Breastfeeding - Public Health

Healthy Eating For Mom

Breastmilk is the perfect food for babies!

You may find that you need to eat more than usual while you are breastfeeding. Listen to your body. Don’t ignore your feelings of hunger or thirst.

You can get the calories you need while breastfeeding by adding an extra Food Guide Serving from two or three different food groups every day. While all foods can fit within a healthy diet, you need to eat a variety of foods for lifelong health. Follow the recommendations in Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.

All breastfeeding mothers need to take a multivitamin and mineral supplement containing folic acid every day. A health care professional can help you find the multivitamin that’s right for you.

Watch out for some kinds of fish.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends that you eat at least two Food Guide Servings of fish each week. The nutrients in fish are particularly good for children, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and women who may become pregnant. However, some types of fish can have high levels of mercury.

If you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, have no more than two Food Guide Servings per month of: fresh or frozen tuna; swordfish; marlin; orange roughy; escolar or shark.

Have no more than four Food Guide Servings per week of canned albacore tuna. You do not need to limit the amount of canned light tuna you eat. Canned light tuna contains less mercury than albacore tuna. 

You can find the latest information on mercury in fish by visiting Health Canada's website.

(Source for information on this page: Breastfeeding Basics, 2011)

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