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Nutrition While Breastfeeding

Your body needs fuel to make breastmilk, so eat your fill of a variety of foods. Breastfeeding isn’t an excuse to eat and drink everything you want, but it’s not a reason to avoid favorite foods either. When choosing foods, use the nutrition chart below as a guide.

Woman eating fruit salad.

REMEMBER: alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs also affect your breastmilk and your baby.

Bread, cereal, rice, and pasta (eat 6–7 servings a day)

Vegetables (eat 3–5 servings a day)

Fruit (eat 2–4 servings a day)

Milk, yogurt, and cheese (eat 2–3 servings a day)

Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts (eat 5–7 servings a day)

Fats, oils, and sweets (use sparingly)

What’s Good for You

  • Drink 8 ounces of liquid, such as water or diluted juice, every time you feed the baby. Your body needs this fluid to make milk.

  • Be sure to eat breads, leafy vegetables, and fruits, as well as milk products, meats, and fish.

  • Snack on fruit or low-fat dairy products if you’re hungry between meals.

  • If your health care provider recommends it, keep taking prenatal vitamins.

What’s Not

  • Some foods are best eaten in limited quantities. Those high in saturated fats, such as butter and bacon, fall into this category.

  • Be aware that what enters your body passes into your breastmilk. Limit caffeine—which is not just in coffee but is also in cola, tea, and chocolate.

  • Don’t take medications of any type, unless your doctor says it’s okay. This includes aspirin.

 

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