Mother with baby in a sling cooks healthy food

PROPER NUTRITION WHILE LEEING WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT

22. SEPTEMBER 2022

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What foods are recommended while breastfeeding and what shouldn't be eaten while breastfeeding? The diet of the breastfeeding mother is important for the nutritional supply of the child. In addition, the mother's energy requirements are higher due to breastfeeding.


Read our tips for a healthy diet while breastfeeding here.

KEY FACTS AT A GLANCE

  • High-calorie foods are recommended while breastfeeding. Your calorie requirement may be comparatively higher.
  • Foods high in fiber like whole wheat pasta, bread, potatoes, or rice can keep you full for longer.
  • Many protein products can have a positive effect on your milk production.
  • Strawberries, oranges and grapes have a high content of folic acid. This can be important not only during pregnancy but also during breastfeeding.
  • To meet your need for healthy fatty acids, nuts or fatty sea fish are good options.
  • Eating raw meat is no longer a problem when breastfeeding.
  • As a vegetarian or vegan, you should pay attention to your iron and vitamin B12 content.
  • We recommend this dietary supplement during breastfeeding.

WHAT NOT TO EAT WHEN BREASTFEEDING?

When breastfeeding, you should avoid foods with an increased content of harmful substances. This means that innards such as kidneys or liver are not recommended when breastfeeding.

Read our tips for a healthy diet while breastfeeding here.

  • Cabbage and other flatulent foods – some foods can make the baby gassy when breastfeeding. These include cabbage, leeks, legumes, garlic and onions. Kohlrabi, cauliflower and broccoli are less likely to cause flatulence.
  • Hot foods and spices – Curry, chili, ginger and other hot spices and foods can cause skin irritation in the child.

Do I have to avoid caffeine while breastfeeding?

Caffeine can make children restless. As a breastfeeding woman, you can drink black tea, but no more than one or two cups. The same applies to coffee, although it is advisable to use decaffeinated coffee while breastfeeding.

Tip: You can get in the habit of drinking grain coffee, which also promotes milk production.

can i drink alcohol

If you drink alcohol while breastfeeding, you harm your baby. Even small amounts can affect the swallowing and sucking reflex. Parents have a responsibility to the child. For this reason, it is recommended that you do not drink alcohol while breastfeeding. In exceptional cases, you can drink a very small amount. Then you have to make sure that the alcohol has broken down before you next breastfeed your child.

Which foods are recommended?

Extra calories are important when breastfeeding because you have a higher need for energy and nutrients. After giving birth, you need about 500 to 600 additional calories a day.


Since you built up reserves during pregnancy, you draw on them in the first few months. You can therefore eat more and the weight loss should be slow.


Dieting while breastfeeding can affect not only your health but also breastfeeding. It's possible that your weight is affecting milk production. Too few or too many pounds can reduce milk production. Furthermore, the energy content of the milk is lower. It is therefore important that you eat enough but not too much and that you eat a balanced and healthy diet because of the nutrients.

High-fiber foods while breastfeeding 

Your nutritional and calorie needs are higher when breastfeeding. However, be careful about the calories you eat. About half of your diet should consist of high-fiber foods. 

Examples: Foods such as whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, vegetables, fruit, potatoes and brown rice.

Foods high in fiber make you feel full longer and can prevent constipation. You may enjoy cakes and other sweets, but in small amounts. Products containing sugar are high in calories, but they do not contain high-quality minerals or vitamins.

protein for milk production

In order to produce enough milk, your body needs a higher amount of protein. You can cover the increased protein requirement with sea fish, low-fat meat, whole grain products, nuts and dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt or milk.

Increased need for minerals and vitamins

Breastfeeding women need to consume more vitamins and minerals. You can cover your increased needs with the foods already mentioned and the foods in the following list. Folic acid is particularly important during breastfeeding. 

Foods high in folic acid: Whole wheat bread, strawberries, oranges, grapes, wheat bran, spinach, peas, cabbage and tomatoes.

You should also pay particular attention to getting enough iron, calcium and iodine. A sufficient supply of iodine is relevant for the mental and physical development of your child

Fruits and vegetables when breastfeeding - list for overview

In general, fresh fruit and vegetables are part of a balanced and healthy diet. The list will help you to ensure breastfeeding-friendly eating.


The types of fruit and vegetables we have listed are particularly suitable when you are breastfeeding. Incidentally, the food you eat while breastfeeding influences your child’s later eating preferences. If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables while breastfeeding, there is a very good chance that your child will later enjoy certain types of fruit and vegetables.

Which vegetables when breastfeeding?

Here we list vegetables that are recommended for you as a breastfeeding mother.

Vegetables

Why?

carrots

Raw carrots can promote milk production. In addition, carrots contain iron, potassium, folic acid and provitamin A.

spinach



Spinach contains a lot of calcium, iron and folic acid. The latter supports the development of the neural tube, which can reduce the risk of an open spine.

legumes





If you tolerate legumes well, they are a good way to cover the increased calorie requirement. In addition, these foods contain protein, which you need to produce milk.

broccoli




This vegetable is rich in calcium and rich in vitamin C. In addition, this type of vegetable is milder, so it is less likely to cause flatulence.

Which FRUIT when breastfeeding?

Here we list fruits that are recommended for you as a breastfeeding mother.

Fruits

Why?

banana

Bananas contain valuable nutrients such as various B vitamins, vitamin C as well as magnesium, potassium and manganese. However, in sensitive babies, eating too many bananas can cause constipation.

