Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Welcome to day four of our World Breastfeeding Week 2010 celebrations here on Joyful Mama's Place!

Today's guest blogger is an amazing lady who is also a very precious friend of mine, and it is an absolute JOY to welcome her to my blog!

Linnie is the mother of eight beautiful children, two girls and six boys - so far! - and has all the right credentials for writing a blog post about nutrition for breastfeeding moms: she was trained as a dietician, her husband owns a successful health shop, and she is a breastfeeding mother who is single-minded about providing her family with nutritious food.

To learn more about Linnie and her beautiful family, be sure to visit her blog, Back to Ancient Ways.

Christo and Linnie's eight blessings!

I am the mother of 8 children and I breastfed each child for at least 15 months. Over the past 16years (my oldest turns 16 in two weeks) I’ve breastfed exactly 12 years (144 months), and non-stop since June 2005. What I’m sharing with you about nutrition while breastfeeding, nobody has taught me, neither did I read it in any book. It is knowledge I’ve acquired through many painful days and nights trying to comfort fussy and colicky babies.

Photo below: Three of Christo and Linnie's boys - look at those beautiful big eyes!

Contrary to what your pediatrician, dietitian (trust me on this one - I was a dietitian) or clinic sister will tell you, everything that you eat has an influence on your baby. Not only coffee, alcohol and maybe chocolates! Anything you eat or drink gets digested and absorbed into your breast milk. Baby drinks that and depending on if it is easily digested, unknown to the digestive system or too complex to be digested yet, you will have a content, uncomfortable or, in most cases, colicky baby!

There is a small spectrum of food available for breastfeeding mothers, and finding foods that are good for both baby and mother is by far the hardest part of breast feeding, and thus one of the main reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding their babies, against their knowledge that breast is best! It is important what condiments you use during cooking. The brand of a product i.e. Soya sauce, salt etc is extremely important, as some brands add ingredients that gives baby cramps very easily and mother a difficult night.

So what do I avoid during the first three months of a newborn baby? There are so many foods to avoid, it is easier for me to tell you what I’m allowed to eat, but I will still try.

1. I avoid all wheat. Even ‘organic wheat’. Organic wheat is still altered and now contains 21 genes in comparison to the original 7 genes of the God-made-wheat and thus the body doesn’t have the enzymes to digest it correctly. We bake our own bread from Spelt.

2. The next big no-no is, diary products. That includes milk, cream, cheese, cottage cheese, yoghurt, etc., but butter is OK.

3. Food containing MSG make babies cry for hours! That means there are no soup powders, aromat or tinned food in my kitchen cupboards. I also avoid any commercial mayonnaise, chutney, soya sauce, tomato puree, tomato paste or tomato sauce.

4. Sugar is also a stumbling block on your way to an easy baby! Sugar is a mind-altering-drug and will make your baby more irritable. Be especially careful of breakfast cereals. During the first six months of a new baby I also avoid honey in my food. I’ve noticed it caused blocked noses and colic with some babies.

How does one know if there are wheat, diary, MSG or sugar in food? You start by reading the food labels!

5. The next thing we’ve noticed is the effect of pesticides and chemical treatment in fresh fruit and vegetables on Newborn babies. We currently only eat organic fruit and vegetables. If you are in the Western Cape Peninsula you can look into the Ethical Co-op for organic fruit and vegetables. Now, you may ask, what if you don’t have access to organic fruit and vegetables or cannot afford it? We have only had access to organic fruit for the past 4 months. Before this, I just avoided fruit during the first 3 to 6 months of my new baby and only ate certain vegetables. For fruit, I’ll have an organic apple, pear or peach. I avoid banana (as it causes constipation and mucus in babies) and citrus fruit. I’m careful of prunes, watermelon, grapes, strawberries, pawpaw and mango. For vegetables, I stay safe with butternut, sweet potato and squash. From all other vegetables - especially the onion family, cabbage family, beans and peas - I stay away.

6. For starch I only eat rice and stay away from potatoes. We make our own pasta with spelt flour (recipe below).

7. For protein I have eggs, lamb, mince (I make sure it is medium fat beef mince and contains nothing else than beef) and chicken. NO pork, beacon or any sausage. We buy all our meat products (lamb, chicken, mince, 'boerewors' - sausage, fillet) from the Boesmanland and they are totally organic! [You can order organic meat via Eirene health shop - Joyful Mama]

8. I also avoid any tea, especially rooibos tea![For our international readers, this is a herbal tea that is grown in the Cederberg mountains here in South Africa, and it is very popular throughout southern Africa]. Rooibos tea causes the intercellular cellular fluids to become very acidic, which caused me to take longer to recover from labour. Typical symptoms from being acidic is an aching body. I only have one or two organic, decaf cappuccino's, made with rice milk and a little brown sugar a week.

9. The golden rule is to prepare your food from scratch and throw out your microwave. You can read about microwave cooking here.

10. We also follow the blood group diet of Dr. Peter D’Adamo The blood group diet doesn’t only benefit your baby, it has the benefit of you getting back in shape in no time! I’m an O-blood type and eat meat with breakfast, lunch and supper. I eat butter and certainly don’t avoid fat. But I do avoid sugar! Contrary to what you may have been told or believe, it isn’t fat that make you fat, it is sugar and too much fruit! Michael is one month old and I’m only 3 kg from what I weighed before I fell pregnant. And that has been the case with every baby.

South African readers can order this book by clicking here.

By the same author:

Click here to order.

