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Breastfeeding is a beautiful and rewarding experience, but with the added demands of motherhood in the warm climate of the Middle East, it's crucial to prioritize your well-being. Your body needs extra nutrients to produce breast milk, making healthy choices even more important. Mamas & Papas understands the unique needs of breastfeeding moms in the region and wants to support your journey with delicious and culturally-relevant options. This list of the top 10 foods to include in your diet incorporates the rich culinary traditions of the Middle East, ensuring you feel your best while nourishing your little one.
Joys of breastfeeding | image

The joys and benefits of breastfeeding for mama and baby

Breastfeeding offers numerous benefits for both you and your little one. It provides the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, and antibodies, promoting optimal infant growth and development. Studies have shown that breastfed babies have a lower risk of ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and diarrhea, and they may also benefit from a reduced risk of allergies, obesity, and type 1 diabetes later in life.

For mothers, breastfeeding offers a range of advantages beyond nourishing your baby. It can promote faster postpartum weight loss and reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding also releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus contract back to its pre-pregnancy size and fosters a strong emotional bond between you and your baby. This close physical contact and hormonal release can contribute to feelings of well-being and a sense of connection with your little one.

Embracing tradition with middle eastern food | food to eat while breastfeeding

Embracing tradition, nurturing health: top food choices for Middle Eastern mamas

  1. Fatty Fish: Similar to salmon, fish like Sultan Ibrahim (Mackerel) and Hamour (Grouper) are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for brain development in infants. Aim for two servings per week, choosing options readily available in the region.

  2. Lentil Soup: A staple in many Middle Eastern diets, lentil soup is a hearty and nutritious option. It's rich in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals, keeping you feeling full and energized throughout the day.

  3. Whole Wheat: Opt for whole wheat versions of your favorite staples like Kubbah (bread pockets) and Arabic bread. These complex carbohydrates provide sustained energy without compromising on the flavors you love.

  4. Dates: A natural source of sugar and fiber, dates are a convenient and delicious snack option. They are also a good source of iron, which can be helpful for preventing anemia in both you and your baby.

  5. Eggs: A versatile and affordable option, eggs are a powerhouse of protein, choline, and essential vitamins. Enjoy them Menemen (scrambled with tomatoes and peppers), Shakshuka (baked in a tomato sauce), or simply boiled for a quick and nutritious breakfast.

  6. Chicken and Lamb: Lean protein sources like chicken and lamb are essential for building and repairing tissues. They are commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine, making them readily available and versatile ingredients.

  7. Nuts and Seeds: Include a handful of nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds in your diet. These nutrient-dense snacks are packed with healthy fats, protein, and fiber, offering a satisfying and nutritious energy boost.

  8. Fruits: A variety of colorful fruits like figs, apricots, oranges, and dates are readily available in the region and offer a great source of vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars. Enjoy them fresh, dried, or incorporated into smoothies and yogurt parfaits.

  9. Labneh: This thick yogurt is a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and offers a good source of protein, calcium, and probiotics. Enjoy it plain with a drizzle of honey or olive oil, or use it as a dip for vegetables and whole-wheat bread.

  10. Water: Staying hydrated is crucial for milk production, especially in the warm climate of the countries. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider carrying a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go.

Remember, this is just a general guideline. Every mother and baby are different, and it's essential to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice based on your individual needs and preferences. Mamas & Papas cares about your journey. We offer a wide range of products, including breastfeeding essentials and healthy food preparation tools, to support you every step of the way.