Nutrition for Nursing Moms
If you already had a great diet before, you'll need to add one serving each of dairy, whole grains, fruit, and green vegetables now that you're breastfeeding. Nursing moms should eat at least seven servings of protein-rich foods per day, with at least one of these coming from a vegetable. Great sources of protein include lean meats and fish, milk and yogurt, nuts, beans, and legumes.
You'll need at least three servings of calcium-rich foods per day. The easiest way to get add calcium in your diet is probably by drinking milk, but you can also get calcium from sources like leafy green vegetables; yogurt and cheese; almonds; blackstrap molasses; shellfish; and calcium-enriched bread, orange juice, or cereal.
Reach for seven servings of grains per day. Look for labels that say “whole grain” or “whole wheat”; these tend to be far less processed and will deliver more fiber.
Veggies and fruits should be high on your list. You'll need a total of five or six per day. At least one should be rich in vitamin C, like citrus fruits, and another should be high in vitamin A, like carrots or sweet potatoes.
If you aren't absolutely sure you're diet is giving you the nutrients you need, continue taking your prenatal vitamin or start taking a multivitamin every day. You may also want to add an essential fatty acid, like fish-oil capsules or DHA supplements.
You should also consume some unsaturated fats, like the kind found in fish or fish oil supplements; nuts; seeds; avocados; and olive, canola, or soybean oil, each day. Remember, your body needs some fat to be healthy — just make sure you're getting mostly the good kind. Most of us already get enough omega-6 fatty acids, found in corn and safflower oil, for example, through the standard American diet, and too many omega-6 fatty acids can interfere with the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 acids that our bodies need to be healthy.