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Your question:

Is it okay to eat peanuts while breastfeeding?

Expert’s answer:


Unlike during pregnancy, breastfeeding mothers do not need any special diet nor do they need to eliminate any particular foods from their diet.

The recommendation from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland is that mothers should be encouraged to follow healthy eating guidelines.

If you have a family history of allergies to egg, nuts or dairy etc. you may want to discuss this with a dietician or your GP who will be able to advise you accordingly.

Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible. The concept of variety is important, because by eating a range of foods it will help to ensure that you obtain different nutrients and do not eat too much of any one food group.

By ensuring that you eat a wide variety of foods, this will also pass on a variety of tastes to your baby through your breastmilk.

An exclusively breastfeeding mother, on average, needs to take in 300-500 calories per day above what was needed to maintain pre-pregnancy weight. This can be obtained by eating 1-2 extra snacks a day such as a sandwich on wholegrain bread or two pieces of fruit.

It is also important to stay well hydrated while breastfeeding. It is not necessary to force fluids but to drink to thirst. Sometimes, if mum is particularly busy, it can be easy to forget to drink or to find the time to prepare a snack. Some mothers leave a water bottle beside their breastfeeding station to remind them to take a drink at every breastfeed. If you are finding it difficult to find the time to prepare food, it might be a good idea to ask a partner or family member to prepare handy bite-size snacks that you can eat while feeding baby ahead of time.

A new Food Pyramid guide which was launched by the HSE recently. The Food Pyramid allows individuals the flexibility to choose foods and drinks from each shelf depending on their food preferences. It organises foods and drinks into 5 main shelves, starting from the most important shelf on the bottom.

The following is a Daily Meal Plan suggestion for a 30 year old mother who is breastfeeding her 6-month old baby.

If your baby is considerably younger, you may wish to include additional healthy snacks - Particularly mid-morning if you are breastfeeding frequently during the night.



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