Breastfeeding & Your Diet – Producing Nutritious Milk Properly

The guidelines for a breastfeeding diet are not complicated, but some attention to Mom’s nutrition is essential in order to produce healthy nutritious milk for the developing newborn.

What to Consume

A diet for a lactating mom is a high calorie, high nutrition diet similar to the one followed in pregnancy.  The diet needs to have about 500 more calories per day than the pre- pregnancy level.  Make sure that you are getting plenty of protein and taking your prenatal vitamins.  Do not take herbs or supplements without consulting a physician.

The nursing mother needs to make sure that she is drinking adequate amounts of water, milk, or other beverages, letting thirst be a guide.

Foods that Affect Newborns

 The foods that are consumed by the mother actually can flavor the breast milk and the babies seem to like the flavor variety.  Some foods may not agree with your infant when you eat them such as:

  • chocolate
  • spices
  • chili
  • citrus fruit
  • garlic
  • gassy vegetables such as cabbage or brussel sprouts 

Cherries and prunes can have a laxative effect.

What to Avoid

Nursing mothers should avoid cigarettes, as they will reduce the milk supply and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and restlessness in the infant.  This is due to nicotine from cigarettes being passed into the breast milk.  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is more common in children whose mothers smoke.  Alcohol should also be avoided by the nursing mother.


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