Die richtige Ernährung in der Stillzeit - was wirklich wichtig ist

The essential diet while breastfeeding

Which foods are recommended while breastfeeding and what should you not eat while breastfeeding? The nursing mother's diet is important for the child's nutrient supply. In addition, the mother's energy requirements are higher due to breastfeeding.

Read our tips for a healthy diet while breastfeeding here.

Key facts at a glance

  • Foods containing calories are recommended while breastfeeding. Your calorie needs may be comparatively higher.
  • Foods with a high fiber content such as whole-grain pasta, bread, potatoes or rice can keep you full for longer.
  • Many protein products can have a positive effect on your milk production.
  • Strawberries, oranges and grapes are high in folic acid. This can be important not only during pregnancy, but also while breastfeeding.
  • To meet your need for healthy fatty acids, nuts or fatty sea fish are good options.
  • Eating raw meat is no longer a problem while breastfeeding
  • As a vegetarian or vegan, you should pay attention to your iron and vitamin B12 content
  • We recommend this nutritional supplement during breastfeeding

What shouldn't you eat while breastfeeding?

You should avoid foods with high levels of harmful substances when breastfeeding. This means that offal such as kidneys or liver are not recommended during breastfeeding.

  • Cabbage and other gas-causing foods – some foods can make your baby gassy when breastfeeding. These include cabbage, leeks, legumes, garlic and onions. Kohlrabi, cauliflower and broccoli are less likely to cause flatulence.
  • Spicy foods and spices – Curry, chili, ginger and other hot spices and spicy foods can cause skin irritation in the child.

Do I have to avoid caffeine while breastfeeding?

Caffeine can cause restlessness in children. If you are breastfeeding, you can drink black tea, but a maximum of one or two cups. The same applies to coffee, although it is advisable to use decaffeinated coffee while breastfeeding.

Note: You can get into the habit of drinking grain coffee, which also promotes milk production.

Can I drink alcohol?

If you drink alcohol while breastfeeding, you will harm your baby. Even small amounts can influence the swallowing and sucking reflex. Parents have a responsibility towards the child. For this reason, it is recommended that you do not drink alcohol while breastfeeding. In exceptional cases you can drink a very small amount. Then you have to make sure that the alcohol has broken down before you breastfeed your child next time.

Which foods are recommended?

Extra calories are important when breastfeeding because you have higher energy and nutrient needs. After giving birth, you will need around 500 to 600 additional calories every day.

Since you built up reserves during pregnancy, you draw on them in the first few months. You can therefore eat more and weight loss should occur slowly.

Dieting while breastfeeding can affect not only your health but also breastfeeding. It's possible that your weight affects your milk production. Too few or too many kilos can reduce milk production. Furthermore, the energy content of milk is lower. It is therefore important that you eat enough, but not too much, and that you eat a balanced and healthy diet because of the nutrients.

Foods rich in fiber while breastfeeding

Your nutrient and calorie needs are higher when breastfeeding. However, pay attention to the calories you consume. About half of your diet should consist of foods rich in fiber.

Examples: Foods such as whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat bread, vegetables, fruit, potatoes and brown rice.

Foods high in fiber make you feel full longer and can prevent constipation. You can enjoy cakes and other sweets, but in small quantities. Sugary products are high in calories, but they do not contain any high-quality minerals or vitamins.

Protein for milk production

In order to produce enough milk, your body needs a higher amount of protein. You can cover your increased protein needs with sea fish, low-fat meat, whole grain products, nuts and dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt or milk.

Increased need for minerals and vitamins

Breastfeeding women need to consume more vitamins and minerals. You can cover your increased needs with the foods already mentioned and the foods from the following list. Folic acid is particularly important during breastfeeding.

Foods high in folic acid:  Whole grain bread, strawberries, oranges, grapes, wheat bran, spinach, peas, cabbage and tomatoes.

In addition, you should pay particular attention to getting enough iron, calcium and iodine. A sufficient supply of iodine is relevant for your child's mental and physical development.

Fruit and vegetables when breastfeeding - list at a glance

In general, fresh fruit and vegetables are part of a balanced and healthy diet. The list will help you make sure you eat breastfeeding-friendly foods.

The fruits and vegetables we have listed are particularly suitable when breastfeeding. By the way, the foods you eat while breastfeeding influence your child's later food preferences. If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables while breastfeeding, there is a very good chance that your child will enjoy eating certain types of fruit and vegetables later.

Which vegetables to eat while breastfeeding?

Here we list vegetables that are recommended for you as a breastfeeding mother.

Vegetables Why?
Carrots Raw carrots can promote milk production. Carrots also contain iron, potassium, folic acid and provitamin A.
spinach Spinach contains a lot of calcium, iron and folic acid. The latter supports the development of the neural tube, which can reduce the risk of an open back.
legumes If you tolerate legumes well, they are a good way to cover your increased calorie needs. In addition, these foods contain protein, which you need to produce milk.
broccoli This vegetable is rich in calcium and vitamin C. This type of vegetable is also milder, so it is less likely to cause flatulence.

Which fruit to eat while breastfeeding?

Here we list the types of fruit that are recommended for you as a breastfeeding mother.

Fruit Why?
banana Bananas contain valuable nutrients such as various B vitamins, vitamin C as well as magnesium, potassium and manganese. However, eating too many bananas can cause constipation in sensitive babies.
Apple Choose sweet apple varieties, as other varieties contain too much acid. Acidic foods can cause a sore bottom in the child.
Oranges Oranges are rich in vitamin C. This vitamin improves the absorption of iron. While breastfeeding, it is recommended that you drink a glass of orange juice every day. But be careful:  Observe whether your baby reacts to eating citrus fruits with a sore bottom.
Apricots, grapes and mango Apricots, grapes and mango contain little acid and are therefore suitable for breastfeeding.

