If you are
breast-feeding, your doctor may suggest that you eat more calories each
day than otherwise recommended for a person of your height and weight.
Be sure to ask your doctor about how much and what to eat if you:
Are very active.
Begin to lose weight
Are breast-feeding more than one infant.
Good nutrition for you and your baby
Eating a variety of foods can help you get all the nutrients you need. Your body needs protein, carbohydrate, and fats for energy. Good sources of nutrients are:
Unsaturated fats like olive and canola oil, nuts, and fish.
Carbohydrate from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas, beans, and lentils), and low-fat milk products.
Lean protein such as all types of fish, poultry without skin, low-fat milk products, and legumes.
Eating healthy foods when you are breast-feeding is good for your overall health and for the health of your baby. You may already have a healthy diet, or you may need to make some changes to eat healthier.
How foods you eat affect breast milk and your baby
Anything you put in your body can be passed to your baby in breast milk.
Most foods you eat probably won't cause colicky
symptoms in your baby. But some infants develop a sensitivity to the protein in
cow's milk. If this occurs, you may need to stop eating milk and dairy
Here are some things to think about:
Mercury can be dangerous to your breast-feeding baby. It's best to avoid high-mercury fish while you are breast-feeding.
Caffeine can cause irritability and sleep problems in
babies. It likely won't be a problem for your baby if you have a moderate amount of caffeine, for example, no more than 2 or 3 12 fl oz (355 mL) cups of regular coffee a day. But if your baby seems more fussy or has trouble sleeping, it's a good idea to avoid caffeine or limit your intake. Caffeine is found not only in coffee
but also in tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and chocolate.
When a breast-feeding woman drinks alcohol heavily, it
can cause a lack of energy and other health problems for her baby. It can also get in the way of a mom's ability to feed the baby when the baby is hungry or to care for the child in other ways. Having no alcohol is the safest choice for your baby.
If you have questions about what to eat or drink and what to avoid, talk with your doctor or midwife.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.