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Nutrition and Fitness While Breastfeeding

Many new mothers wonder if they should be on a special diet while breastfeeding, but the answer is no. You can take in the same number of calories that you did before becoming pregnant, which helps with weight loss after birth. There are no foods you have to avoid. In fact, you can continue to enjoy the foods that are important to your family -the special meals you know and love.

As for how your diet affects your baby, there are no special foods that will help you make more milk. You may find that some foods cause stomach upset in your baby. You can try avoiding those foods to see if your baby feels better and ask your baby's doctor for help.

Keep these important nutrition tips in mind

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated (but fluid intake does not affect the amount of breast milk you make). Drink when you are thirsty, and drink more fluids if your urine is dark yellow. A common suggestion is to drink a glass of water or other beverage every time you breastfeed. Limit beverages that contain added sugars, such as soft drinks and fruit drinks.
  • Drinking a moderate amount (up to 2 to 3 cups a day) of coffee or other caffeinated beverages does not cause a problem for most breastfeeding babies. Too much caffeine can cause the baby to be fussy or not sleep well.
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements cannot replace a healthy diet. In addition to healthy food choices, some breastfeeding women may need a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Talk with your doctor to find out if you need a supplement.

Updated December 29, 2017

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