More foods for your menu

There are other foods that should not be missing from your menu. For example, low-fat meat provides zinc, protein and iron and fish provides high-quality fatty acids.

  • Fatty sea fish  – Fish such as mackerel, herring or salmon contain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can have a positive effect on the baby's immune system.
    The fatty acids can also have a positive influence on the liver, brain, retina of the eyes and the central nervous system. Your infant can benefit from these effects if you eat two portions of sea fish weekly.
    Fish also contains iodine. Breastfeeding women have an increased need for iodine. A deficiency could jeopardize your child's development.
  • nuts  – As long as you are not allergic to nuts, these foods are good sources of healthy fatty acids.
    They can also promote milk production. How a study studied, the risk of developing hypersensitivity to peanuts is reduced if the mother eats peanuts while breastfeeding.
  • whole grain products  – Whole grain flakes, whole grain pasta, brown rice and other whole grain products are high in fiber. They fill you up and the feeling of satiety lasts longer.
    It is also possible that you can prevent constipation and provide your body with enough vitamin B1, vitamin B6, magnesium and iron.
  • Dairy products  – Cheese, yogurt, buttermilk and milk are good for meeting increased protein requirements.
    Dairy products also contain a lot of calcium and iodine.
  • Lean meat  – Dark meat such as game or beef contains a lot of iron. It also provides proteins.

  • Spices – Some spices promote digestion and milk production. So fennel is good for breastfeeding.

Caraway, nettle leaves and anise also support the production of breast milk.

Can I eat raw meat while breastfeeding?

Raw meat is a taboo during pregnancy, but no longer while breastfeeding. During pregnancy, infections such as toxoplasmosis or listeriosis, which are transmitted by bacteria, are the reason for not taking it. However, these are not passed on to the baby through breast milk.

Do I need to drink more water while breastfeeding?

Raw meat is a taboo during pregnancy, but no longer while breastfeeding. During pregnancy, infections such as toxoplasmosis or listeriosis, which are transmitted by bacteria, are the reason for not taking it. However, these are not passed on to the baby through breast milk.

An adequate supply of fluids should always be ensured. When breastfeeding, drinking too little fluid can have a negative impact on milk production. Drink 2 to 2.5 liters daily.

Suitable drinks include water, juice and sugar-free fruit and herbal teas. Make sure you choose still or at least low-carbonated mineral water.

Note: Sage and peppermint tea can inhibit milk production.

By the way, you can drink coconut milk while breastfeeding or use it for other purposes in the kitchen. It is a good source of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). The vitamin is important for the entire protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism.

What foods can cause bloating?

It used to be said that breastfeeding mothers shouldn't eat certain foods because they can cause flatulence in the baby. According to new findings, this is not necessary. If you want to prevent your baby from getting gas when breastfeeding, you should avoid foods such as white cabbage and other types of cabbage, onions, garlic and legumes.

However, garlic promotes milk production, like in a study  could be explored. The scientists found that breastfeeding duration increased if the mother ate garlic beforehand. If the baby stays at the breast longer, this has a positive effect on milk production.

If your baby is suffering from gas, you need to pay close attention to whether it is related to the foods you eat.

Tip: It's best to write a food diary and note when your child has flatulence. This will help you identify more quickly which foods you should eliminate from your diet while breastfeeding. Or you can take fennel while breastfeeding and add the spice to your meals. Fennel can be effective against flatulence.

Medication only after consultation with the doctor

If you need to take medication while breastfeeding, you should always discuss this with your doctor. Some medicines pass into breast milk, so taking them may have a negative effect on your baby. Your doctor knows which medications can be safely taken while breastfeeding. It is also important that there is a time gap between meals and taking medication.

What do I have to consider as a vegan or vegetarian?

If expectant mothers follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, they should seek information from a gynecologist during pregnancy. For example, iron is best absorbed through meat.

It is also possible that women have a vitamin B12 deficiency if they have been avoiding meat or animal foods for a long time. A vitamin B12 deficiency in the mother can lead to neurological damage in the baby. To avoid endangering your child's development, you should seek advice from your doctor before birth. Have a nutrition plan drawn up for you.

Taking nutritional supplements can also be useful.

Other frequently asked questions

Can I go on a diet while breastfeeding?

There is an increased need for nutrients and calories during breastfeeding. A diet while breastfeeding can cause deficiency symptoms in the mother, meaning that the child is not supplied with enough nutrients. You should lose a maximum of 2 kilograms per month. If you lose weight too quickly and eat too little, this can also have a negative impact on your milk supply.

Do I have to stop smoking while breastfeeding?

Nicotine is a neurotoxin. It protects the tobacco plant from pests. If you smoke while breastfeeding, your baby will absorb the substance through breast milk. Nicotine can delay your child's development. In addition, smoking while breastfeeding can cause vomiting, restlessness, colic and an increased risk of respiratory diseases in babies.

In addition, smokers' bodies are constantly detoxifying. To do this, it requires more vitamins, so you have a greatly increased need for vitamins. It is therefore best if you avoid smoking completely. In addition, the rest of the family should never smoke in the presence of the baby, but should go to another room or outside.

Does sea fish protect against allergies?

According to current knowledge, you cannot protect your child from allergies by avoiding cow's milk or other foods. Things could be different with fish. Eating this food could reduce your baby's risk of allergies.


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