Nutrition While Breastfeeding

Nutritional needs continue to be increased during breastfeeding. Additional calories (500 extra each day) over pre-pregnancy needs or 200 calories more than in pregnancy are needed to assure enough energy to produce an adequate amount of milk.

With all the new demands on you, it sometimes gets overwhelming and difficult to find the time or the wish to eat properly. You need to continue to watch your diet carefully, to assure adequate intake of all nutrients. Follow your prenatal diet, adding one serving from the milk and starch group. Add other calories as needed. Continue to take your prenatal vitamin while breastfeeding. If you eat inadequate calories or drink inadequate amounts of fluid you will feel especially hungry and thirsty as well as overly fatigued.

Drink 8 – 12 glasses of fluid daily; milk or water are best. Adding lemon juice to water gives it a refreshing taste and may urge increased intake. If weight gain is excessive, remember that fruit juices can be a high source of calories. Eat the fruit instead of drinking the juice. Whole milk is another high calorie source. Instead, choose low-fat (1/2% or 1%) or skim milk which supplies all the calcium and nutrients you need, without the added fat.

Weight Reduction While Breastfeeding

Intentional rapid weight reduction is not recommended during breastfeeding. Weight loss may occur gradually as you breast feed. Often, you will lose inches before losing actual pounds of weight, so don’t be discouraged. Continue to eat healthily to promote proper nutrition for you and an adequate milk supply for your baby.

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