Juicing and breastfeeding have become fascinating subjects for many pregnant women over the last few years. As breastfeeding becomes more common in many circles, women are worried about their breast milk and want to make sure that it is as healthy as possible for their child's needs. And those interested in a juice cleanse may want to make lactation smoothies that may help improve their breast milk.
But is it wise to drink celery juice, pineapple juice, and other types of fruit juice when you are breastfeeding? Will these ingredients boost or diminish your milk supply? And can a juice cleanse benefit or worsen your breastfeeding experience? We'll answer all of these questions about juicing and breastfeeding, helping you find lactation smoothies and making it easier for you to decide if a juice cleanse is wise when breastfeeding.
In This Article:
Breastfeeding: Your Guide to This Parenting Choice
As a breastfeeding mother, you are making an excellent decision for your baby, one that can benefit them in many ways. When you decide to breastfeed, your lactation rates will increase, your breasts will swell with milk, and you'll need to feed your child breastmilk regularly. However, this beautiful and natural act can be supplemented and improved via milking when you aren't feeding your child and saving it for your later use.
However, many mothers may also want to use ingredients like lemon water, almond milk, fruit juice, coconut milk, carrots, pineapple, orange juice, and more to make a fresh juice. An organic juice is often a good choice for many women, though options like a protein powder may also have benefits.
How Breastfeeding Benefits Both Women and Children
Lactation and breastmilk provide both mothers and children with many benefits. These advantages improve when the mother adequately prepares by drinking a high-quality smoothie or smoothies with fruit, vegetables, and much more. For example, a fresh fruit diet with a high level of juice intake can provide the healthy fat that a child needs to grow. In addition, breastfeeding will benefit a child by providing:
- Decreased risk of asthma, obesity, and Type 1 diabetes
- Lower potential for respiratory disease, sudden infant death syndrome, and ear infections
- Helps improve a child's connection to their mother as they age
Mothers also get many benefits, such as feeling closer to their children, experiencing a stronger emotional bond that helps decrease post-delivery depression, and much more. They also have a lower risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and even breast and ovarian cancer. Some women may even lose weight when breastfeeding, though that typically varies on a case-by-case basis.
Tips Suggested By the Experts
When breastfeeding, you can integrate various foods into your diet to get the best results for your child and yourself. Experts suggest that you:
- Focus heavily (at least half your meal) on fruits and vegetables
- Choose fresh and organic vegetables whenever possible
- Pick dark-green, red, and orange vegetables
- Try to include as many whole grains as possible
- Integrate low-fat milk into your diet
- Eat lean protein, like poultry, eggs, beans, and soy
- Integrate fresh seafood, like tuna, but avoid shark, swordfish, and king mackerel
What about detox or juicing in general? Is a green smoothie a good drink for a nursing mother, or should they focus on solid foods? Is it possible to get enough healthy fat from a drink with fresh fruit and vegetable mixes? And will citrus fruits affect a nursing baby's health? Let's examine this fact below to learn more about what to expect in this situation.
Juicing: A General Guide for the Average Person
Juicing or juice cleanses are a unique detoxification process during which a person does not eat solid food but focuses only on fluids. These juicing periods typically last anywhere from three days to up to 10, though some people may utilize them for weeks at a time. Most of these diets are self-prescribed and directed, with people creating juices and smoothies based on various recipes.
Most people who juice create their smoothie right at home using a blender and fresh vegetables and fruits. Each ingredient is carefully selected to provide many different benefits and a balanced level of vitamins and nutrients. And though medical science is still uncertain of the overall benefits of this process, many people believe that it can help with many conditions. Just a few things that many people think it can provide include:
- Help with weight management needs
- An extra dose of vitamins and minerals
- A potential cure or treatment for many types of diseases
- Help with some cancer-related symptoms
- Decreased swelling and inflammation
Most of these benefits are based on testimonial evidence or those from people who went through juicing. Medical science is less convinced of the help of this process. However, specialists like Dr. Adam Drewnowski of the Center of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington have stated that juicing can provide a healthy way for people to improve their overall nutrient content.
And some studies have even found that juicing can provide a phytonutrient increase. These nutrients are beneficial because they provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. One study even found that some juices help reduce cardiovascular disease risk by managing blood pressure and other related problems, providing individuals with a more robust and healthier heart.
That said, doctors point out various problems with juicing that may be concerning to many people. For example, juicing removes fiber from your fruit, which may cause issues like struggles with bowel movements and digestive problems. And some fruits (exceptionally those high in sugar) can trigger blood sugar spikes that may be problematic. That's why fiber and protein powders are so familiar with a detox smoothie recipe.
