Make sure you get the proper nutrition, including supplements.

It's important to continue eat healthy while caring for your newborn. Follow the recommendations in Canada's Food Guide and the Eat Well Plate. For breastfeeding moms, two to three extra servings from any of the food groups are recommended.

Read more about self care for new moms: nutrition.

What about prenatal vitamins or supplements?

Continue to take a daily multivitamin with 0.4 mg folic acid. You may want to continue taking the rest of your prenatal supplements, and then switch to a multivitamin with 0.4 mg folic acid. This is to ensure you’re healthy and your breast milk has all the necessary nutrients.

Learn more about taking supplements.

What if I'm vegetarian?

Well planned plant-based diets that include a wide variety of foods can provide the nutrients you and your baby need. It is best to speak to a registered dietitian to make sure you are getting enough iron, zinc, omega-3 fats, vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D.

What about food allergies?

Breastfeeding moms do not need to avoid or restrict foods to prevent food allergies from developing in their baby.

What foods should I avoid?

While the number of precautions surrounding food and drinks decrease after giving birth, there are still some safety concerns if you are breastfeeding.

  • It’s still important to limit fish high in mercury. Mercury goes from the bloodstream into breast milk and then to the baby. Choose fish low in mercury as it offers important nutrients like omega-3 fats that will go into the breast milk and are very beneficial to the baby’s brain development.
  • If you are breastfeeding, you must be careful when taking medications, drugs or alcohol as what you take can affect your breast milk. It is best to avoid any alcohol or drugs while breastfeeding. Ask your health care provider if you are concerned about medications you are taking.
  • Artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes can be consumed in moderation.
  • Limit caffeine to 300 mg (about 16 ounces of coffee) daily.
  • Talk to your health care professional before starting or resuming herbal supplements, teas, or any other alternative remedies.

Contact a dietitian

If you have any questions about healthy eating, food, or nutrition, call 8-1-1 to speak to a registered dietitian.

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