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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
It's not a good idea to diet when you are breast-feeding. Still, it's fine to have a diet drink or artificially sweetened foods now and then. Just be sure they don't take the place of the nutrient-rich foods you need when breast-feeding.
The following artificial sweeteners are considered safe to use in moderation when breast-feeding:
Saccharin (Sweet 'N Low, Sugar Twin) is deemed safe by the FDA for use during pregnancy and breast-feeding. But you may want to check with your doctor before you use it. Some pregnant women choose to avoid saccharin because it has been shown to cross the placenta to the fetus.
Check with a registered dietitian or your doctor if you have questions about artificial sweeteners.
Anything you put in your body can be passed to your baby in breast milk.
Most foods you eat probably won't cause colicky symptoms in your baby. But some infants develop a sensitivity to the protein in cow's milk. If this occurs, you may need to stop eating milk and dairy products.
Here are some other things to think about:
If you have questions about what to eat or drink and what to avoid, talk with your doctor, your midwife, or a registered dietitian.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofJuly 25, 2014
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