5 Nutritionist-recommended Food Tips for Breastfeeding Moms
May 7, 2021

Breastfeeding is one of the best practices done to promote child health and survival, as well as one of the most effective ways to optimize babies’ growth and development. Because mothers always want what is best for their children, they take extra precautions to ensure that the care and nourishment their kids receive are top-notch.

Quick Beef and Kangkong

As it is with many health-related aspects, great results start from following a sustainable diet. To address common concerns new and young mothers may have when it comes to diet and proper nutrition while breastfeeding, in-house nutritionist and dietician, Jo Sebastian provides key insights: 

What do I eat while breastfeeding? What are the essentials that must be part of my diet?

A balanced diet with a variety of food for both mother and baby is key to breastfeeding. Most mothers begin dieting immediately after giving birth to get their pre-baby bodies back, but new mothers must remember it is vital to include all the food groups into their meals and to get enough calories in to sustain breastfeeding.

We’d recommend new mothers get their calories from a balance of the 3 macronutrients: 

Then outside of the basic macronutrients, it’s always beneficial to get enough of the following:

This Tuna & Green Bean Salad can help you is high in protein, and can help you hit your macros!

Which foods should I avoid?

There usually aren’t any specific foods to limit or avoid while breastfeeding, because mothers are encouraged to have a healthy and diverse diet. This ensures that their bodies are provided with all the nutrients that they need to breastfeed. Of course, as it is with almost anyone living a healthy lifestyle, caffeine and alcohol must be limited, if not avoided.

Do I need to consume extra calories while breastfeeding?

Yes. Breastfeeding mothers need at least 500kcal more than their normal consumption when they start breastfeeding. Energy deficiencies can lead to low breast milk production, so consuming a little more calories than usual ensures that the body has enough energy to produce breast milk.

Diversify your diet with Squash & Monggo Curry!

Can I diet to lose weight while breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding can be helpful in achieving a mothers’ weight goals, as it can use fat cells stored in the body during pregnancy and calories from food to fuel milk production. If the pregnancy and delivery are without complications like gestational diabetes among others, then a mother can start working on her weight loss goals 6 to 8 weeks after giving birth. However, before doing this, it is important to first establish milk production and to not be too restrictive in your diet and energy needs during this time.

What are other tips or insights you would like to share with breastfeeding mothers?

First, exclusive breastfeeding, which means no food or water, should be given to babies up to six months. Second, it is important to focus on consuming balanced meals and getting all the necessary nutrients in. Next would be to practice proper ‘latching on’ and to remember that breastfeeding is also a time to allow you to bond with your baby. Lastly, no matter the challenges you’re facing, this isn’t a race, and you’re doing great!

For ways to spice up your meals with healthy and local recipes, check out REBEL’s Eat section. The app also offers pre-and post-natal yoga video tutorials for mothers who want to incorporate low-impact exercises into their daily routines.

Download the REBEL App for free to start your health and fitness journey today.

REBEL is the #1 Health and Fitness App in the Philippines with a growing community of over 200,000 users. Made with Filipinos in mind, REBEL helps you reach your health goals any time and anywhere by combining the best of fitness, food, and wellness into one app for free.