Parenting Tips


August 7, 2019

What to Eat When Breastfeeding

If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to ensure you’re consuming the proper nutrients to keep both you and your baby healthy. While there isn’t a set diet you need to follow, it is important to eat a balanced diet. Be sure to talk to your doctor or health care provider if you have specific questions about your diet.

Continue reading to find out what to eat when breastfeeding and have peace of mind knowing you’re feeding your body – and your little one’s body – well.

Top Foods to Eat When Breastfeeding

Since it’s critical to consume a variety of nutrients, including carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, you’ll want to incorporate the following into your diet on a regular basis:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains like brown rice, oats and couscous
  • Lean protein such as chicken, lean beef, fish, eggs and lentils
  • Healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds

Staying hydrated is also important, so drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water or other fluid -a day. Lactation teas, cookies and bars are tasty snacks that can help support breast milk supply.

Are Vitamins Necessary?

When breastfeeding, a balanced diet can provide all the nutrients you need. Be sure to ask your doctor if you want to take other vitamins or supplements. 

Are There Foods to Limit or Avoid When Breastfeeding?

Unless you have specific dietary requirements, there aren’t any foods that absolutely need to be avoided while breastfeeding. That being said, consumption of caffeine and alcohol should be limited.  

If you’re a coffee-lover, you can relax, as you won’t need to give up your daily cup of java. However, since anything you eat or drink gets through your breast milk, it’s advised to limit your total daily caffeine intake while breastfeeding to no more than 200 to 300 milligrams per day (this includes other caffeinated beverages, as well as chocolate). 

As far as alcohol, it’s better to stay on the safe side and either not consume alcoholic beverages at all when breastfeeding or to enjoy it in small amounts (no more than 4 fluid ounces) on occasion. If you do choose to drink a bit of alcohol while breastfeeding, it’s advised to wait until your baby is over 3 months old and to wait a couple of hours after consuming before the next time you breastfeed so there’s enough time for the alcohol to work its way through your system.

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