Breast Milk 101: Five Foods Every Breastfeeding Mother Should Eat

Humans have been breastfeeding for millions of years, and there is no doubt about the advantages of breast milk. Not only brings it nutrition to the baby, but also strengthens its immune system and helps fight off diseases. According to recent research, mother’s breast milk changes every day in agreement with baby’s needs.

We wrote previously what foods should be avoided when a woman is breastfeeding, and today we are listing top five foods that are beneficial to a breastfeeding mom.

  • Water – Many breastfeeding women complain about increased thirst. Choose water over any other liquid to stay hydrated.
  • Fruits and vegetables – these will provide extra hydration as well as vitamins, nutrients and fiber. Watch if your baby has an allergic reaction when you eat such fruits as strawberries, kiwis, and citrus fruit.
  • Protein – this should be eaten 2-3 times a day and can include meat, fish, eggs, beans, dairy, and nuts.
  • Multivitamin – most often breastfeeding mothers are recommended to continue with their prenatal vitamin for at least a month after giving birth, and then switch to a regular multivitamin. Consult with your doctor for choosing the best one.
  • Foods that boost milk production – certain foods are rumored or proven to help increase milk supply. Such foods include garlic, oats, fennel, anise tea, and sesame seeds.

Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding women do not need to eat significantly more. Doctors recommend adding about 500 calories for lactating women. Listen to your body and watch your baby’s reaction to foods to determine the best diet for yourself.