Nutrition in lactation

Lactating women should aim to follow a healthy diet including:

  • At least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables (F&V) per day
  • Starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, rice and pasta
  • High-fibre foods such as F&V, wholemeal foods as well as beans and pulses. A high-fibre diet will help with any constipation problems during lactation.
  • Protein-rich foods such as lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, beans and pulses. Similar to pregnancy, lactating women should avoid large fish that contain mercury and consume up to 2 portions of fish per week of which one portion of oily fish.
  • Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt – these contain calcium and are a good source of protein.
  • Plenty of fluids, preferably water.
  • Similar to pregnancy, caffeine from drinks and foods should be limited to 200mg per day.