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Healthy Diet for Lactating Mums

  • Breastfeeding mothers need an extra 500 kcal of energy a day.

  • Eat foods rich in folate, iodine, zinc, vitamin A and DHA, and moderately increase intake of meat to ensure adequate nutrient levels in your breastmilk.

Eating well during breastfeeding

  • Eat a variety of foods, but avoid overeating.

  • Choose whole grains, eat more vegetables and fruits.

  • Consume a bit more meat, fish and eggs than before pregnancy. Choose fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids but low in mercury content.

  • Eat seafood that provides you with iodine. Consume kelp occasionally. Consider taking a multivitamin/ multimineral supplement containing iodine, if you have problems in taking these foods.

  • Consume calcium-rich foods , e.g. milk, dairy products, dark green vegetables.

  • Ensure adequate water intake.

  • Limit drinking coffee, strong tea and avoid caffeine containing drinks.

  • Do not smoke or consume alcoholic drinks.

  • Consult a registered Chinese medicine practitioner before taking traditional herbal medicines or health tonics.

  • Remove the skin and trim the fat from meat and poultry to reduce the intake of extra calories

Remove the skin and trim the fat from meat and poultry to reduce the intake of extra calories

Daily Food Plan for Lactating mums

*1 bowl = 250-300ml; 1 cup = 240ml

What food should I avoid when I breastfeed?

Eating a well-balanced diet is most important to breastfeeding mother. Avoid fishes of high methylmercury levels. Unless you or your baby has a particular food allergy, you do not need to avoid any food. If you suspect your baby is allergic to certain food you eat, you should consult your doctor.

Some babies are sensitive to certain strong flavored and gas-producing food such as garlic, curry or spices. They may be upset and cry after drinking your milk. If this happens, you should try to avoid these foods.

You should restrict consumptions on caffeinated drinks like coffee, strong tea and some soft drinks or you can consider decaffeinated options so to minimise the effect of caffeine on babies.

You should avoid alcohol because of its adverse effect on health e.g. affect judgment. Alcohol decreases milk production. It passes through breastmilk and may impair your baby's development.


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