So what do I eat?

I eat as simple as possible, no fast foods, only food prepared from scratch in my kitchen. This way I know exactly what is in every meal.

I bake our own bread with spelt flour, an ancient wheat imported from Europe. It isn’t genetically modified and is grown organic. I have a Panasonic bread machine, which makes baking bread no big deal.

For salt I only use sea salt or Himalayan salt.

Available at health shops.

We love pasta and we make our own with spelt in the Kenwood Chef with the pasta accessories.

Whenever we need milk, we use rice milk powder.

2 baked eggs and spelt bread.
scrambled eggs (seasoned only with rice milk and sea salt) and spelt bread.
an egg omelet (egg, salt and water) with left over mince from supper and spelt bread
Carrot juice made in our Oscar Juicer.

I eat only St. Dalfour’s apricot jam on my spelt toast.

I avoid any form of sausage and bacon with breakfast.


We always try to have left over food from the previous night’s supper for lunch.

Spelt bread with chicken fillets (Sautee free range chicken fillets in a little butter, then add some water and cook with sea salt and 1 -2 fresh, organic tomatoes and fresh basil and thyme from my vegetable garden.)
Spelt bread with thin slices left over leg of lamb (see recipe under supper).
Spelt bread with cooked egg.


Always prepare from scratch!

Leg of lamb and rice cooked with sea salt. (Cover leg of lamb with fresh tomato puree, fresh basil and thyme - from your own vegetable garden or organic if possible and sea salt. Pour some water in bottom of oven pan, cover with foil. Bake for 3 hours at 180 degree C. Take foil off and bake until brown and crispy)


Lamb chops on rice baked with sea salt (Put lamb chops in oven pan, pour some water in bottom of oven pan, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 180 degree C. Take foil off after 1 hour, season with sea salt and bake for another 30 min. or until brown and crispy)


Mince on spelt pasta, with white sauce. (Mince - sautee in little butter. Add sea salt, fresh tomato puree, basil, thyme and rosemary and cook for about 20 minutes; Spelt pasta - enough for our family of 9 - 600g spelt flour, 4 beaten eggs, 5ml salt. Mix together for 1min on medium speed in Kenwood Mixer. Make pasta of choice with Kenwood accessories; )

White sauce made with 70g butter, 60g spelt, 10ml sea salt, 1l rice milk.


Chicken fillet burger. (Sautee free range chicken fillets in a little butter, add some water and cook with sea salt and 1 -2 fresh tomatoes; Spelt buns - dough made in Panasonic bread machine on Pizza method, shape round buns, put in oven - not pre-heated at 180 degrees C until light brown.)

For vegetables:
Butternut cubes in oven pan with butter and salt, baked at 180 degree C until soft and tender.


Squash cooked only in salt water, add butter cube after cooked.


Sweet potato baked in oven at 180 degree C.


Fresh carrot and pineapple salad (made by Josua with our Oscar juicer)


Fresh green salad (made by Heidi-Mari), lettuce, tomatoes and avocado - all organic, from our vegetable garden, except for avocado.

Supplements for the Breastfeeding Mother

We all know a mother who was advised by a clinic nurse or mother-in-law to give her baby extra bottle feeding, due to her ‘weak’ milk or insufficient milk. By taking a few essential supplements you can ensure STRONG and ENOUGH milk for your baby.

   As a breastfeeding mom, your baby takes a lot from you. This is natural and your body is made to handle it. With today’s stresses and generally depleted foods, it has become necessary to take a few supplements to your general diet. Again, your dietician, paediatrician, gynaecologist or GP is not trained to advise on these and other natural supplements. As far as their training goes, you get everything you need from the food you eat. The fact that modern day agricultural methods deplete foods of essential micro-nutrients is not part of their thinking.

[Note: These supplements can be bought from most good health shops, or visit Eirene Health Shop in Durbanville - Joyful Mama]
1. Start by taking a good multi-vitamin formula. I recommend High 5 from Viridian. One capsule with breakfast should be sufficient.

2. Take Omega SLO. I recommend this particular omega 3 as it contains alkoxyglycerols, a natural substance found in mother’s milk. This will strengthen your milk and aid baby’s development, as well as protecting and nourishing your own body.

3. Drink PLENTY filtered water, drink PLENTY filtered water, drink PLENTY filtered water, drink PLENTY filtered water – you get the picture? You also need to get minerals to aid all the processes in your and baby’s body. I recommend adding one coral calcium bag to every 1.5L of water. A breastfeeding mother can easily drink 4 liters of filtered water daily – to supply in the lactation needs of baby.

4. If you are taking the above but the stress of a new baby and life in general is getting you down, you may want to add Mindset to your supplementing regime. Mindset is 100% natural and safe for you and baby. Stress also makes it difficult for your body to produce enough milk. It supplies food to the brain, thus aids the body’s ability to regulate stress response, focus and sleeping patterns. Best taken away from your meals.

5. If you are doing everything I mentioned, but your milk supply is still struggling, try supplementing with Fenugreek capsules. This aids greatly in stimulating lactation. Avoid taking Eglonyl for lactation stimulation. Contrarily to your doctors advice, Eglonyl is a dangerous Schedule 5 mind-altering drug, that goes through your milk to baby and can adversely affect brain development.

As you can see, there isn’t a great variety in my diet and it does get boring after a month, but coping with a fussyy or colicky baby during the day, and even worse, at night, isn’t easy at all. It all depends on how desperate you are to have a contented baby!

With love


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