Foods to Eat or Avoid while Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding diet: Things to Eat and Avoid While Breastfeeding

When you think about the hard part of the baby-making is now done, the time to nurse the growing child comes. The good news is that, for the most part, your body is aware of the nutrition your baby needs, and your milk will probably be just suitable for your baby despite what you eat. That being said, while you nurse your baby, it is essential to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods to benefit you and your baby.

Here, you will find how to get the nutrients you and your baby require while nursing.

How much more should you eat while nursing?

It is identifiable that creating milk demands the body, and you’ll likely need extra caloric support while nursing. Most new parents need 450-500 more calories per day. It is about the amount in:

  • Almond milk, banana, oatmeal smoothie with peanut butter and honey
  • A cup of pesto pasta with chicken and parmesan cheese
  • Two scrambled eggs with chopped veggies, milk, and some cheese
  • A peanut banana-butter sandwich

What must you eat while nursing?

The best food for nursing will look like the healthy plate suggestions you are used to seeing. You should choose lean protein, nuts, eggs, dairy, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Babies often like to taste new food through their mother’s milk.

Usually, new parents who eat various foods when hungry are not required to go out of their way to monitor their mineral and vitamin intake. The parent’s body does an excellent job of going into storage to get the nutrients a baby needs.

However, there are a few crucial nutrients for nursing to keep in mind. These include:

  • Calcium is abundant in dairy foods and available in greens, seeds, nuts, legumes, and tofu.
  • Zinc is found in nuts, beans, eggs, poultry, fortified cereals, and whole grains.
  • Magnesium is found in fortified cereals, dairy products, seeds, nuts, and legumes.
  • Vitamin B6 is found in non-citrus fruits and starchy vegetables like potatoes, fish, and poultry.
  • Folate is available in fortified cereals, beans, nuts, leafy vegetables, fruit (especially oranges), and beef.
  • Thiamin comes from fortified cereal, seeds, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and meat (especially pork).

Foods that help to produce milk

As a nursing parent, there are chances that you may wonder if there are any galactagogues (foods, supplements, or teas) that may increase your milk supply. While there are no definitive proofs that the consumption of these will help boost milk production, most remain popular additions to the nursing patient’s diet. Also, these galactagogues often vary depending on the culture.

How to make milk more nutritious?

The best way to provide nutrient-rich milk is to eat a variety of lean proteins, dairy, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. While nursing, parents usually give up a lot of iodine, iron, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin A. All you need to do is to talk to your healthcare provider about any supplements that can be helpful to you.

Things to avoid while nursing

With a pregnancy diet, a few restrictions to keep in mind with a nursing diet. Experts recommend avoiding or limiting the following substances and foods altogether.

  • Fish
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Few medications
  • Tobacco

Can a baby be sensitive to specific foods?

There’s no need for you to avoid common food allergens unless your healthcare provider advises you to. However, some babies are sensitive to specific foods. The signs include are:

  • Discomfort
  • Skin conditions like hives or rash
  • Water stools/diarrhea, vomiting, or worsening spit ups
  • Inconsolable crying or fussiness after or during feeding
  • If your baby reacts, consider tracking what you eat to look for patterns.

Few foods that babies can be sensitive to include:

  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Oats, corn, or wheat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli

If you have any worries about your baby’s food sensitivities, it is better to talk to your healthcare provider immediately.


There’s a need for the nursing parent to intake a variety of nutrient-dense foods. It helps to give the nutrition you and the newborn baby need. The diet you need is not much different from that recommended during pregnancy. At the same time, most foods and drinks are fine to consume while nursing; it is best to limit the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and specific fish consumption. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you face any difficulty.

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