What can I eat while breastfeeding?

Science says you can eat whatever you want while breastfeeding. Spicy food, cauliflower, broccoli, coffee, alcohol (in moderation), beans, dairy. There is no restricted list. You also do not need to maintain a perfect diet in order to provide quality milk for baby. Research tells us that the quality of your diet actually has little influence on your milk. Your body is designed to make milk to provide for and protect baby even when you’re not providing for yourself. A poor diet is more likely to affect you than your baby. Occasionally your calorie and fluid intake can impact your milk VOLUME, but not the NUTRIENTS.

  • Eat to hunger
  • Drink to thirst
  • Vitamin/mineral supplements are not necessary if you eat a reasonably well balanced diet or unless you’re deficient in particular micronutrients
  • What you eat changes the color and flavor of your milk but not the nutrients
  • Nutrients is determined by how often you empty the breast. When you’re feeding around the clock for a newborn the nutrients are different than when you’re feeding a few times a day for a toddler.
  • Your fat intake does not affect the amount of fat in your milk. It can change the kinds of fats (balance of “good” vs. “bad” fats) in your milk to some extent.
  • Eat whatever you like, whenever you like, in the amounts that you like and continue to do this unless baby has an obvious reaction to a particular food.
  • Some food proteins (such as cow’s milk protein or peanut protein) do pass into milk. If you or your family has a history of food allergies, you may wish to limit or eliminate the allergens common in your family.
  • Avoiding foods during pregnancy or breastfeeding does not help to prevent allergies in your child.

Typically whatever a food does to you it may do to baby. If you eat cabbage and it gives you gas, it may give baby gas! Or not! Some times you just have to try a food and see what it will do to your baby. Younger babies are more sensitive than older babies. So if your cauliflower upset your newborn’s tummy, wait a few weeks and try it again. As their system develops, they may be able to tolerate things they couldn’t when they were first born.