Diet for a Healthy Breastfeeding Mom

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 09, 2012

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Diet for a healthy breastfeeding mom

For a breastfeeding mom, a well balanced diet is very important. No major changes are required while a woman is pregnant or nursing but few considerations she should always keep in mind. Breastfeeding requires extra energy expenditure, so a good nutrition is important for you and for your baby.

The quantity of milk during breastfeeding depends very much on the mother's diet. Food absorbed by a nursing mother not only fulfils her own nutritional needs but also enables her to produce milk. Good nutrition makes a difference in the quality of the breast milk.

Eat a well-balanced diet

Lactating mothers should eat a well balanced and nutritionally healthy diet for the better production of milk.  Complex carbohydrates are among the best food you can eat while breastfeeding. Also, you need strength and stamina to meet the physical demands of caring for a new baby. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of calcium such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals, bread, eggs, meats, beans, milk and dairy foods like cheese. Eating small meals with healthy snacks is a good way to keep your hunger in check and keep high your energy level.


Don't count calories

Women who are breastfeeding need about 200 to 500 calories more than those who aren't. So it's best to know your appetite and to eat when you are hungry. During pregnancy body stores fat and breastfeeding helps to use those fat stores. The amount of calorie depends on number of factors such as your weight, how much exercise you do, how your metabolism works and how much you are breastfeeding. Get enough protein and fat in your diet.


Choose good fats

Eat only healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats like canola oil, olive oil and fatty fish like salmon. Include avocado, olives, nuts, and seeds in your diet. Avoid saturated and trans fats. These unhealthy fats can alter the fat composition of your breast milk and are not good for the baby's health as well.


Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine

Increase your water consumption as lactating mothers feel thirsty very often. Water maintains the milk production and is a major constituent of breast milk. Ensure to have at least 10-12 glasses of water every day. Consume fruit and vegetable juices, lassi, buttermilk, coconut water or anything which increases your water content in the body. Decrease the amount of caffeine intake as baby’s system can’t break it easily.

These healthy eating habits will keep you and your baby healthy while breastfeeding. Also it will improve the quality and the quantity of the breast milk.


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