Healthy Eating for Women Who Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Healthy eating is important at every age. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy or fortified soy alternatives. When deciding what to eat or drink, choose options that are full of nutrients and limited in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. Start with these tips:
Eat a variety of healthy foods
It’s important to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy or fortified soy alternatives. Choose options for meals, beverages, and snacks that have limited added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium (salt).
Get your plan
Calorie and nutrient needs are different during pregnancy and when you are breastfeeding. Get your MyPlate Plan to learn your estimated calorie needs and how to meet your food group goals.
Make smart seafood choices
Eating seafood during pregnancy may benefit your baby’s growth and is a healthy protein source for you during both pregnancy and breastfeeding. Choose options lower in methylmercury, like cod, salmon, or tilapia. Learn more at FDA’s Advice About Eating Fish webpage.
Ask about supplements
In addition to a healthy diet, your doctor may recommend a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement to help you meet your needs. After pregnancy, your doctor may recommend switching from a prenatal to a multivitamin supplement during breastfeeding.
Keep food safe
You and your baby are at higher risk for foodborne illness. Only eat foods that have been cooked to the proper temperature and avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk or juice, raw sprouts, unwashed produce, cold deli meats, or soft cheese made from unpasteurized milk. See FoodSafety.gov for more information.
Avoid all alcohol
Women who are or may become pregnant should not drink any alcohol. Talk with your doctor before considering drinking alcohol while you are breastfeeding – though not drinking alcohol is the safest option.