting. Even when you discuss and agree on parenting decisions prior to having children, the practical execution is a whole different ballgame.

It is rare to find families where both parents agree on parenting 100% of the time so looking for perfection is just not necessary. After all, consciously or not, much of your parenting styles come from how you were raised. But how you cope with your differences is what really counts.

Some of the biggest issues that parents face when they have different parenting styles stem from nutrition, childcare, behavior and sleep habits. Often one parent has a stricter approach and believes rules should be followed to a t, while the other is more permissive and forgiving of breaking the rules.

Keep these points in mind when dealing with parents who have different parenting styles:

Present a Unified Front

As much as you may disagree with your partner’s decisions, never undermine them (or your partner) in front of your children. When one parent makes a judgment call, follow the lead and have a private discussion about it later. Children should not be put in the middle of parenting conflicts, which can cause them emotional stress. Also, when children witness parenting strife, they will learn that they may be able to manipulate one parent if the other is coming down hard. This may lead to disrespect and other undesirable behaviors.

Talk in Private

When you do have a moment to discuss the parenting issue with your spouse, do so in a loving and collaborative way. You are both care deeply for your children and want what is best for them. Share your differing point of view and ask if you can try your way next time, or at least discuss the best approach for the next situation before making a call.


If your marriage is like most, you probably both feel passionately about your point of view. That’s when you’ll need to come up with a compromise. If one parent wants to allow sugary snacks constantly and the other prefers to institute strict nutrition, set a limit to the number of treats your child can have per week. Or if bedtime when daddy comes home from work tends to be later than usual, allow your child to skip her bath that night to ensure daddy gets playtime without infringing on precious sleep time.

Be Consistent

Your children need to understand that both mom and dad are going to enforce household rules. This consistency will help create a mutual respect in your home and not cause your children to lean on one parent over the other.

Sources: Today’s Parent, Love and Logic, and Psychology Today

The 3 Major Risk Factors of Preterm Birth

Researchers have identified the three major risk factors of preterm birth and mothers will be happy to know you have some control in the matter. Preterm birth, as defined by having a baby prior to 37 weeks of gestation, occurs in 11.4 percent of births in the U.S. By knowing and managing the major risk factors of preterm birth, you can lower your baby’s chance of joining that statistic.

Using data from 400,000 U.S. births between 2006 and 2011, researchers from the Center for the Prevention of Preterm Birth at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital narrowed down the three major risk factors of preterm birth to having less than one year between pregnancies, being a healthy weight at the beginning of pregnancy, and gaining the appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy.

The 3 Major Risk Factors of Preterm Birth

Birth Intervals

Previous studies indicate that spacing pregnancies at least 18 months apart helps significantly reduce risk of preterm birth. Women who conceive within a year of giving birth are twice as likely to deliver the second baby prematurely. Family planning is especially important as more parents are waiting until an older age to have children. This sometimes leads to less spacing between children which contributes to preterm birth.

Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Weight

Your weight is a factor in conception but it also affects the course of your pregnancy including risk of preterm birth. A BMI (body mass index which measures body fat in relation to height and weight) of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy. Women who are under this range are usually instructed to gain more during pregnancy and those who are over are often advised to gain less. Being underweight prior to pregnancy seemed to be a bigger risk factor of preterm birth than being overweight.

Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain

Experts generally recommend a weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds for women who begin pregnancy with a healthy BMI. Remember, most of this weight is not the baby itself but rather increased quantities of blood, extra fat stores, the placenta, water retention and breast enlargement. Gaining too little or too much during pregnancy can be particularly harmful to babies.

Dangers of Preterm Birth

Your baby is growing and developing day-by-day in your womb. When babies are not given enough time to properly develop they are at risk for many complications in infancy and beyond. The most common dangers of preterm birth are birth defects including respiratory, heart, gastrointestinal and mental issues as well as developmental and behavioral problems. Babies born prematurely often spend time in the NICU which delays breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact and bonding.

