Nutritional Advice for Breastfeeding Mothers

Nutritional Advice for Breastfeeding Mothers

What to Eat

  1. Eat protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
  2. Vegetarians and vegans can also have good quality and quantity of breast milk.  They must just supplement with vitamin B12 and complete proteins.
  3. You don’t have to eat for two, just listen to your body’s own signals.
  4. Part of weight gain during pregnancy was to store extra nutrients for the breastfeeding phase so that the body can utilize those nutrients when needed.
  5. If you had a C-section, you may need extra protein for healing after the surgery.
  6. Garlic is if fine for you and your baby.

Lactogenic Foods (milk enhancing foods)

  1. Whole grains like barley, brown rice and miller will provide extra vitamin B which will give mom extra energy and keep her regular.
  2. Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, green peas and kidney beans, navy beans and black beans are a good source of protein and fiber.
  3. Quinoa is a good source of essential amino acids.
  4. Eat nuts and seeds because they are rich in calcium, omega 3 and omega 6: almonds, pecan nuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
  5. Colorful vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.
  6. Eat dried fruit without sculpture as a preservative.
  7. The following herbs are beneficial: fennel, dill, caraway, anise and coriander.  Use them in soups or on meats and vegetables.

What NOT to Eat and Drink

  1. The following in large amounts can decrease milk supply: sage, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
  2. Strong mint oils like peppermint and spearmint.
  3. If there is a family history of allergies like eczema, asthma and hay fever,   avoid dairy products and wheat.
  4. If a nut allergy is in the family avoid: peanuts, soy products and chickpeas (hummus).
  5. Carbonated cool drinks with sugar and sweeteners.
  6. MSG
  7. Foods that contain hydrogenated fats like frozen meals, chips and cookies.
  8. Foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners.  Xylitol and Stevia are safe.

General Tips

  1. Binging on particular food is not a good idea.
  2. Crash diets are not a good idea when breastfeeding.
  3. Caffeine in moderation.
  4. Foods that cause bloating and winds in mothers will not affect the baby.
  5. Chocolate: eat dark chocolate because it does not contain dairy.
  6. Alcohol – limit to one drink a day seems compatible with breastfeeding.


  1. Continue with your pregnancy supplements.
  2. Take extra vitamin D – 1000IU daily.
  3. Herbal products: most are contraindicated (check with your pharmacist or doctor).
  4. Homeopathic medicines are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Check the stools of your baby

  1. It the baby is fussy and / or has green or mucous stools consistently after a particular food that you have eaten – this may indicate sensitivity to that food type.
  2. Another indicator is a red rash around the anus or a nappy rash.
  3. Avoid colourant’s in the babies’ food – they cannot digest it.

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