Diet DOES Matter when it comes to Breastfeeding and preconception
Ideal breast milk contains high levels of both saturated fats and Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. This can be accomplished by consuming high levels of animal fats plus eggs, cod liver oil and oily fish throughout the lactation period. Saturated fats in mother's milk stimulate the immune system and work synergistically with LCPs to maintain them in the tissues where they belong.
Levels of fat in a mother's milk will decrease with each baby unless she takes special care to consume high levels of nutrient-dense fats between pregnancies and during each lactation.
Vitamin A is found only in animal fats. Mothers can convert some of the precursors in fruits and vegetables into true vitamin A and these will then show up in her milk, but adequate supplies can only be met with consumption of animal foods rich in the true form of this nutrient.
Inadequate foods include low fat milk and dairy, lean meat, unsoaked grains, vegetables without butter or fat activators.
This is unfortunately how I ate, and promoted others to eat, while I was pregnant. I still had high quality foods, but they were inadequate to completely nourish myself and a growing baby. I realize how little I knew about nutrition, as I continue to learn more. Now I can get more fat and nutrient dense foods, and offer them to jade, but now she can choose to eat them or not, pregnancy would have been an ideal time to consume these foods, so that she would have had ample amounts of nutrients. She is still a healthy strong girl, which I am very grateful for, but as a mother I naturally question if it was enough to give her the best start possible. I hope my previous pregnancy diet of 2% industrial milk and occasional wild salmon meals, was enough to give her some fats. Now I try to offer her the best of what I know, but she chooses to not always eat those foods.
It can be overwhelming to eat all the foods that will make-up for my and her possible nutrient deficiencies, but it's so important.
High Quality Foods Include:
Whole Fresh Pasture Milk
High Vitamin or Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Pasture Butter from Grass-Fed Cows
^These are my top 4 foods that have helped me restore many nutrient deficiencies.^
Wild Caught Fish
Pastured Meats with their fat
Organ Meats (I haven't figured out how to incorporate this one yet- starting out with chicken or beef liver.)
Seafood, shellfish, oysters. (I haven't found adequate sources of these foods.)
Soaked Legumes (beans)
Organic or LOCAL vegetables with ample amounts of butter