Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Breast-Feeding - Your Health and Nutrition

A healthy lifestyle—including having a balanced diet, getting plenty of rest, and being active—is important while you breast-feed. It can help you have more energy and reduce stress. It can also help you build a healthy milk supply.

It's also important to know what to avoid. Anything you put in your body can be passed to your baby in breast milk.

Recommended Related to Children

Chromosome 4P Conditions

This information is provided as a resource and does not constitute an endorsement for any group. It is the responsibility of the reader to decide whether a group is appropriate for his/her needs. For evidence-based information on diseases, conditions, symptoms, treatment and wellness issues, continue searching this site.

Read the Chromosome 4P Conditions article > >

Have a healthy diet

  • Have a balanced dietHave a balanced diet so that you get the vitamins and minerals you need for breast-feeding. You'll need to eat extra calories compared to the amount you ate when you weren't breast-feeding. It's a good idea to continue taking your prenatal vitamins while breast-feeding.
  • Avoid quick weight loss. If you want to try to lose your pregnancy weight, lose it a little at a time so you don't affect your breast milk.

Some moms notice that certain foods make their babies more fussy. You may want to keep track of what you eat and how your baby acts.

If you have special dietary needs, talk to a dietitian. He or she can help you plan healthy meals.

Balance activity and sleep

  • Try to sleep and restTry to sleep and rest as well as you can. You likely will not have a normal schedule when you first start to breast-feed. But you can take naps and find time to rest for short periods throughout the day, such as when your baby sleeps.
  • Be activeBe active. Exercise helps with weight loss, improves your energy level, and can help relieve stress.

Know what to avoid

Adjust to lifestyle changes

  • Understand sexual changesUnderstand sexual changes. Sexual relationships with your partner can take time to begin again.
  • Use birth controlUse birth control methods if you want to lower your pregnancy risk. Women who are breast-feeding can still become pregnant. But you are not likely to become pregnant in the first 6 months of exclusive breast-feeding (which means you are feeding your baby on demand and not using formula, food, or water to supplement his or her diet). After your baby is 6 months of age, you need to use a birth control method if you want to avoid pregnancy, regardless of whether you are breast-feeding exclusively.

Having a new baby and breast-feeding take time to get used to. Take it easy on yourself. Find ways to help yourself cope in the first few months. Learning more about how your baby will grow and change may be helpful to you too. For more information, see the topic Growth and Development, Newborn.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 01, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
Mother with baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
 
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
 

mother holding baby at night
ARTICLE
mother with sick child
QUIZ
 
baby with pacifier
VIDEO
Track Your Babys Vaccines
TOOL
 
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Slideshow
Woman holding feet up to camera
Article
 
Father kissing newborn baby
Article
baby gear slideshow
Slideshow