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Dos and Don’ts Of Breastfeeding



A healthful breastfeeding diet is essentially the same as a nutritious diet when not breastfeeding. The main difference is that people who are breastfeeding need more calories.

Specific nutrients, such as iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and D, are particularly beneficial when breastfeeding. Eating a wide variety of foods is also essential, as this will expose the baby to different tastes and may result in them being more receptive to solid foods later on.

What To Eat While Breastfeeding

When breastfeeding, aim to include the following foods in each day’s meals:

Fruits: Grapefruits and oranges are good sources of essential nutrients. Fruits are a rich source of many nutrients. They may also help relieve constipation, which some people experience after giving birth. Aim for about 2 cups of fruit per day, which should include a wide variety of different fruits.

People who are exclusively breastfeeding should aim to eat 3 cups of vegetables a day. Those who are combining breastfeeding with formula-feeding should eat 2.5 cups of vegetables each day.

The USDA recommended the following vegetables due to their potassium and vitamin A content:

Spinach, cooked greens, such as kale and collards, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, red sweet peppers


Grains offer vital nutrients, especially whole grains, such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread. People should aim to eat 8 ounces (Oz) a day if they are exclusively breastfeeding, or 6 Oz if they are also formula-feeding.

Some grains, such as quinoa, are also high in protein, which is an essential nutrient to eat when breastfeeding.

Fortified cereals provide added nutrients and are also a good option. It is best to stick to whole-grain cereals that do not contain added sugar.


When you are breastfeeding, the body requires an extra 25 grams (g) of protein per day and at least 65 g per day in total. Experts recommend including some protein with every meal.

The USDA recommended the following sources of protein: Beans and peas, nuts and seeds, lean beef, pork, and lamb, oysters, crab, and mussels, salmon, herring, Pollock, sardines, and trout, Seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can support healthy brain development in the baby. Salmon, sardines, and trout are excellent choices because they are high in omega-3s but low in mercury.

Foods To Avoid

The list of foods that a person should avoid during pregnancy is long. This may be why some people believe that they must also eat a restrictive diet when breastfeeding.

In fact, there is no list of foods that people who are breastfeeding should avoid altogether. Instead, they should eat food that is healthful and pay attention to cues from their body.

Breast milk comes from nutrients that pass into the blood. Many of the potentially dangerous ingredients that could cross the placenta during pregnancy do not get to the breastfeeding baby.

Some experts warn against so-called gassy foods, such as cruciferous vegetables, but most babies are unaffected by these foods. Likewise, there is no reason to avoid spicy or strong-flavored foods unless the baby reacts negatively to them.

Medical authorities and parenting guides often provide mixed or unclear advice regarding alcohol consumption when breastfeeding.

Alcohol is dangerous during pregnancy because it crosses the placenta, but a breastfeeding baby only gets the amount of alcohol that passes into the blood of the person breastfeeding. In other words, the blood alcohol content of the person breastfeeding is the amount of alcohol that reaches a breastfeeding baby.

With moderate consumption, this amount of alcohol is negligible and unlikely to cause harm.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend no more than one drink per day. They also suggested reducing the risk further by waiting at least 2 hours to breastfeed after drinking alcohol.


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