Pregnancy Nutrition

What’s the Best Breastfeeding Diet? A Guide for New Moms

breastfeeding diet
Written by Stephanie McClane

Did you know that the pregnancy care products industry will reach $33.22 million by 2025?

Are you wondering what types of foods you should eat and avoid during breastfeeding? Not to worry! In this article, we’ll go over what you should include in your breastfeeding diet.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out!

Breastfeeding Diet: A Guide

When you’re breastfeeding, you want to get the proper nutrients for both you and your newborn. We’ll look at how much water you’ll need, nutrient-rich foods, and what items to avoid.

Eat a Variety of Nutritious Food

While nursing, you want to make sure you’re eating a wide range of food. A varied diet will change the smell and taste of your milk. Your baby will get to try many flavors of food.

Avocados are filling and give you healthy fats. They are a reliable source of folate, vitamin C, and potassium. Nursing mothers often complain about being hungry. Sliced avocado with bread is a perfect snack between meals.

Eating a mixture of fruits will provide you with vitamins like B6, B2, and C. Apples, bananas, and oranges have antioxidants that rid your body of free radicals. The fiber in fruits helps your body absorb minerals and vitamins.

Try and eat a mixture of protein, iron-rich foods, and green leafy vegetables. Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, or kale give you nutrients that other foods don’t have. Eat low-mercury fish like sardines or salmon, so you get omega-3.

Complex carbohydrates and whole grains will supply you with energy. Try and add brown rice to your supper or have oatmeal for breakfast. Include whole-grain pasta or pita with your meals. 

Drink Water Often

Try and drink up to eight cups a day. This will help your body recover weeks after birth.

Drink a cup at every nursing session. Your milk supply can become affected if you’re dehydrated. You will also feel tired if you’re not getting enough water.

Have Snack Food Ready

Try and keep up your energy by snacking throughout the day. These little snacks are as important as your regular meals.

Fill up your pantry with healthy and prepared foods. High-fiber cereal, bananas, and low-fat yogurt are nutritious snacks.

Consider having smoothie ingredients so you can make a mini meal. Keep some snacks in your baby’s nursery like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are easy to eat while breastfeeding.

Oatmeal is high in iron and fiber, helping to ward off anemia. If you’re dieting, oatmeal will keep you full for a long while after breakfast. Steer clear of the packaged oats because they have a lot of sugar and salt.

Almonds are a wonderful source of protein and calcium. This is an excellent snack to have nearby while breastfeeding. You can throw them in a bowl of yogurt as well for a change.

What Foods Should I Avoid?

Try not to consume too much caffeine. If you drink over three cups of soda, tea, or coffee, you could affect your baby. You both will feel irritable and jittery, and it could disrupt your baby’s sleep. 

Mercury occurs throughout the environment. The mother’s diet is the primary source for infants exposure to mercury. When a mother eats fish, the mercury in the fish passes through the breast milk.

Avoid high-mercury fish such as tilefish, mackerel, or shark. Try and limit tuna to one can a week.

Consider opting for lower-fat varieties of meat and dairy. If you do choose a higher-fat product, consider picking up organic. Organic farmers aren’t allowed to use growth hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides.

Non-organic foods have a higher amount of pesticides and additives in them. When you can, choose organic meat, dairy, and produce. This will lower the number of chemicals your baby’s exposed to through your breast milk.

Make sure you read the labels on your food. Avoid items that contain a list of additives. You don’t want to eat processed foods because they’re high in sodium.

If you have been taking herbal supplements, make sure you ask your doctor what they recommend.

Watch for Reactions to Food

Most babies will slurp up breast milk when detecting the smallest hint of strong spices. You’ll soon discover what category fits your baby and change your diet in that way.

Broccoli, cabbage, onions, and beans can produce gas. This could unsettle your baby’s tummy and temperament. A diet heavy in fruits can cause diarrhea in some babies. Red peppers can cause rashes in others.

It takes up to six hours from when you’ve eaten to affect the taste of your breast milk. If your baby spits up a lot, rejects the milk, or is gassy, drop that food for a few days.

Cow’s milk, soy, wheat, and nuts are foods that some babies struggle with. They might display extreme crying or fussing. Other symptoms include frequent vomiting, loose stool, lack of weight gain, and hives.

Do you think your baby has a food allergy? Make sure you go see your doctor.

They will recommend what food to cut. If you’ve found out your pregnant, check out what foods to eat at the beginning of your pregnancy.

Want to Learn More?

We hope you learned a lot about what to eat on a breastfeeding diet. Make sure you keep an eye on your baby’s reactions during and after breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor if you think they have an allergy.

Want to learn more? Check out this article on the benefits of playing music for your unborn baby.

About the author

Stephanie McClane

Hi, I’m Stephanie. I graduated college with a business degree and a minor in biology. I met my husband at a business convention and was happily marriage and pregnant within the first two years after saying the words “ I do”.

Jennifer is the eldest of the three. Being pregnant with her, my first, I researched everything pregnancy related and read nearly every book. Giving birth to Anthony and Matty seemed more natural and less stressful the third time around.

I’m happy to share what knowledge I have gathered and learn new things from other mothers. From morning sickness to Anencephaly, or potty training to thumb sucking, I have books and resource guides to share.