Neighbourhood Midwives

Essential Nutrients Whilst Breastfeeding

Posted in: FactFile.

Essential Nutrients Whilst Breastfeeding

The first weeks with a new-born are hectic, exhausting, worrying and wonderful all at the same time. Try and remember to look after you through your diet when breastfeeding.  Whilst it’s so tempting to go for the quick and easy options, do try to increase the below to make sure you and your baby are getting the most nourishing food! And really try to limit sugar and highly processed foods that are so often nutritionally devoid.  Always organic or free range/wild if you can.

  1. Good fats – you need a mix of fats including omega 3’s, polyunsaturated and a bit of saturated fat from two different servings a day. You need around 20 g a day for butter and oils such as raw cold pressed flax, olive and coconut. 250mls of milk whether it’s organic full-fat milk/soy/ nut, 200g cheese or 200g full-fat yoghurt.  Other sources of good fats include avocado,  chia seeds, nuts, oily fish, eggs and meat.
  2. Protein – having enough is so important as protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of life.  You ideally need around 70g which is two and a half palm-sized sizes a day.  This can be through meat (but not processed meats like salami), fish – white or oily, eggs, nuts and seeds, pulses and grains high in protein like quinoa or lentils.
  3. Vegetables – you ideally need around 7 servings a day so eating a rainbow of colours is key!  A serving size is 80g  which is approximated a cupped handful.  This includes beans and lentils such as kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, butter beans, red lentils etc.  To get enough salad and green leafy vegetables for a serving it’s two cupped handfuls.
  4. Grains – you ideally need 9 servings a day, but before you start to panic, a serving is half a cup of the grain cooked! Or one slice of whole wheat/rye/spelt etc bread.  Not white!!!   This includes brown rice, red rice, wild rice whole wheat pasta, oats, barley (not pearl barley), buckwheat and quinoa.
  5. Fruit – don’t go mental with it as it is high in sugar, and you only need 2 servings a day which is approximately 2 fists. If you can, go for the darker fruits/berries as they are really rich in antioxidants.  Eating two of the same fruit doesn’t count as 2 servings, you need to eat two different fruits.



Katie Ruane       07903985898