Breastfeeding · Nutrition

Breastfeeding: Top 5 nutrition questions

Parent breastfeeding baby while standing in kitchen helping an older child prepare healthy snacksOur family and friends often give us advice during and after our pregnancy on how to take care of ourselves and our babies. What we should eat while breastfeeding tends to be a question that we get a wide range of responses to.

Top 5 breastfeeding and nutrition questions that I often get asked are:

  1. Will drinking more cow’s milk help me make more breast milk?

There is no relationship between drinking cow’s milk and your breast milk production. Your breast milk supply will increase if baby is breastfeeding frequently and their latch is good. I encourage you to visit a local breastfeeding clinic to help make breastfeeding a success!

  1. I hear there’s special foods to eat to increase my breast milk supply. What are they?

Clients are disappointed to hear that there are no specific foods to eat to increase the breast milk supply.  Breastfeeding requires a lot of energy so I encourage you to eat as if you’re still pregnant. You should feel thirstier and hungrier while breastfeeding, so keep a lot of healthy foods around to keep satisfied! Check out the healthy snack recipes on this site!

  1. If I eat spicy food during breastfeeding, will the breast milk be spicy for baby as well?

Yes, it’s ok to eat spicy foods while breastfeeding as this is baby’s first exposure of what foods you normally eat, through your breast milk!

  1. I stopped drinking alcohol during my pregnancy, can I have a drink after baby is born?

The safest choice is to avoid alcohol while breastfeeding. Alcohol passes through your breast milk to baby and can affect your breast milk in different ways, including its taste, supply and letdown. Try making some of these cold drinks to enjoy instead! If you choose to drink alcohol and breastfeed, there are ways to minimize the risks to you and your baby.

  1. In my culture, there are specific foods that I cannot eat during the first month after baby’s birth. Is this ok?

Respecting and valuing your cultural food practices is important. If you follow specific food practices, so long as you are not eliminating an entire grouping of foods, and there’s other foods that will provide the same nutrients, then it’s ok. For example, avoiding all vegetables and fruits for an extended period of time can limit the amount of important nutrients you get that are important for your recovery and health.

If you have any questions about breastfeeding, attend one of our breastfeeding clinics or to speak with a Public Health Nurse call 416-338-7600.

Questions about nutrition and breastfeeding? Check out some other posts on this blog, www.unlockfood.ca for more nutrition information or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 to speak with a Registered Dietitian.

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