Healthy Dieting for Breastfeeding Mothers


After a woman has given birth, there will be extra pounds that are left on her body that had been accumulated during the pregnancy. Many wish to return to their pre-baby weight and shape, as soon as possible, but if you are a breastfeeding mom, you will need to think about what is best for you and for your newborn.

But there is good news for breastfeeding mothers. According to the LLLI’s Breastfeeding Answer Book, 3rd Edition, 2003, it states that breastfeeding mothers tend to lose more weight when their babies are three to six months old than mothers who have formula-fed their babies. Another study stated that breastfeeding mothers at one month postpartum had slimmer hips and weighed less than women whose babies received only formula.

Some of the calories required in a new moms’ diet is meant for breast milk production. This comes from the body fat reserves that have been accumulated during the pregnancy. New mothers will still need
additional calories beyond their pre-pregnancy intake to provide enough energy through the breast milk they give to their children. As soon as you wean your baby, your calorie needs will gradually return to pre-pregnancy levels.

According to the Department of Health, it is suggested the following amounts of extra calories:

Up to one month: 450 calories

Up to two months: 530 calories

Up to three months: 570 calories

There have been other studies which suggest that new mothers only need an extra 300-400 calories per day during the first three months.

Healthy Diet for Breastfeeding Mothers

Breastfeeding mothers should eat foods that will provide high levels of protein, calcium and iron. They should also drink plenty of fluids, especially water. They should have as many as 8 to 12 glasses of water per day. This will also aid in milk production. Below you will find some of the components that will make up a healthy diet for a new mother:

Whole Grains

Whole Grain Cereals

Fresh Fruits

Fresh Vegetables


Low-Fat Fruit Shake

Sandwiches with Whole Wheat Bread

Leafy Greens

Canned Salmon

Caned Tuna




Baked Beans

In regards to breastfeeding, you should know that what you eat will also affect your baby after they are born, which comes from the breast milk. You should pay attention for reactions in your baby when you eat certain food items, such as hot salsa, garlic chicken, curry, as well as coffee. Other things to avoid include broccoli, cabbage, onions and Brussels sprouts, which causes colic.

As far as dieting while breastfeeding is concerned, a new mother should strive to lose weight gradually by eating a healthy, low-fat diet combined with moderate exercise. Rapid weight loss can cause problems with your baby because of the release of toxins into the system, which are normally store within body fat. These toxins can contaminate your breast milk.

Some books to consider looking into when you want to know more on the subject include:

Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding : Complete Nutrition Book for Nursing Mothers, Including a Healthy Guide to Weight Loss Your Doctor Promise by Eileen Behan

The Nursing Mother’s Herbal (The Human Body Library) by Sheila Humphrey

Nursing Mother, Working Mother : The Essential Guide for Breastfeeding and Staying Close to Your Baby After You Return to Work by Gale Pryor

The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins

The Nursing Mother’s Problem Solver by William Sears

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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