Managing Your Risk

While pregnancy spacing, pre-pregnancy weight and pregnancy weight gain are not the only risk factors of preterm birth, they are the most significant indicators of this potentially life-threatening event. And you have control of each of them. Family planning and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle before and during pregnancy are steps you can take for the health of your baby.

There are certainly health aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing that are out of your control, but making smart choices to protect your unborn baby and then giving her the best start in life with breast milk are excellent ways of nurturing and safeguarding your baby’s health.

Sources: WebMD and Parenting

Can You Get a Mammogram While Breastfeeding?

Can You Get a Mammogram While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can absolutely get a mammogram while breastfeeding. In fact, if you are due for a mammogram or one is recommended, you should definitely get one.

Many mothers are concerned that the radiation from this breast health screening will deem their breast milk unsafe, affect their milk supply or be extremely uncomfortable. The truth is that this type of diagnostic test is not dangerous for you or your baby. Mammograms only produce a brief burst of x-rays that pass through your breasts but are not harmful. The same is true for other X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs and PET, CT, CAT and many other scans.

A mammogram while breastfeeding may be harder to read, however. That’s because lactating breasts have denser breast tissue which can make deciphering the x-ray a bit more difficult. You should let your doctor, the mammogram technician and the radiologist know you are breastfeeding so yours is reviewed by a radiologist trained in reading mammograms for breastfeeding women.

You will likely get the best results and experience less pain from the mammogram if you breastfeed or pump immediately before the test. This will help ensure your breast tissue has less milk and your breasts will feel softer, which will be more comfortable as the plates compress your breasts during the x-ray.

Developing breast cancer during pregnancy or while breastfeeding is rare, however you should be aware of the warning signs. They include:

  • Lumps that do not resolve themselves within a few weeks, especially after treatments. Your breasts go through many changes during breastfeeding and one of them is that they may seem a bit bumpier thanks to the various channels that are helping you produce milk. Finding a lump does not necessarily mean you have breast cancer. Most lumps are actually not cancer at all, especially during breastfeeding. Rather, it may be a clogged duct, cyst or benign tumor.
  • Most of the time redness is not a symptom of breast cancer but it is of a specific and very serious type called inflammatory breast cancer. More often than not, redness during breastfeeding is a result of a clogged duct or breast infection called mastitis.
  • Blood in your milk is concerning for any mom. Usually this is caused by poor latch that leads to nipple trauma. Very seldom it could be a sign of breast cancer in the milk ducts. After visiting a lactation consultant to check your latch, you should seek imaging if the blood continues.
  • You know your body best and if you feel there is something abnormal about your breasts, despite all the changes occurring due to breastfeeding, seek advice from your physician.

Sources: Best for Babes, The Bump and La Leche League

What Clothes Does Your Baby Really Need?

What Clothes Does Your Baby Really Need?It is ever-so-tempting to buy gobs of new clothes for your unborn baby. They’re just so cute with their tiny arm holes and matching hats and what not. But before you buy up the baby clothes department, ask yourself what clothes does your baby really need?

The answer is: not much! Newborns may only stay in the smallest size clothing for a few weeks. From there your baby will probably size out of clothes every two to four months so stocking drawers full of clothes in each size range is just not practical. If you do the laundry once or twice a week, you don’t need a new outfit for every day of the year.

When you’re standing in the baby clothes section of any store and wondering what clothes does your baby really need, consider this basic checklist and a few tips from veteran moms:

Type of Clothing Quantity Our Advice
Infant Gowns 2 to 4 Gowns are often easier for middle-of-the-night diaper changes. They will also fit longer than traditional pajamas with legs.
Bodysuits 6 to 8 Bodysuits are versatile for daytime or nighttime wear, plus they are great for layering.
T-shirts 4 to 6 T-shirts with wide necks or side wrap closures are easiest to use. Select neutral colors that will match the rest of your baby’s wardrobe.
Pajamas 4 to 6 One piece pajamas are cozy and can be worn out-and-about as well.
Long Pants 2 to 4 Pants are generally better for younger babies than shorts. Some moms think the ones with built-in socks are great since socks tend to fall off often, but others find babies outgrow the footed pants more quickly.
Sleep Sacks 1 to 2 Sleep sacks work wonders for some babies and are especially nice in the winter. Remember, no blankets in the crib!
Hats 3 to 4 There’s a reason the hospital gives you baby caps. Your baby cannot regulate her body temperature so keeping her head covered helps her stay warm.
Socks or Booties 4 to 6 There’s no need for shoes quite yet but you can protect your baby’s feet with cozy socks or booties.
Dressy Outfit 0 to 1 You may not need anything dressy for your baby at all. If you find your infant has a dressy occasion or two, one outfit should suffice.
Jacket 0 to 1 Depending on the season or climate where you live, you may want to have one lightweight jacket for your baby.


A few additional tips when considering what clothes does your baby really need:

  • Much like your nursing bras that touch your sensitive breasts and may caress your baby too, soft, breathable fabrics are ideal for your baby’s clothes. Scratchy materials, itchy tags or restrictive limb holes are a recipe for a fussy baby.
  • It’s a good idea to pre-wash your baby’s clothes before she wears them. Towards the end of your pregnancy wash only a few items to have on hand right away. Since you don’t know the size of your baby and which items will work best for you, don’t wash everything right away.
  • There is no need for special baby detergent to wash your baby’s clothes unless you discover she has extremely sensitive skin. Usually a dye-free detergent is fine and will allow you to wash your baby’s clothes with the rest of the families.
  • Be prepared to do laundry more often with a baby. You may be changing her clothes two, three, four or more times per day depending on spit-ups, drool and diaper blow-outs.
  • Save your baby clothes receipts so you can return any items you find you don’t need or that your baby outgrows before she has a chance to wear them.
  • Beware of hardware that could be dangerous to your baby. Loose buttons or strings fall into that category, and metal zippers and fasteners may cause allergic reactions on some babies.

Sources: The Bump and Fit Pregnancy



Breastfeeding Success Story: Catherine from Grayson County La Leche League

Breastfeeding Success Story: Catherine from Grayson County La Leche League“Along with excitement and thankfulness, with the birth of my son (our second child) also came terrible Postpartum Depression.  There were so many days when I did not think I could continue breastfeeding.  It was too hard and it did not come naturally to me.  Even though I had breastfed my daughter for a few months, it still seemed foreign to me.  We were also in the process of remodeling our home and living in a camper (and we still do!)  Some days, the challenges just felt too great.

At the time, I felt alone.  I know now that many women struggle with postpartum depression and I have been able to share my story with other women who are going through that.

Breastfeeding my son has been the most incredible journey.  It has created a bond between us – a symbiosis.  It is the most natural thing to me now and I often reflect on how grateful I am to the people who supported me along the way and encouraged me to keep trying in the beginning.  My friends (especially Melissa who organized the Live, Love, Latch), my family, and my wonderful husband.

I also reached out to other support groups on social media for support.  I remember being so hard on myself because I thought “I should be able to do this easily.”  It wasn’t until I started listening to other’s stories that I realized it was not as ‘easy’ I thought it was ‘supposed’ to be. People who breastfeed successfully need and require support.

Now, I can share with others and encourage them through the hard times.  Breastfeeding is a normal thing in our household.  My daughter often nurses her stuffed animals when we are going to sleep at night.  She is not shy to talk about me nursing her brother to others.  It is quite sweet.  My son is 14 months old and still nurses.  He loves it and I love it.”

Catherine from Grayson County, Virginia La Leche League

Own Your Parenting

Own Your ParentingBeing a parent is the most rewarding and challenging job, all at the same time. Almost every decision you make, or don’t make, when it comes to the care of your child is considered parenting. There’s a lot of talk about different parenting styles but the bottom line is parenting is full of personal choices. When you own your parenting, you’ll be better able to stick with your strategies and be the best parent to your children.

