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House Call: Breastfeeding Pt. III

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. In the third part of our four part series, Jamie Rudash joins us to talk about breastfeeding.

What should a mother eat during breastfeeding to ensure that her baby is receiving the proper nutrients?

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products are healthy choices. Include a variety of protein foods such as seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and eggs. Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.

Eating seafood during pregnancy may benefit your baby’s growth and is a healthy protein source for you during both pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Choose options lower in methylmercury, like cod, salmon, tilapia, or herring.

How important are supplements during breastfeeding?

In addition to eating a healthy diet, your doctor may recommend a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement to help make sure you get enough to meet your needs. After pregnancy, your need for some vitamins and minerals may decrease. Your doctor may recommend switching from a prenatal to a multivitamin supplement during breastfeeding. Talk to your healthcare provider about what is right for you.

What are safe food choices to make during breastfeeding?

You and your unborn child are more susceptible to the effects of foodborne illnesses. Take special care to keep foods safe and to avoid certain foods that increase your risk.

  • During pregnancy, make sure that seafood, meat, poultry, or eggs have been cooked to the recommended safe minimum internal temperatures.
  • Avoid consuming unpasteurized (raw) juice or milk, raw sprouts, or some soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk.
  • Reheat deli and lunch meats and hot dogs to steaming hot or 165°F.
  • When making food and beverage choices, unless you are advised by your healthcare provider, you do not need to restrict your choices during pregnancy or while breastfeeding to prevent food allergies from developing in your child.
  • Pregnant women and women who may become pregnant should not drink alcohol. Drinks containing alcohol include beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks, malt beverages, etc. No amount of alcohol is safe for your baby when you are pregnant. Talk with your doctor before considering drinking alcohol while you are breastfeeding. No alcohol consumption is the safest option.
  • Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, and soda. Consult your healthcare provider for advice about consuming caffeine during pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding.

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