Diet Considerations While Breastfeeding

The following recommendation is from the American Pregnancy Association Medical Advisory Board member, Dr. Sebastian Faro, in his audio series, Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy. Other tips for breastfeeding are in an audio program, Caring for your Baby from Birth to Age One.

The requirement for increased calorie intake will continue after pregnancy if you plan to breastfeed your baby. You will secrete 425 to 700 calories into your breast milk daily. Therefore, you should increase your caloric intake by 500 calories each day, so your total number of calories would be approximately 3000 calories per day. These calories should be healthy calories, not empty calories from sweets or snack foods.

You should also drink approximately 2 quarts of water per day while breastfeeding. Avoid foods that produce gas like chocolate, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, as well as spicy foods and caffeine. Caffeine causes you to urinate in larger amounts and more frequently, meaning that you will lose fluids you need for your body and your breast milk.

For more information on breastfeeding and caring for your baby, check out a new audio course, Caring for your Baby from Birth to Age One, by a leading pediatrician.