Own Your Parenting: Parenting Styles

First off, it’s important to realize that you don’t have to identify your parenting style or give it a cutesy (sometimes offensive) name. You parent like you and your friend parents like her. It’s just that simple. Yes, some mothers hover, some are more laid back. Some care more about discipline and less about nutrition. Some are hyper-focused on extra-curricular activities and not as concerned about academics.

Because the way in which you parent is a personal choice, there are a lot of blurred lines as well. If you’re strict about bedtime it doesn’t mean you can never allow your children to have a late night. If you get caught up in your own parenting style title, you can lose sight of a pillar of parenting – being flexible to the needs of your family.

Own Your Parenting: Personal Choices in Parenting

It’s hard not to consider your own childhood experiences and how you were parented when you are making personal choices in parenting. Many parents pick and choose from the way they were raised and apply the best of their parents’ choices to their own parenting. Just be sure you’re making parenting decisions for the right reasons, not only because you were raised that way or you’re revolting against the way you were brought up.

Own Your Parenting: Parenting to Your Children

When you head into parenthood you’ll probably have some great ideas of how you want to be a parent. These are wonderful guidelines, however you have to get to know your own children before making any final decisions about parenting them. Different children require different parenting styles and techniques, even in the same family. It can get tricky to tailor your parenting to your children, but it’s essential for their growth and the happiness of your family.

Own Your Parenting: Be Confident in Your Parenting

Not everyone is going to agree with your parenting and you’re going to have to accept that by being confident in your choices. Where your child goes to school, what he eats, your discipline techniques, his daily schedule and every other aspect of parenting are subject to scrutiny from just about anyone including grandparents, friends and strangers.

Stay true to yourself and don’t always feel the need to explain why you make the choices that you do. Sometimes mother knows best. No one is in your shoes and is managing exactly what you are so stick to your guns and do what you think is best for your children and your family.

Own Your Parenting: Constantly Improve

Even the most confident parents aren’t immune to changing course if they see fit. There is no one right or wrong way to be a parent and therefore sometimes you adjust your own strategies in the name of improvement. You may observe another parent’s way of encouraging her children to share and adopt the tactic yourself. Or you may find that your once-loved nighttime routine is no longer working and you need to find a new system. All of that is a normal part of evolving as a parent.

Parenting is a journey, not a destination. Own your parenting and enjoy the adventure!

Sources: Washington Post, Hand-in-Hand Parenting and The Pragmatic Parent


Leading Lady’s Dreamy Comfort Maternity to Nursing Bra – What Dreams are Made Of

Leading Lady’s Dreamy Comfort Maternity to Nursing Bra – What Dreams are Made OfWhen it comes to a nursing bra, what are your dreams made of? Does it sound something like this:

Smooth cups…uh-huh!

Support from top to bottom…yeah!

Easy access to breastfeed…of course!

A sleek look…yup!

Enveloped in comfort…definitely!

If this is your dream nursing bra, let us introduce you to Leading Lady’s new Dreamy Comfort Maternity to Nursing Bra. This comfort tshirt nursing bra is available in wirefree and underwire to support your body in the best way possible.

New moms often complain of “extra padding” after having a baby. But what if your nursing bra helped smooth out the lumps and bumps you are desperately trying to hide? That’s one of the best parts of our Dreamy Comfort Maternity to Nursing Bra.

The contoured microfiber cups shape your breasts for a feminine silhouette and hug your body to smooth from front to back. There are even side support wings that comfortably cradle and lift your breasts. When your bra supports your shape, you’ll love the way you look in your clothes. You may even call it a dream come true!

Of course, what good is a nursing bra if it doesn’t help you breastfeed. Truth be told, breastfeeding couldn’t get much simpler than our easy-to-use nursing claps and drop down cups. The fabric is so silky soft it practically melts for easy access to your breasts. You’ll never get caught again fumbling with your bra when your baby is hungry.

