Eat Up To Nurse Baby

It takes a lot of work for your body to breastfeed. Take care to nourish yourself, and baby, properly with our list of dos and don'ts while nursing.
Woman breastfeeding her baby
Photo credit: Monashee Alonso/Caiaimage/Getty Images

Don't diet

Your body burns an additional 300 to 500 calories a day if you're exclusively breastfeeding your baby, so you needn't try to restrict your diet once baby is born. Many new moms attribute breastfeeding to helping them shed those pregnancy pounds. Talk with your doctor about the average amount of calories you should aim to take in each day to nourish yourself and your breastfeeding baby.

Do eat healthfully

Just because you're not on a diet doesn't mean you should be on a foodie free-for-all. Make smart healthy choices not only for your body, but for Baby's. You know the drill: fresh produce, whole grains and lean proteins. If baby has a sensitive system, limit your intake of typically problematic foods such as cow's milk (and products made from it), soy, and cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower. Some babies may not react at all to what you eat, and others may — if you think your baby is reacting negatively to a specific food, limit it or cut it out of your diet altogether.

Do drink lots of water

Staying hydrated helps new moms keep up with their milk supply. Drink water with your meals and throughout the day. Your pee should be clear if you're drinking enough. If it's yellow, add a few cups of H2O to your daily intake.

Don't drink caffeine

Ok, we know a new mom needs caffeine more than ever. But try to limit your intake to one or two cups a day, as any more than that could impact Baby. And really, the last thing a tired mom needs is a totally wired baby. Right?

Don't forget your prenatal vitamins

Continue taking your prenatals during the duration that you breastfeed Baby to ensure you're getting the vitamins you need.

More on breastfeeding

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How much caffeine is safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
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