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Healthy breastfeeding diet

If you’re breastfeeding, a healthy breastfeeding diet is important as it can affect your baby as much as you. Get tips on what not to eat when breastfeeding and what to eat when breastfeeding.

2 mins
to read Mar 31, 2021
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fiber.
  • When it comes to fruit and veg, aim for at least 5 servings of fruit a day, and 7 servings of vegetables a day. For example, 1 serving of fruit could be an extra small banana, 1 cup of raspberries, or 17 grapes. 1 serving of veg could be ½ cup of cooked vegetables such as broccoli, ½ cup of cooked canned tomatoes, or 1 cup of raw vegetables, such as carrot.
  • Limit caffeine when breastfeeding as it may keep baby awake.
  • It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol and breastfeeding altogether.
  • If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you’ll need an extra 330 calories of healthy food a day for the first six months.
  • Aim for 10 servings of grains a day. For example, 1 serving = 1 slice whole-wheat bread, 1/3 cup cooked rice, or ¾ cup ready-to-eat unsweetened cereal.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of fluids—preferably water—a day. It’s a good idea to have a drink by your side when you’re breastfeeding.
  • Aim for 7 servings of protein-rich food a day, such as lean meat, chicken, eggs, nuts, seeds, and pulses, which are good sources of iron. For example, 1 serving is 30g (1oz) meat, fish, or poultry, or 1 egg.
  • Aim for 4 servings of dairy or suitable plant-based substitutes a day, for calcium and protein. For example, 1 serving is 1 cup milk or 1 cup plain yogurt.
  • Take a daily breastfeeding supplement with 10 micrograms of Vitamin D.
  • Avoid eating fish high in mercury such as shark, swordfish and marlin.
  • Oily fish such as mackerel are great, but try not to eat more than 2 servings a week.
  • Prepare healthy nibbles before you go to bed to snack on during night feeds. 
  • Take our Breastfeeding mom’s diet quiz to put your eating habits to the test! 
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