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What to eat while breastfeeding

A mother's diet during breastfeeding should be rich and varied, but above all, it should be filled with foods such as fruits, whole grains, dairy products, vegetables and greens, avoiding industrialized and very fatty foods that do not add nutritional value to the mother nor to the baby.

During breastfeeding, even by increasing calories in her diet, the mother slims on average 1 to 2 kg a month, slowly and gradually, due to the energy that is lost during milk production.

What to eat during breastfeeding

What to eat while breastfeeding

Some tips to help you follow a balanced diet while breastfeeding may be to eat:

  • At least 3 fruits a day, distributed at breakfast, lunch and dinner;
  • A serving of vegetables at lunch and dinner;
  • Lean cooked meat, grilled or baked 2-3 times a week;
  • Eggs can be consumed up to 3 times a week;
  • Well cooked fish, preferably at dinner, once a week;
  • Little amount of rice, noodles or potatoes in main meals, covering only 1/3 of the dish;
  • 3 servings of dairy products a day, distributed over breakfast and snacks, such as 1 cup of milk (beef or vegetable), 1 slice of minas cheese and 1 cup of yogurt;
  • Small amounts of carbohydrate foods to snacks, such as 30 g cereals, 1 whole wheat bread, 1 rye bread or 2 whole-grain toast.

During the breastfeeding phase it is essential that you drink plenty of fluids to help milk production, about 3-4 liters per day. This amount includes the water present in fruits, soups and juices, so it is still necessary to drink about 2 liters of liquids, such as water or tea without sugar, a day. Having a 2 liter bottle close by is a good option to control the amount of water you drink throughout the day.

Proper diet during breastfeeding to avoid colics in the baby

To prevent colics in the baby, it is important for the mother to restrict the consumption of foods that cause gas, such as:

  • Beans with peel (kneaded and passed in a sieve);
  • Peas;
  • Turnip;
  • Broccoli;
  • Cauliflower;
  • Cabbage;
  • Sweet potato.

Eating two different sources of carbohydrates also causes gas, so you should not eat rice and potatoes in the same meal. Some of the worst combinations that further stimulate the formation of gases are:

  • Beans + cabbage;
  • Brown rice + egg + broccoli salad;
  • Milk + fruit + sweetener based on sorbitol or xylitol;
  • Eggs + meat + sweet potatoes.

The use of some teas in breastfeeding can also cause cramps in the baby, such as Kava Kava tea, carqueja and ginseng. See other examples of teas that shouldn't be taken while breastfeeding.

Another food that can also cause colics in the baby is cow's milk, so if you have already excluded all of these foods from your diet and the baby continues to present colics, it may be necessary to cut the cow's milk and its derivatives, replacing it for vegetable milk, such as rice milk, almond milk or coconut drink.

See other tips in: how to fight baby colics.

What not to eat during breastfeeding

Foods that should be avoided in breastfeeding are foods like fried foods, sausages, yellow cheeses, soft drinks, cakes and biscuits because they have large amounts of fats and sugars. Also, you should not consume alcoholic beverages and you should reduce the consumption of stimulant foods like coca cola, coffee and chocolate.


  • ÁLVAREZ María Luisa et al. Nutrición en pediatría . 2ª. Caracas, Venezuela: Cania, 2009. 215-218.
  • SHILS Maurice. Nutrición en Salud y Enfermedad. 9º. México: Mc Graw Hill, 2006. 941-963.
  • Ministerio de Salud y desarrollo Social. Valores de referencia de energía y nutrientes. Caracas: Instituto Nacional de Nutrición, 2000. 54-67.
  • AMERICAN PREGNANCY ASSOCIATION. Consider Omega-3 Supplementation For The Health Of Your Baby. Link: <americanpregnancy.org>. Access in 24 Apr 2019
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