But what about breastfeeding women? Should they be juicing, and does this process create any benefits for the mother and the child? First, let's examine whether pregnant women should be juicing or going through a detox diet to learn more about whether this is the right choice for their needs.
How Breastfeeding Women are Affected By Juicing
A juice detox may not be the best idea for a breastfeeding woman for several reasons. First of all, they are very low in calories. While this low-calorie count is good for losing weight, it is not healthy for the baby. A developing child needs a high concentration of nutrients and vitamins to grow. And if the juice is too low in calories, they may end up developing poorly and struggling to thrive.
Even worse, the mother will be splitting her nutrients between herself and her child, which may limit how much both receive. After pregnancy, women need a balanced diet to maintain their weight and get the vitamins and nutrients they need to recover. And splitting the smaller calories between her and her child will potentially cause damage to heart tissues and other organs in the body.
That said, it is possible to use juicing and juice recipes as a supplement to your regular post-pregnancy diet. Understanding more about this factor will help ensure that you provide your baby with the nutrients they need to be healthy. And it also minimizes any potential health issues that could affect you if you don't carefully balance your juicing recipes.
Juicing Recipes That Work for Breastfeeding Women
Even if juicing and detox specialists strongly urge breastfeeding mothers not to do a juice cleanse, you can still create some unique smoothies to supplement your regular food intake. This type of juicing is a smart option if you're not someone who enjoys fruits and vegetables but wants a tasty drink that will help to increase your intake of these ingredients, like vitamin C (vital for a young child's health).
The ingredients you choose for your smoothies should include elements like dairy milk (rich with fortified vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, and calcium), blueberries (low on guitar but high in anti-inflammatory ingredients), salmon (high in omega-3 fatty acids), avocado (rich in healthy fats, crucial for a breastfeeding mother), kale and romaine lettuce (naturally promote de-bloating, a common problem for breastfeeding mothers), and basil and ginger (help to promote more breast milk production).
Foods that you should avoid include anything too high in sugar (not good for your child's development), any highly acidic items (citrus fruits may not be a good choice), foods high in unhealthy fats (pretty rare with fruits and vegetables), and anything that you don't enjoy eating. There's no reason to make yourself suffer from your lactation recipes if you can avoid it, after all.
Great Lactation Juicing Recipes for Breastfeeding Moms
One of the best juicing recipes for a lactating mother is this balanced green drink that contains kale leaves, cilantro juice, one large apple, some ginger, and celery juice. These ingredients provide vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Blend them all and consume immediately for the best results. You can also refrigerate for later use, if necessary.
Another great option for breastfeeding mothers is a carrot juice that blends large carrots, kale, cucumber, lemon, and spinach. Like all juicing recipes, choose these ingredients based on your taste to get the best results for your needs. The carrots alone contain beta carotene, vitamin K1, potassium, antioxidants, and a high fiber level. Combined with spinach (rich in fiber and protein) and kale, this juicing recipe is one of the best for breastfeeding mothers.
If you want to change your drink options and try something a little different, add almond milk, a frozen banana, some cooked oatmeal, maple syrup (for taste), cinnamon, and almond butter for this delicious smoothie. The oats provide a vital source of phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, and fiber, while the banana provides plenty of potassium and anti-inflammatory properties.
Lastly, you can mix Green yogurt, mango chunks, low-fat milk, honey, cardamom, and cinnamon to produce a very healthy and tasty drink. Make sure to minimize the honey you add because it can add intense levels of sugar. However, when appropriately prepared, the mangoes provide over 20 different vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, vitamin K, potassium, folate, copper, calcium, and beta-carotene for antioxidant help. Use this drink as a dessert option with your everyday meals.
Deciding On Juicing During Breastfeeding
As a nursing mom, you deserve to know whether unpasteurized juice, cold pressed juice, and juice cleaning will affect your milk production. Our research suggests that vegetable juice, lemon juice, celery, apple juice, and other healthy ingredients won't hurt a breastfeeding mom and can help your baby in many ways. However, a juice cleanse may not be the best choice. Make sure to talk to your doctor about this factor to decide if juicing is right for you or if carrot-flavored cereal makes more sense.
Office on Women's Health: Breastfeeding
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Breastfeeding, Why It Matters
Chicago Health Online: The Pros and Cons of Juicing for Health
Healthline: Juicing, Good or Bad?
La Leche League Canada: Thursday Tip: Breastfeeding and Juice Cleansing
My Plate: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Better Health Channel: Breastfeeding and Your Diet
Mayo Clinic: Breast-Feeding Nutrition Tips for Moms
All About Juicing: Juicing While Breastfeeding
Healthline: Lactation-Boosting Recipes
Medline Plus: Health Food Trends: Kale
Healthline: Carrots 101, Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Harvard School of Public Health: Oats
Medical News Today: What to Know About Mangoes