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Pregnancy and Nutrition

Nutritional Needs During Lactation

A nursing motherís diet can have a profound effect on her baby. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that whatever you eat, your baby eats, too. Healthy nutrients and contaminants alike pass from breast milk to baby. †

Energy and Nutrient Needs while Breastfeeding

Calorie and protein needs continue to be high during lactation, as they were in pregnancy. The breastfeeding mother requires an extra 300 to 400 calories above her pre–pregnancy needs for the first 12 months of breastfeeding.

Fortunately, eating well and fulfilling the needs of your newborn child are really quite easy. The healthiest diets derive their nutrients from these sources: vegetables (fresh or frozen), fruit (fresh or frozen), legumes (beans, peas, or lentils), whole grains, and nuts and seeds. There is no need to eat fatty, sugary, and refined packaged foods, nor fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products.†

A vegan diet, supplemented with vitamin B12, helps keep you slim and resistant to illness while providing all the nutrients necessary for optimal health. Contrary to popular belief, vegan and vegetarian diets have plenty of protein to meet your needs.

Caring for a newborn child is an exciting, rewarding, and at times exhausting experience for most parents. As a parent, you have accomplished the amazing feat of giving life to a new person. You now have the opportunity to offer your baby love and care as well as the gift of good health.

Studies show that vegan moms (who do not consume any animal products) have lower levels of environmental contaminants such as pesticides in their breast milk compared with meat– and dairy–eating moms. Do yourself and your baby a lifelong favor by choosing a clean, safe, healthful, and delicious vegetarian diet while breastfeeding.


Nutritional Needs During Lactation: Calcium >>