If you are breastfeeding, your doctor may suggest that you eat more calories each day than otherwise recommended for a person of your height and weight.
Be sure to ask your doctor about how much and what to eat if you:
Eating a variety of foods can help you get all the nutrients you need. Your body needs protein, carbohydrate, and fats for energy. Good sources of nutrients are:
Eating healthy foods when you are breastfeeding is good for your overall health and for the health of your baby. You may already have a healthy diet, or you may need to make some changes in your eating habits.
It's also important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These not only give you necessary nutrients but also help you get fibre. Planning your meals can help you add healthy foods to your diet.
It's also important to make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet, such as:
Some health professionals recommend a prenatal vitamin supplement to breastfeeding women, especially for those who:
Talk to a registered dietitian or to your doctor about a safe and healthy diet. To learn more, see the topic Healthy Eating.
It's not a good idea to diet when you are breastfeeding. Still, it's fine to have a diet drink or foods sweetened with sugar substitutes now and then. Just be sure they don't take the place of the nutrient-rich foods you need when breastfeeding.
The following sugar substitutes are considered safe to use in moderation when breastfeeding:
It is not clear whether cyclamate (Sucaryl, Sugar Twin, Sweet 'N Low) is safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It may be best to avoid it.
Saccharin (Hermesetas) is deemed safe by Health Canada for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding when used in moderation.footnote 1 But you may want to check with your doctor before you use it. Some pregnant women choose to avoid saccharin because it has been shown to cross the placenta to the fetus.
Check with a registered dietitian or your doctor if you have questions about sugar substitutes.
Anything you put in your body can be passed to your baby in breast milk.
Most foods you eat probably won't cause colicky symptoms in your baby. But some infants develop a sensitivity to the protein in cow's milk. If this occurs, you may need to stop eating milk and dairy products.
Here are some other things to think about:
If you have questions about what to eat or drink and what to avoid, talk with your doctor, your midwife, or a registered dietitian.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Health Canada (2007). Food and nutrition: Questions and answers: Saccharin. Health Canada. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/addit/sweeten-edulcor/saccharin_qa-qr-eng.php. Accessed July 28, 2014.
Other Works Consulted
Health Canada (2014). Food and nutrition: 9. List of permitted sweeteners (lists of permitted food additives). Health Canada. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/addit/list/9-sweetener-edulcorant-eng.php. Accessed July 28, 2014.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofFebruary 13, 2018
Current as of: February 13, 2018
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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