Throughout my pregnancy, we tried to make sure that I was eating healthfully and that meant mostly organic produce, hormone free, local milk from Homestead Creamery, lots of nuts and seeds and whole grains, and minimal but lean meat, including some seafood. Now that Raygan is here, it's just as important for me to continue to eat healthfully, although there are some things that I can branch out on, such as the occasional glass of wine and a little caffeine in the morning cup of BGB coffee.
Why is this so important? Because everything I eat transfers to him in the form of breast milk. So, I really try to make sure that I'm eating well for both of us, which isn't always easy when I've got him in one hand, but we try to plan well in the morning before Benny leaves for work so it's easy for me to heat up soup or grab a sandwich or salad from the fridge. Essentially, the next five months or so of feeding him are free and won't cost us any more than before he was born. Another perk to breastfeeding is that I have to keep my caloric intake up by an additional 500 calories or so compared to during my pregnancy, so that means I get to eat more. So, maybe it does cost us a little extra in groceries since I'm eating more each day.
Breastfeeding is healthier for both of us. For Raygan, it provides immune support, much needed calories and vital nutrients, and its comforting for him. The human body is truly amazing since it adjusts the nutrients and fat and amount of milk based on his needs, so I don't have to worry about whether he's getting the right things at the right stage in his development. I still occasionally pump just to see how much he's getting at a feeding, but also to store it up in the freezer for when I go back to work. We plan to breastfeed for a year, or at least have enough in the freezer so that Raygan can get the benefits of breast milk for that long. Even when he transitions to solid foods, we can mix the milk into his mashed potatoes or squash, and of course he can still drink it.
The health benefits for me of breast feeding are lower risk of certain types of cancer, easier postnatal weight loss, and breast feeding helps the uterus to contract and go back to its original size quicker after delivery than not breast feeding. All of those were a plus for me. Even though breastfeeding was initially really difficult for me and Raygan had a tough time latching on, once we got over that hurdle, things have been great and he's gotten really goo at eating efficiently and not sleeping while nursing.
Once we transition to solid foods, we plan to make our own homemade baby foods, some of which we already have in the freezer. We're using the Start Fresh cookbook by Tyler Florence as a guide to make things easier. We're also using these ice cube trays to make storing the purees easier. It's really easy to make your own baby food from pureed fruits and veggies, and so much cheaper than the store bought stuff at 50 cents or more for a jar.
So, that's how we're feeding our little one and keeping him healthy. We're hoping he'll learn to be an adventuresme eater and learn to love food like we do. Here's to living green and saving green feeding baby! I'd love to hear from you!