Keep dreaming big, ladies. But when it comes to your dreamiest nursing bra ever, we’ve already got you covered.

Leading Lady Partners with Humanitarian Groups to Support Hurricane Relief Efforts

Our message during World Breastfeeding Week bears repeating now more than ever: “It takes a village.” For the communities affected by recent hurricanes and the people who suffered loss, the village joins together to support those in need. As an extension of our World Breastfeeding Week nursing bra donation program, Leading Lady partners with humanitarian groups to donate 500 full figure bras and nursing bras to women displaced by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.  With Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association and The Blackish Mom at the helm, bras and maternity clothes are being distributed on-the-ground to women at the greatest disadvantages.

We want to thank our customers for making this Hurricane Relief Donation possible. Without your loyalty we would not have the resources to help women in their time of need. We believe bras do more than support your breasts. They lift your spirit, motivate your body, comfort your soul. That’s what women struggling to restore their lives need right now and we’re so proud we can offer support in every sense of the word.

Below find more information about our Hurricane Relief Donation and thanks again for being a valued customer!


Leading Lady Partners with Humanitarian Groups to Support Hurricane Relief Efforts with a Donation of Bras and Clothing to Women in Isolated Shelters


Leading Lady partners with Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association and owner of to distribute bras and maternity clothes to Hurricane Harvey victims on-the-ground in the Houston area.

Cleveland, OH —September 26, 2017 – As hurricane relief efforts continue throughout the U.S., Leading Lady partners with humanitarian groups to donate 500 bras and maternity garments to women in isolated shelters. Distribution is being handled on-the-ground through a team led by Houston-based blogger Victoria Graham of in affiliation with Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association. Leading Lady’s philanthropic donation includes items from its full figure bra, maternity clothes and nursing bra collections.

“Our hearts go out to all recent victims of hurricanes that have devastated parts of our country,” said Mark Corrado, third generation owner of Leading Lady. “Our Hurricane Relief Donation is aimed at helping women displaced by Hurricane Harvey; we hope that this donation will bring comfort to them.”

Hundreds of thousands of people permanently or temporarily lost their homes and belongings in recent hurricanes. Without basic clothing needs such as bras, women struggle to piece their lives back together. Graham and a team of other well-respected Houstonians are helping women at the greatest disadvantages in isolated shelters heal through donations and support.

“When I saw the first images of families in shelters, I immediately thought of breastfeeding moms,” said Graham. “I could not imagine the stress they were experiencing but I knew I wanted to help. With the generous response I received in less than a week of putting a plan together we have been able to help moms across the city of Houston as far as Kountze and Wharton, TX.”

Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association, an organization dedicated to improving infant health and mortality rates, is aiding in relief efforts through a 24-hour breastfeeding support hotline for victims or Hurricane Harvey. Nursing mothers facing devastating circumstances can speak directly to volunteer lactation consultants for support so they can continue to nurture their babies through breastfeeding, even in the worst of times.

“We are humbled to be a part of a collaborative effort to provide support to the families affected by Hurricane Harvey,” said Kiddada Green, Founding Executive Director of Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association. “With great thanks to our volunteer IBCLCs and CLCs, we are able to help families in need continue to breastfeed during disasters.”

Leading Lady’s Hurricane Relief Donation is an extension of an annual philanthropic donation program of more than $350,000 in nursing products to support moms, babies, families and communities in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, National Breastfeeding Month and Black Breastfeeding Week. The company’s core value is to help women realize their true potential through comfortable, supportive, attractive and inspiring apparel. By donating to women in need, Leading Lady makes these goals accessible to women of every walk of life, in any situation she may face. Every woman deserves support and Leading Lady is devoted to supporting women.

About Leading Lady:

Leading Lady is a premier nursing and full figure intimate apparel company dedicated to improving women’s lives with innovative products, resources and programs. Family owned and operated; Leading Lady has been supporting breastfeeding moms and babies for over 78 years. The brand promises superior quality and fit, a comprehensive selection of products and an excellent customer experience. The full collection is available for direct purchase at and in select retailers nationwide.

