Breastfeeding Diet: What to Eat? Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Diet: What to Eat? Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Diet: What to Eat? Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding diet after childbirth should be varied and balanced, like at the end of pregnancy but, preferably, with an increased amount of dairy products: 3-4 cups of milk per day, including kefir or yogurt.

Lactating mother’s needs in additional food increase depending on the amount of breast milk secreted by her mammary glands. However, these are the basic recommendations on what to eat and drink while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding diet is still widely discussed in the communities, but generally, specialists give the recommendations on the diet, that are related to healthy eating plans of the adult people with some corrections.

General tips on breastfeeding diet

There are main recommendations for the dieting while breastfeeding to increase lactation in the first month: to drink enough fluid (about 2 liters per day). The maintaining of drinking regime of a nursing mother is extremely important for a complete lactation. She should drink not less than 1000 ml of liquid in addition to the usual volume (in the form of milk, juices, beverages, vegetable broth, herbal teas, fruit drinks, infusions, weak tea, etc.). new motherDuring lactation, put beside you a glass of water to quench your thirst and eliminate the feeling of dryness in the mouth. It should be noted that it is forbidden to add large quantities of liquid in the diet of lactating mother immediately after a childbirth. So, a quantity of fluids you drink (including first course, fruit, and vegetables) should be limited to 1000 ml before the beginning of lactation, during the production of colostrums. Otherwise, with the beginning of lactation, which normally happens in 2-4 days after childbirth, the amount of milk may be excessive, challenging its separation; lactostasis may develop as a result (stagnation of milk in the ducts of the mammary glands).

General tips on breastfeeding and more: Breastfeeding: Don't Believe the Rumors!

Lactation problems

breastfeeding motherMore often, the child receives less or is completely deprived of milk because of the lack of its production. In order to prevent this, the nutrition of lactating mother should be correct and complete as in the first days after childbirth and the first month, and in the second month and onwards, as well as a lactating mother should relax fully. The mammary glands of healthy lactating mother form and secrete on the average 800-1200 ml of milk per day. Therefore, the caloric value of daily diet of the lactating mother should be increased for 700-1000 calories. Approximate daily set of products of a lactating mother should contain 200 g of meat, poultry or fish, 20-30 g of cheese, 100-150 g of cottage cheese, 1 egg, 50 g of butter, 1 liter of milk in any form, 200-300 g of fruits, 500-600 g of vegetables, including potatoes not more than 15%. Total caloric intake of lactating mother’s diet – is 3200-3500 kcal (see the list of products for lactating mother in the table № 1, 2).

List of products to consume daily

Table 1: A sample list of products for lactating mothers per day, the menu for lactating mothers.

Product name Amount,


Energy value,
Meat products 120 16,2 9,2 147,6
Fish 100 16,0 0,4 68,0
Cottage cheese (low-fat) 170 23,8 0,81 5,4 112,5
Kefir, fermented baked milk 200 6,7 6,7 7,4 124,0
Milk 250 9,0 10,5 13,5 186,0
Dairy butter 30 0,12 23,54 0,15 220,2
Sour cream 50 1,0 14,0 1,5 142,58
Oil vegetative 35 32,48 270,2
Sugar 50 47,75 195,0
Rye bread 100 7,0 1,0 45,0 223,0
Wheat bread 100 7,1 1,0 47,5 230,0
Flour products
(bun, cookies, etc.)
150 8,55 17,7 83,55 541,95
Groats and pasta products 60 7,44 1,5 40,0 208,0
Potatoes 200 3,73 42,1 189,0
cabbage 100 1,2 14,0 62,0
beet 100 1,1 10,3 47,0
carrot 100 1,29 7,6 36,0
tomatoes 200 1,34 4,0 21,3
bulb onions 35 0,95 3,5 16,1
Fruits, berries
or fruit juice
200 1,2 46,0 193,4
Total … 122,91 114,05 419,25 3121,58

Basic elements your body needs for nursing

Table 2: The lactating mother’s need in basic nutrients.

