Diet While Breastfeeding

After months of watching everything that you put into your body so carefully, you may breathe a sigh of relief after your baby is born. However, if you choose to breastfeed, you’ll need to continue to be careful. Much of what you eat or ingest will be passed to your baby through your breast milk. So, it’s important that you eat well to feel well.

Depending on your weight, be sure to eat the recommended number of calories a day, with three or more servings of protein. You’ll also need 1000 to 1300 mg of calcium each day.

In terms of fluids, drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of non-caffeinated beverages a day. Drink when you are thirsty, of course, and also drink an eight-ounce glass of water each time you nurse your baby. You may drink caffeinated drinks in moderation, but if your baby has trouble sleeping, you may need to eliminate caffeine from your diet.

There’s no need to avoid any particular food, unless you have a family history of a food allergy, such as allergies to shellfish, citrus, dairy, wheat, or other foods. In general, you can eat anything you’re used to eating.

Keep in mind that if your baby is fussy, it doesn’t mean he’s allergic to your milk. Babies can be sensitive to things you’ve eaten. The most common food sensitivity is an excess intake of cow’s milk, so you may want to reduce or eliminate it from your diet and see how your baby reacts. In most cases, your baby will improve within one to three days.

For more information about your diet while breastfeeding, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov.