Nutrition While Breast-Feeding - Topic Overview
If you are breast-feeding, your doctor may suggest that you eat more calories each day than otherwise recommended for a person of your height and weight.
Be sure to ask your doctor about how much and what to eat if you:
Good nutrition for you and your baby
Eating a variety of foods can help you get all the nutrients you need. Your body needs protein, carbohydrate, and fats for energy. Good sources of nutrients are:
- Unsaturated fats like olive and canola oil, nuts, and fish.
- Carbohydrate from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas, beans, and lentils), and low-fat milk products.
- Lean protein such as all types of fish, poultry without skin, low-fat milk products, and legumes.
Eating healthy foods when you are breast-feeding is good for your overall health and for the health of your baby. You may already have a healthy diet, or you may need to make some changes in your eating habits.
- Healthy Eating: Changing Your Eating Habits
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- Healthy Eating: Cutting Unhealthy Fats From Your Diet
It's also important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These not only give you necessary nutrients but also help you get fiber. Planning your meals can help you add healthy foods to your diet.
- Quick Tips: Adding Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
- Meal Planning (Menu and Grocery List)(What is a PDF document?)
It's also important to make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet, such as:
Some health professionals recommend a prenatal vitamin supplement to breast-feeding women, especially for those who:
- Don't eat dairy products but need extra calcium.
- Don't eat animal products. These women may need calcium, vitamins B12 and D, zinc, and iron.
- Are at risk of a poor diet, such as teenagers, low-income women, and women who are consuming less than 1,800 calories a day.
Talk to a registered dietitian or to your doctor about a safe and healthy diet. To learn more, see the topic Healthy Eating.