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Eating for Two: Your Diet And Breastfeeding

If I breastfeed, will I have to watch everything I eat, and do I have to drink milk all the time, as I did during pregnancy?

In most cases you should maintain a healthy diet, as you would whether or not you were breastfeeding. One advantage of breastfeeding is that while you should eat an additional three hundred to five hundred calories per day, those calories add heft to your baby’s thighs, not yours!

You don’t have to drink extra milk, since a breastfeeding mother’s body efficiently absorbs calcium from other foods. In fact, you don’t have to drink any cow’s milk to make human milk. You do need a daily source of calcium in your diet, though, and will want to make sure your diet is adequate in vitamins and minerals.

Consult your physician or your child’s pediatrician if you’re not sure that you are getting all the nutrients you need. A glass of wine or a cup of coffee is fine while nursing. In general, moderation is the key. In fact, a breastfeeding mother’s diet is an excellent blueprint for a lifetime of healthy eating.  

Last Updated
New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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