- Help protect the baby from infection and illness.
- Create bonding time for mother and baby.
Making healthy food choices while you are breastfeeding will help you and your baby get the nutrients you both need.
Most people can get all the nutrients they need by eating healthy foods. If you are worried about getting enough nutrients while breastfeeding, speak to a healthcare professional multivitamins.
Make your calories count.
To get the nutrients you need while breastfeeding, make sure to include these foods in your diet:
- A variety of vegetables and fruits
- Seafood, lean meats, poultry and eggs
- Beans and unsalted nuts & seeds
- Fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt – or soymilk with added calcium
- Brown rice, 100% whole-wheat bread, and other whole grains
- Fortified cereals (cereals with added iron and folic acid)
Limit food and beverages that are high in “empty calories” from added sugars and solid fats. Items with empty calories lack nutrients and often include desserts, snack foods, fatty meats, fried foods, and sugar-sweetened drinks.
Eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood each week.
Fish and shellfish have nutrients that can help your baby’s vision and learning skills. Eat seafood 2-3 days a week. Be sure to include a variety of healthy choices, such as:
- Canned light tuna
- White (albacore) tuna—limit to 6 ounces/week
Avoid fish high in mercury, especially swordfish, tilefish, shark, and king mackerel. Mercury is a metal that can disrupt your baby’s development.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Your body needs extra fluids, like water and fat-free or low-fat milk, when you are breastfeeding.
- Try drinking a glass of water every time you breastfeed.
- Limit or avoid drinks that are high in caffeine or added sugars.
If you choose to drink alcohol, follow these safety tips.
- Talk with your doctor before you introduce alcohol into your body.
- Wait until your baby is at least 3 months old and has a breastfeeding routine.
- Plan ahead for feeding times. For example, pump (express) some breast milk before having any alcohol.
- Wait at least 4 hours after having a drink before breastfeeding. If you don’t wait that long, alcohol in your blood can pass into your breast milk.
Please share your questions in the comment section below.