Breastfeeding Nutrition For Mom And Baby

Breastfeeding nutrition is a top concern for all new mothers because they have all read the information provided by expert after expert on website after website. They know how important it is to be able to eat a nutritionally balanced diet in order to provide their babies with exactly what they need as they grow and develop. However, although experts will tell you to eat a nutritional diet, they do not give you hints as to what you need to eat to achieve just that. For that information, you have come to the right place.


You may not believe this but breastfeeding nutrition is just like other forms of nutrition but with a few slight differences. It is necessary to make sure that you eat healthily with plenty of fruit and vegetables. It is also essential that you eat the recommended daily amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, there are a few minor differences between breastfeeding nutrition and normal nutrition that you may want to take note of to ensure that you adhere to the best diet possible for you and baby.

breastfeeding nutrition

The first point is to watch what you are eating in regards to fish. Fish never use to be an issue but with increased pollution of the seas and oceans, it is necessary to limit the amount you eat when pregnant and when you are breastfeeding to make sure that your baby is not harmed. The FDA recommendations are no more than 6oz of white tuna per week, no more than 12oz of canned tuna or other cooked fish and complete avoidance of swordfish, shark, king mackerel and white snapper. This is all because of mercury poisoning so some experts also recommend avoiding other fish that are the kings of the ocean, like marlin, grouper and orange roughy.

Fish is not the sole focus of good breastfeeding nutrition though. Obviously, you should avoid alcohol or express enough breast milk to last for a while after a night out. Just one drink can cause problems for your baby, although it is not stored in the milk so a drink every now and again will not cause much of a problem.

You should, though, drink plenty of water to make sure that you stay hydrated because you will feel far worse than you need to otherwise. Although not drinking enough will not pose a problem in terms of how much milk you produce, it will make your body begin to show a little lethargy and thus will not make you very happy, especially with little sleep as well.

The final point is to make sure that you think about what you are eating and listen to your baby. Some babies do not like certain flavors, such as spicy foods. They may also be allergic to something you eat so always pay attention to exactly what you eat and the effect it has on your baby. That way, you can choose the best possible breastfeeding nutrition for the both of you.

The right breastfeeding nutrition starts with wholesome foods that are packed with natural vitamins and minerals. This kind of nutrition helps keep the mother and her newborn child healthy and happy.

Breastfeeding nutrition has everything to do with eating right and keeping your body fed so that it can keep up with the infant and so you can give your baby the perfect food for baby and that happens to be breast milk.

In order to keep your body healthy while you are breastfeeding you will need to eat at least 3 meals each day plus snacks in between. When you are eating your meals, think about the fact that you are still eating for two people even though you are not pregnant. You are eating extra for your newborn baby.

Food Guidelines

Take your nutrition ideas from the Food Guide Pyramid. It shows a proper food balance and how many servings a day of each food group that you need. The experts say to eat the foods in their natural form if you can. Some of those foods consisting of raw vegetables, most fruits except for citrus, proteins such as meat, eggs and cheese. Try whole grains in the form of bread, pasta and cereals.

Food Groups and Servings Necessary

There are five major food groups and they are:

  • Grains - Grains come in the form of wheat flour, oatmeal and brown rice. The guide states that you should be eating between 6 and 11 servings each day.

  • Vegetables - You need fresh or raw vegetables like broccoli, acorn squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and pinto beans to name a few. You need between 3 to 5 servings each day.

  • Fruits - You body needs a variety of fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, cherries, and cantaloupes. Your body requires between 2 to 4 servings per day.

  • Dairy - The dairy group consists of whole milk, yogurt, hard cheese such as cheddar, cottage cheese and ice-cream. For optimum health, you need 2 to 3 servings a day.

  • Proteins - The protein group is made up of lean beef, lean pork, chicken, eggs, tuna fish and salmon. Eating 2 to 3 servings a day will give you a balanced diet along with the other food groups.

Eating More Calories

Part of an excellent breastfeeding nutrition regimen includes extra calorie intake. Women who are breastfeeding need to eat about 2500 calories each day. The calorie count may seem like a lot but those extra calories are helping you produce healthy breast milk, and it gives mom the energy she needs to take care of herself and her infant. On top of the calorie count, you are receiving natural vitamins from the proper foods. Many women continue to take the prenatal vitamins as an added boost to their diet. The doctor may also put you on a calcium supplement even though you should be getting calcium naturally through the foods you are eating. There is calcium in your breast milk and it is passed on to your baby so that he will have strong bones.

Continue Healthy Eating Habits

When you develop good breastfeeding nutrition habits, it really has a great affect on your body. You will discover that you have more energy than you had before and you get sick less often. This can be attributed to the foods you are eating. After you have completed breastfeeding your baby, it is a good idea to continue eating these healthy foods throughout the rest of your life. You will continue to feel and look great. When you children see you eating good foods, they will follow suit and begin to try different foods and remain healthy too. Children mimic what their parents do, if you live a healthy lifestyle you can encourage your children to do the same. You are giving your infant the healthiest start that they need by breastfeeding. Offer your children the same foods that you eat and they will begin to like things like vegetables.