Nursing Nutrition

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Nursing Nutrition

What you need to know about how your diet affects your breastmilk

Sure, your milk is affected by what you eat, but you can still breastfeed and chow down on chili, says Stacey Rubin, author of The ABCs of Breastfeeding. Here’s what you need to know:

Whole Grains, Protein, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables You know the bulk of your nutrition should come from whole grains, protein, veggies, and fruits, but even if you have an odd day when your diet consists mostly of M&M’s, you’ll still produce healthy milk to satisfy your baby.

Water You only need to quench your thirst — there’s no reason to guzzle more than that. Just keep a glass of water handy when you sit down to nurse (breastfeeding will naturally make you thirsty).

Fish The same rules as pregnancy apply: Eat no more than a total of 12 ounces a week of low-mercury cooked fish such as wild salmon, shrimp, pollock, and up to 6 ounces a week of canned chunk-light tuna.

Dairy Most babies are fine with cow’s-milk proteins in their breast milk. Cut out dairy — milk, cheese, yogurt — only if your baby has signs of an allergic reaction: diarrhea, irritability, a rash, hives (call his doctor if these signs appear).

Caffeine and Alcohol One or two cups of coffee, tea, or soda is not the reason your baby is up all night — if only it were that easy! Enjoy a glass of wine with a meal after your baby’s last feeding and you won’t need to pump and dump.

To learn more about your nursing nutritional needs, visit