Nutrients Amount
Proteins, g 120
Including animal proteins 72
Fats, g 113
including vegetable fats 34
А, МЕ 8250
В1, mg 3
В2, mg 3,5
B6, mg 4
С, mg 120
РР, mg 25
Mineral substances:
Са, mg 1900
Р, mg 3800
Мg, mg 1250


Nutrition of lactating mothers (breastfeeding diet) should include fruits and vegetables – they are a source of vitamins and minerals, as well as products such as potatoes, bread, cereals, and rich in vitamins B. Eat fruits in each meal. Green vegetables should fill about a quarter of the lactating mother’s menu. During the first two weeks of breastfeeding, you should come up with a breastfeeding diet plan.

what to eat during breastfeedingIt’s advisable to use a lot of vegetables and salads in the diet of a lactating mother, as in the first days after childbirth and the first month, so in the second month. At any time, there is a certain selection of fresh greens. In addition, frozen vegetables are available all year round. Canned vegetables and fruits should be discarded, because canned food is dangerous for a lactating mother’s feed and, therefore, for a newborn baby. Fruits should be introduced gradually to the diet of lactating mothers. It is undesirable to prepare the fruit salad of several new fruits, not previously used in the food of breastfeeding mother, because in a case of a child’s allergies, you can’t determine what kind of fruit has caused it. First of all, try each fruit separately at intervals of few days and observe the reaction of the child. If the child is all right, you can experiment safely. The same applies to foods of breastfeeding diet, vegetable dishes. The attention should be paid to the method of cooking. It is desirable for food to be not subjected to prolonged heat treatment. Try to keep the food not very oily, avoid spicy and smoked food.

The preference in the breastfeeding diet of the nursing mother (as in the first days after childbirth and the first month, and in the second month) should be given to digestible foods: eggs, fish, and meat as sources of complete protein.

The need for proteins should  present in 60-70% due to animal protein, 1/5 part of fats – due to vegetable oils. The menu of breastfeeding mother should include buckwheat and oatmeal porridges, berries, juices, compotes. It is necessary to avoid sharp flavorings and spices. For nursing mothers, it’s better not to eat garlic, horseradish, because they can cause an unpleasant taste of milk. Don’t be afraid of eating fresh and pickled vegetables as well as fruits and berries, allegedly because of that, the child’s digestion will be disrupted.

It’s advisable for the nursing mother to eat 5-6 times a day before each child feeding.

You have to understand that eating plan of nursing mother should be divided into 5-6 meals – it means that you should eat often, but little by little. Firstly, it facilitates better digestibility. Secondly, it promotes the formation of high-grade milk.

A nursing mother needs good rest, walking in the fresh air for 2-3 hours a day. Family members should take care of the nursing woman and give her a possibility to sleep at least 8 hours at night, and make her able to sleep during the day for 1-2 hours. A mild physical work and exercises are useful.

It is essential that you minimize the consumption of the pollutants like alcohol and smoke.

Read more here: Alcohol and Breastfeeding: How Much Can You Drink?

The simple menu of breastfeeding mother:

Daily breastfeeding diet plan

6.00 – yogurt.


  • milky rice porridge,
  • bread with butter and cheese,
  • a tea.

Mother and Baby eating at Home. Happy Smiling Family PortraitSecond breakfast:

  • an apple,
  • a tea.


  • salad of carrots, cranberries and dried apricots with vegetable oil,
  • soup with fresh cabbage,
  • casserole with stew and potato,
  • compote of dried fruits,
  • bread.


  • apple juice, 1
  • cookie (biscuit).


  • salad of cucumber and greens with vegetable oil,
  • boiled fish in milk sauce with vegetable ragout,
  • tea with milk,
  • bread.

Share the joy
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      Hi! It all depends on how your baby reacts. The coffee itself may cause an allergy. If you see nothing uncommon in your baby withing 3-4 hours after breastfeeding her with “coffee” milk – then you’re free to drink your morning cup. You should also check for the baby’s reaction during the day: does she sleep well, or being too alert all the time? As for the tips – add milk or cream, reduce the quantity of coffee and in case your baby reacts the caffeine in your milk badly – you may substitute the coffee with chicory. Chicory is far better for both of you in breastfeeding.

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    I wanted to share how easy it was for me to produce milk. My MIL made this soup that was also made for her when she was nursing. Ever heard of Banana blossom aka banana flower? They sale it in Asian stores or an oriental market. You can also find recipes for it online or on YouTube. But trust me when I said it helps with milk production. I would use banana flower in my chicken soup with a stalk of lemon grass and garlic. But if you don’t have lemon grass then that’s fine. Key ingredient is banana flower. As for the seasoning I just used salt. You’ll be surprise at how much milk will be flowing out. I didn’t want to believe it at first but my mother in law warn me of it. Why I said warn? Lol get this, after eating the soup she had made me I decide to make a trip to the store with hubby. I soon realized something was wrong cause I was in pain from my breast engorging. First thing I thought to myself was. “Why does my boob look big n huge?” After that milk started flowing out on it’s own. I told my hubby we had to go or else people would see wet spots on my breast and no it was not a wet t-shirt contest or else I would have won! Smh so I hope this help mother who had problems with producing milk.

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