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.

Nutrition While Breastfeeding

Your body should need about an extra 500 nutritious calories above what you normally eatA simple rule to follow regarding nutrition during breastfeeding is to eat foods that are good for you and to eat a bit more than usual. Don’t avoid any foods or drinks that you would normally eat or drink (e.g., spicy foods, gassy foods,milk, caffeine), unless they bother you or the baby. If you have lots of gas or if your baby is unusually fussy, review what you ate or drank and decide if you want to cut down or cut it out of your diet for a while. Your body should need about an extra 500 nutritious calories above what you normally eat. This depends, in part, on whether you are high-energy and burn up calories fast and whether your baby is high energy like you or much lower energy. You may actually need more or less than the 500 extra calories. You should also increase the amount of water you drink. If you drink an 8 oz. glass of water every time you breastfeed, plus a couple more each day, you should be drinking enough.

More about Breastfeeding for Beginners

Overview of Breastfeeding
When to Feed Your Baby
How to Feed Your Baby
Breast Care While Breastfeeding
Breast and Nipple Problems While Breastfeeding
Expressing and Storing Breast Milk
Keeping up the Milk Supply
Nutrition While Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding in Special Situations
Returning to Work While Breastfeeding
Resources for Support While Breastfeeding

Sleeping newborn
Tip From Baby:
What’s good for you should be good for me, too.