I am so excited to partner with The Global Organization of EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) for World Breastfeeding Week. I’ve been tasked with raising awareness of a topic everyone can get excited about, Boobs! As a mom of three and a long-time Breastaurateur™, it’s only natural that I would advocate for healthy breastfeeding.
Looking back to what seems like a hundred years ago (actually five) after my first child, I was so naïve about how poor self-care and nutrition effected my body and, just as importantly, my supply. Many women receive incomplete info on how to take care of their postpartum bodies. I have a vague memory of my OB remarking in passing to continue my prenatal vitamins after birth if I was nursing, but that was the extent of it. Additionally, the problem is compounded by the fact that all our focus is on the beautiful new lifeform that’s come into our lives. How can new moms be expected to find time, energy and motivation to look after themselves with all the chaos whirling around? It might seem obvious, but it turns out you can’t give your new baby optimal care and nutrition unless you’re also taking care of YOU. It’s like when the bored flight attendant tells you what to do when the oxygen masks drop. Put that sucker on yourself first so you can do what needs to be done!
Nursing babies need so much from their mothers and a huge part of that is nutrition from their mother’s milk – and DHA is a great way to supercharge your supply. You’ve probably seen it listed in the ingredients of your prenatal vitamins or on the front of organic milk cartons at the supermarket, but didn’t have the time to get your masters in micro biology to find out what it’s there for. Well, have no fear, I’m here to help! No additional college loan required. DHA is short for Docosahexaenoic acid, an essential fatty acid, thought to be vital to the development of infants, particularly their eyes and brain. You know, the unimportant stuff. (…and you thought I was just another pretty face.). Turns out, DHA omega-3s are one of 11 nutrients the American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes as crucial for neurodevelopment in the first 1,000 days of life.
As a mom of three with the youngest 6 months old and still nursing, the last thing I had on my mind postpartum was eating healthy for myself. With a new baby who has the time? But it is so important for us to get the right nutrients for us and our babies. Almost all of the nutrition my children needed was coming from me and yet I barely had time to make myself a sandwich. All of my core vitamins and minerals my baby needed were coming from vitamins. When pregnant, babies obtain vital nutrients through their mother’s placenta. As breastfeeding mothers are the sole source of DHA omega-3 fatty acids for developing babies, it’s critical that pregnant and nursing mothers eat enough fatty fish or take an omega-3 supplement. Even the FDA recommends women who are pregnant or breastfeeding get between 8 and 12 ounces of seafood, specifically fatty fish like salmon, to absorb EPA and DHA omega-3s needed during this critical time.
This week is World Breastfeeding Week don’t forget to be kind to yourself and take care of your body as well. For more information on omega-3 benefits while breastfeeding, visit www.alwaysomega3s.com