Website: | Social: @leadingladybras

A Healthy Vegan or Vegetarian Breastfeeding Diet

A Healthy Vegan or Vegetarian Breastfeeding DietAfter 40 or so weeks of a healthy pregnancy as a vegan or vegetarian, you’re probably eager to maintain this lifestyle habit while breastfeeding. And all research shows that you can as long as you continue to be watchful of the essential nutrients you and your baby need. After all, what you eat affects your breast milk and a healthy vegan or vegetarian breastfeeding diet is essential to your baby’s growth and development.

Fortunately, you won’t need to change much from pregnancy when it comes to a healthy vegan or vegetarian breastfeeding diet. Many of the same fantastic nutrients that were supporting your baby in the womb will also support her as they transfer into your breast milk. These include protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, Vitamin B12, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. Take a look here at our blog earlier this week for vegan and vegetarian options to get plenty of these nutrients.

However, there are few warning signs of nutrient deficiencies and additional nutrients to add to your vegan or vegetarian breastfeeding diet. Check them out:

Warning Signs of a Nutrient Deficiency

It’s true that vegans and vegetarians have a greater risk of nutrient deficiencies since their diets are more limited and cut out meat and potentially all animal sources of nutrients. That’s not to say that vegans and vegetarians can’t be extremely healthy and provide quality breast milk. With extra care and planning, new moms can offer their babies all the nutrition necessary.

A few words of caution:

Vegans and vegetarians may eat a large quantity of plant-based of food but much of it may be low in calories. Breastfeeding moms actually need up to 500 more calories a day than non-lactating women so being low on calories due to your diet is only exacerbated when breastfeeding. The body will then start to burn protein for energy, which deprives your baby of this important nutrient.

Although rare, Vitamin B12 deficiency is the most common among vegan breastfed babies. That’s because Vitamin B12 is only found naturally through animal sources. Additionally, the deficiency may begin in early infancy, between 2 and 6 months, but symptoms – such as anemia, hypotonia, developmental delays, vomiting, and lethargy – may not appear until after 6 months.

Although folic acid and iron are often consumed from animal products, there are more plant-based food options for them and therefore deficiencies in these nutrients are less common.

Vitamin D deficiencies are also rare but they can occur, especially in the wintertime among families who live in areas with little direct sunlight. While some Vitamin D comes from food, the major source is ultraviolet rays. Pediatricians often suggest babies take a Vitamin D supplement to avoid deficiency, which could impact calcium and phosphorus absorption.

Other Nutrients Required in a Healthy Vegan or Vegetarian Breastfeeding Diet

Many new moms don’t realize the importance of zinc in a healthy vegan or vegetarian breastfeeding diet. And unfortunately there are not many plant-based foods that contain zinc. Zinc is necessary for every bodily function because it’s found in every organ, tissue and body fluid. It’s important for growth, immune health and appetite, among other things.

You need more zinc while breastfeeding because your baby is absorbing much of your intake through breast milk. Here’s a bonus: zinc reduces risk of postpartum depression and may prevent cracked nipples.

Good sources of zinc for vegans and vegetarians are pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, sesame seeds, sesame oil and whole grains.

Another nutritional category that can trip up new moms is carbohydrates. It’s tempting to go low carb after pregnancy to try to drop those extra pounds. But carb-cutting during breastfeeding, especially the early stages, can affect the quality of your breast milk and restrict your calories which depletes your energy. Trust us, you’ll need all the energy you can get while nursing and caring for an infant!

Rather than cutting carbs, make wise choices about the carbohydrates you eat. Go with whole grains and complex carbs whenever possible and avoid sugary snacks and desserts. Your body will enjoy these wholesome nutrients and so will your baby.

Sources: La Leche League, Inhabitots, Breastfeeding Basics and Kelly Mom

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Decisions You Have to Make on your Baby’s Birth Day
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Getting Pregnant
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Heart disease
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How Baby Traits Influence Personality
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