Nutrition During Breastfeeding -
What Should A Breastfeeding Mother Eat?
A nutritious diet is very important after you have a baby for many reasons. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to heal properly after delivery. No special diet or foods are necessary, but mothers should try to eat a balanced, varied diet to remain healthy and energetic. Although it is important to eat well postpartum, your breast milk always maintains its nutritional quality even if your diet is less than adequate. More information can be found at www.choosemyplate.gov.
There are no specific foods you should avoid when breastfeeding. If you notice your baby is fussy often you may want to consider what you ate 4-6 hours previously. Some foods that babies can be sensitive to are cabbage, beans, broccoli and some times peanuts, cow's milk, eggs, wheat, fish, citrus foods and other nuts if there is a strong family history of allergies to these foods.
Since alcohol has been found to pass into human milk and can interfere with the milk ejection reflex, alcohol consumption should be avoided while breastfeeding. An occasional drink, not exceeding two ounces of alcohol, may be safe, but you should consult your health care provider about the associated risks. Amounts exceeding two ounces should definitely be avoided. One occasional glass of wine or one beer is generally acceptable, but not more. Many mothers often report that a few sips of beer stimulated a letdown reflex of their milk, but too much will inhibit it.
Although some medications (and all street drugs) will pass into the mother's milk in varying amounts, many prescribed medications are compatible with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers should consult with their Physician before taking medications. A Lactation Consultant can also provide guidance regarding the safety of medications with breastfeeding.
LACTMED is an online resource that many Physicians and Lactations Consultants use when providing guidance to breastfeeding mothers who need to take medications. However, please note that LATMED does not provide patient-specific medical advice.