Apple

Opt for sweet apple varieties, because other varieties contain too much acid. Acidic foods can cause a sore bottom in a child.

oranges

Oranges are rich in vitamin C. This vitamin improves the absorption of iron. While breastfeeding, it is recommended that you drink a glass of orange juice a day. But beware: Observe whether your baby reacts to the consumption of citrus fruits with a sore bottom.

Apricots, grapes and mango



Apricots, grapes or mangoes contain little acid and are therefore well suited for breastfeeding.

More foods for your diet

There are other foods that should not be missing from your diet. For example, low-fat meat zinc, protein and iron and fish provide high-quality fatty acids.


  • Fatty sea fish – Fish such as mackerel, herring or salmon contain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can have a positive effect on the baby's immune system.

In addition, the fatty acids can have a positive influence on the liver, the brain, the retina of the eyes and the central nervous system. Your infant can benefit from these effects if you eat two servings of sea fish per week.

Fish also contains iodine. Breastfeeding women have an increased need for iodine. A deficiency could endanger your child's development.

  • Nuts – As long as you are not allergic to nuts, these foods are good sources of healthy fatty acids.

They can also promote milk production. As a study studied, the risk of developing hypersensitivity to peanuts is reduced if the mother eats peanuts while breastfeeding.

  • Whole grain products - Whole-wheat flakes, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and other whole-grain products are high in fiber. They fill you up and the feeling of satiety lasts longer.

It is also possible that you can prevent constipation and provide your body with enough vitamin B1, vitamin B6, magnesium and iron.

  • Dairy products - Cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, and milk are good for meeting increased protein needs.

    Dairy products also contain a lot of calcium and iodine.

  • lean meat – There is a lot of iron in dark meat such as game or beef. It also provides proteins.

  • Herbs & Spices – Some spices promote digestion and milk production. So, fennel is good when breastfeeding.

    Furthermore, caraway, nettle leaves and anise are a support in the formation of breast milk.

Can I eat raw meat while breastfeeding?

Raw meat is taboo during pregnancy, but not anymore when breastfeeding. During pregnancy, infections such as toxoplasmosis or listeriosis, which are transmitted by bacteria, are the reason not to use them. However, these are not passed on to the baby via breast milk.

Do I need to drink more water while breastfeeding?

A sufficient supply of liquid should always be ensured. When breastfeeding, not drinking enough fluids can have a negative effect on milk production. Drink 2 to 2,5 liters daily.


Suitable drinks are water, juice and sugar-free fruit and herbal teas. Make sure you choose a still or at least a non-carbonated mineral water. 

Note: Sage and peppermint tea can inhibit milk production.

By the way, you can drink coconut milk while breastfeeding or otherwise use it in the kitchen. It is a good supplier of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). The vitamin is important for the entire protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

What foods can cause bloating?

It used to be said that breastfeeding mothers should not eat certain foods because they can cause bloating in the baby. According to new findings, this is not necessary. If you want to avoid flatulence in your baby when breastfeeding, you should avoid foods such as cabbage and other types of cabbage, onions, garlic and legumes. 


However, garlic promotes milk production, like in a study could be explored. The scientists found that the duration of breastfeeding increased if the mother ate garlic beforehand. If the baby stays at the breast longer, this has a positive effect on milk production. 

If your baby has bloating, you need to monitor it closely to see if it's related to the foods you're eating. 

Tip: It is best to write a food diary and also note when your child has flatulence. This will help you identify more quickly which foods you should eliminate from your diet while breastfeeding. Or you can take fennel while breastfeeding and add the spice to your meals. Fennel can act against flatulence.

Medication only after consultation with the doctor

If you need to take medication while breastfeeding, you should always discuss this with your doctor. Some medicines pass into breast milk, so taking them can have a negative effect on your baby. Your doctor knows which medications are safe to take while breastfeeding. It is also important to keep a time interval between meals and medication.

What do I have to consider as a vegan or vegetarian?

If expectant mothers eat vegan or vegetarian food, they should obtain information from their gynecologist during pregnancy. For example, iron is best absorbed from meat.


It is also possible that women have a vitamin B12 deficiency if they have been without meat or animal foods for a long time. A vitamin B12 deficiency in the mother can cause neurological damage in the baby. So that you do not endanger the development of your child, you should seek advice from your doctor before the birth. Have a meal plan set up for you.


It can also be useful to take dietary supplements.

More FAQs

Can I go on a diet while breastfeeding?

During breastfeeding, there is an increased need for nutrients and calories. A diet while breastfeeding can trigger deficiency symptoms in the mother, so that the child is not supplied with enough nutrients either. You should lose a maximum of 2 kilograms per month. If you lose weight too quickly and eat too little, this can also have a negative effect on the milk supply.

Do I have to stop smoking while breastfeeding?

Nicotine is a neurotoxin. It protects the tobacco plant from pests. If you smoke while breastfeeding, your baby absorbs the substance through breast milk. Nicotine can delay your child's development. Smoking while breastfeeding can also lead to vomiting, restlessness, colic and an increased risk of respiratory diseases in infants. 

In addition, smokers' bodies are constantly detoxifying. He needs more vitamins for this, so that you have a greatly increased need for vitamins. So it's best if you give up smoking completely. In addition, the rest of the family should never smoke around the baby, but should go to another room or outside.

Does sea fish protect against allergies?

According to current knowledge, you cannot protect your child from allergies by not eating cow's milk or other foods. With fish it could be different. Eating this food could reduce your baby's risk of allergies


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    • Silke L. - verified buyer



"Great product. My little sunshine is now 1 year old and I can still breastfeed. 👍🥂🎉"

  • Silke L. - verified buyer


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