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Breastfeeding > Breastfeeding: Mother's Diet

Breastfeeding: Mother's Diet

Good nutrition for you and your baby can be achieved by following these simple instructions while breastfeeding.
  1. Eat at least three meals a day.
  2. Drink a beverage such as water, milk or juice every time your baby breastfeeds or when you pump.
  3. At each meal, eat from 2 or more of the food groups:
    • Breads, cereals & grains
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Protein
    • Milk
  4. Limit caffeine-containing beverages to 2 servings per day. Avoid or limit intake of alcoholic beverages.
  5. You do not need to stop eating spicy or gas forming foods unless you notice that they are bothering your baby.
  6. Remember the amount of breast milk you produce is determined most by the amount of breast milk your baby eats.
  7. Continue your prenatal vitamin while breastfeeding. Consider a calcium and vitamin D supplement if you do not drink milk or other vitamin D supplemented foods. (We also recommend your baby take a vitamin D supplement. Click here for more information about vitamin D.)

Poor appetite

You may lose your normal desire to eat after your baby is born. If this happens, try to eat nutritious high-calorie foods that don't take a lot of preparation time. Try milk and fruit shakes, yogurt, cheese, eggs, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.

Dieting while breastfeeding

Dieting, especially during the first months after delivery, is discouraged. We recommend a slow weight loss of 2-4 pounds per month after the first month. This means it will take you several months to return to your pre-pregnant weight. Losing weight too quickly may decrease your milk supply. Be patient with your weight loss.

This page adapted from Children's Mercy Care Cards.

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