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Breastfeeding on a Low FODMAP Diet

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Essential Nutrition for Breastfeeding – Meeting Calorie Needs and Choosing the Right Snacks

Breastfeeding requires additional calories to maintain energy levels and support milk production. In this article, we will discuss the importance of adequate calorie intake, offer suggestions for nutritious snacks, and address the use of galactagogues as a means to increase milk supply.

Meeting Calorie Needs for Breastfeeding

During breastfeeding, it is recommended to consume an additional 330 to 500 calories per day. While counting calories is not essential, it is crucial to opt for nutrient-rich foods that provide the necessary vitamins and minerals for both you and your baby.

breastfeeding while on the low FODMAP diet

Add In Some Snacks!

In order to get enough energy for breastfeeding (and the hunger pangs that often come with it!), you may want to eat 1 to 2 snacks daily in addition to your meals. Here are some easy, nutritious snack ideas to incorporate these nutrient-dense foods into your low-FODMAP diet while breastfeeding.

  • Lactose-free yogurt (e.g. Green Valley Organics)
  • Smoothie made with 1 cup (240 ml) lactose-free kefir, ⅓ small banana, 1 cup (38 g) baby spinach & 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Corn tortilla spread with ⅛ Hass avocado, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta & 1 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup (90 g) cantaloupe & ½ cup (120 ml) lactose-free cottage cheese
  • 2 brown rice cakes topped with 2 hard-boiled eggs, 4 cherry tomatoes, salt & pepper
  • Homemade trail mix with 10 almonds, 4 Brazil nuts, 10 banana chips, ¼ cup (18 g) shredded coconut*
  • FODY snack bar 

*For the trail mix, you could make a large batch and portion out into snack size baggies to take on-the-go.

Important Nutrient-Rich Foods for Breastfeeding on a Low-FODMAP Diet:

If you are following a low-FODMAP diet while breastfeeding, it’s essential to consume foods that are not only IBS-friendly but also rich in vital nutrients for both you and your baby. Here are some examples:

Gray graphic describing IBS-Friendly foods rich in nutrients for you and your baby

A Word on Galactagogues – Beware of Fennel as a Possible Ingredient

There are various products on the market that claim to increase milk supply (galactagogues), including teas, cookies, and supplement capsules. While research is limited to show if these galactagogues are safe or effective, many women have reported using them during breastfeeding.

If you choose to use a galactagogue supplement, like a mother’s milk or lactation tea, be aware that fennel is often one of the main ingredients. According to Monash University’s FODMAP Food Guide, fennel tea is a source of oligosaccharides. If you’re sensitive to oligos, you should avoid teas containing fennel.

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  • Nutrition During Lactation. Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC, National Academy Press, 1991.
  • Maternal experiences with and sources of information on galactagogues to support lactation: a cross-sectional study. Int J Womens Health. 2017; 9: 105–113.Published online 2017 Feb 27.
  • Ward, Elizabeth. Expect the Best, Second Edition.

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