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    Home ›› Breastfeeding: foods to avoid and foods to enjoy 

    Home ›› Breastfeeding: foods to avoid and foods to enjoy 

    Breastfeeding: foods to avoid and what to include in a breastfeeding diet


    Reading time: 6 mins.


    What are the foods to avoid while breastfeeding, and what are the best foods for breastfeeding? While some foods should be avoided during pregnancy, the rules aren’t so strict when breastfeeding. Here we share tips on what to eat when breastfeeding to provide yourself and your baby with all the vital nutrients and vitamins during this important time.


    Natürlich gibt es auch bei der Ernährung in der Stillzeit einiges zu beachten, damit Ihr Kind optimal mit allen wichtigen Nährstoffen und Vitaminen versorgt wird. Hier erfahren Sie alles zum Thema Stillen, was Sie nicht essen beziehungsweise trinken sollten und auf welche Vitamine und Nährstoffe es jetzt besonders ankommt.

    Dauer: 5 Min.

    What to include in a healthy breastfeeding diet


    Everything you eat and drink as a mother reaches your baby through your breast milk. Eating healthy breastfeeding food is therefore especially important, as your need for vitamins and nutrients increases to help your baby’s growth and wellbeing. Your food intake should be varied, balanced and regular (and ideally organic). The best foods to eat while breastfeeding (and at any other time, for that matter) include:


    • Fresh fruit and vegetables: Full of vitamins and minerals, they should make up a big part of your diet when breastfeeding.
    • Whole grains: They contain fibre, vitamins and minerals, so are healthier and keep you full longer than white flour products.
    • Fish: Contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for a child's brain development, eyes and nervous system, as well as iodine.
    • Lean meat: Red meat provides iron, which is important for the baby's blood formation.
    • Dairy products: Contain important protein and calcium.
    • Water: Drink at least 2 litres a day to replenish the fluids released through breast milk.

    A mother wearing a blue shirt breastfeeds her baby in a seated position on a comfortable grey sofa.

    Foods to increase breast milk

    Many of the foods listed above are considered to be ‘lactation foods’. These are great choices if you’re looking for foods to increase breast milk supply. Oats and barley plus nuts and seeds appear in lists of lactation foods. Asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, mushrooms and potatoes are great veggie choices, and apricots, cherries, nectarines and peaches are top fruits for your breastfeeding diet. Drinking plenty of water will help you stay hydrated, and that’s essential for your milk supply.

    What you need

    Drinks and foods to avoid while breastfeeding


    While you had to give up some foods during pregnancy, when you’re breastfeeding you can once again indulge in many of the things you had to do without for nine months. Breastfeeding food is hardly any different from food for non-breastfeeding women.

    However, there are some things you should only enjoy in moderation, such as caffeinated drinks like coffee. Caffeine passes into breast milk and can cause discomfort in the baby if consumed in large quantities. As for alcoholic drinks, ideally, it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol while breastfeeding.

    Breastfeeding foods to avoid if your baby has digestive problems


    If your baby often suffers from stomach aches, flatulence, or a sore bottom, it might also be helpful to avoid certain foods that are suspected of causing discomfort in babies. In this scenario, what not to eat while breastfeeding includes:

    • Cabbages
    • Legumes
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Citrus fruits

    Although it hasn’t been scientifically proven that the above foods cause discomfort, if you suspect your baby is having symptoms after you’ve eaten some of these foods, add them to your list of breastfeeding foods to avoid for a while and look out for any signs of improvement. 

    In rare cases, your baby may also be allergic to something in your breast milk and react with diarrhoea, a skin rash, excessive vomiting, or constipation. Cow's milk, eggs, corn and soy proteins are the most common triggers. If your child has symptoms and you’re worried, contact a health professional. 

    Best foods for breastfeeding as a vegetarian or vegan


    To help ensure your baby gets all the necessary nutrients, it’s a good idea to include the best foods to eat while breastfeeding as a vegetarian – dairy products and eggs. If you follow a vegan diet, seek advice from a specialist on what to eat when breastfeeding to make sure you’re consuming the necessary nutrients and have your levels monitored by your doctor. A nutrient deficiency can lead to health risks for your child.

    The general rule for eating while breastfeeding is: eat what you feel like (although sugary foods and drinks should be enjoyed in moderation)! Your body will tell you what it needs. 

    Tip: It’s common for breastfeeding mothers to leak some milk between feeds. Philips Avent breast pads keep you feeling dry and comfortable, day and night.

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