Eat Healthy While Breastfeeding: Quick tips

Breastfeeding has many benefits for moms and babies. For example, breastfeeding can:

Making healthy food choices while you're breastfeeding will help you and your baby get the nutrients you both need.

Most people can get all the nutrients they need by following a healthy eating pattern. If you are worried about getting enough nutrients while breastfeeding, ask your doctor about taking a multivitamin.

Follow a healthy eating pattern.

To get the nutrients you need while breastfeeding, follow a healthy eating pattern [PDF - 505 KB]. For example, include these foods in your diet:

Check the Nutrition Facts label and choose foods and drinks with less added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium (salt). Learn more about eating healthy.

Eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood each week.

Fish and shellfish have healthy fats that are good for you and your baby. But some fish is high in mercury, a metal that can hurt your baby’s development. It’s a good idea to eat seafood that is high in healthy fats but lower in mercury.

Best choices

These choices are lower in mercury, so you can eat 8 to 12 ounces a week.

Good choices

You can eat 4 ounces of these fish a week if you don’t eat any other seafood that week.

Fish to avoid

Don’t eat bigeye tuna, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, or tilefish. They are high in mercury.

Learn more about choosing fish that is healthy and safe to eat [PDF - 308 KB].

Drink plenty of fluids.

Your body needs extra fluids when you are breastfeeding to stay hydrated. Try drinking a glass of water every time you breastfeed.

Limit drinks with caffeine and added sugars.

Not drinking alcohol is the safest option for breastfeeding mothers.

If you choose to drink alcohol, follow these safety tips.

If you have questions, talk to your doctor.

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