There is no need for a special diet when breastfeeding, but it is important to eat a varied and balanced diet.
If you are breastfeeding, what you put into your body is important, not only for your baby but for yourself. When you breastfeed exclusively, your body will burn about 500 extra calories per day, so you need to eat enough to balance out the difference. See below for some tips on eating right while breastfeeding:
How Much Do I Need to Eat?
Since your body will burn about 400-500 extra calories when breastfeeding exclusively, you will need to add an extra 400-500 calories of healthy, nutrient-dense foods back into your diet. During the first few months post-pregnancy, your body will use the extra fat stored during pregnancy, but later on you may need to add more calories to your diet. Let your body be your guide–eat when you are hungry.
What Are Some Key Nutrients Needed When Breastfeeding?
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Folic Acid
Eating a Balanced Diet
Be sure to include a variety of foods from all the different food groups to ensure a balanced diet when breastfeeding: grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, meats and beans.
You may find that you are thirstier when breastfeeding. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and drink other healthy beverages such as 100 percent juice and low-fat milk.
Things to Avoid
Talk your doctor about what foods to avoid during breastfeeding. Many experts recommend avoiding alcohol during breastfeeding. Caffeine, as well as certain fish with high levels of mercury, may also need to be limited or avoided.
For more information on eating healthy while breastfeeding, visit our Health Library online. To learn more about Women's Health and Obstetrics here at Central Florida Regional Hospital, visit us online or give us a call at 407-321-4500 Ext. 5767.