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Breastfeeding, diet & alcohol

Making breast milk burns around 500 calories per day, so make sure you eat regularly and that your diet is as healthy as possible.

What can you eat and drink?

You can pretty much eat anything you want as a breastfeeding mum but there are a few of things to keep tabs on:

  • Caffeine: avoid large amounts as this may make your baby irritable.
  • Oily fish: eating fish is good for your health, but as fish may contain mercury it's recommended you don't eat more than two portions of oily fish a week if you are breastfeeding.
  • Vitamin D: you should take 10 mcg of vitamin D per day – speak to your midwife or health visitor about getting these free through Healthy Start.
  • Water: remember to drink lots of water as breastfeeding can make you feel thirsty, but don't drink more than you need either.

Alcohol

If you're breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is the safest option for your baby's wellbeing and safety. Babies need you to be there for them and ready to feed around the clock, and drinking can make this much more difficult. We also know that alcohol can reduce how much milk you make. If you are having a night out or celebration, avoid drinking just before breastfeeding or express milk beforehand to give to your baby later.

You can find more information on expressing by following the first link below.

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Last updated: 16 May, 2019