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Experts Corner

Nutrition

Diet for Breastfeeding Multiples
By Mediconsult's Nutrition Services

Q. Do I need to follow a special diet to breastfeed multiples?

A. Eating well while you are breastfeeding is important. Your nutrient needs can vary greatly. The number of babies you are nursing, whether they are receiving any supplemental formula, how much weight you gained during pregnancy, your activity level, and your prepregnancy nutrition status all influence your nutrient needs. Here are some tips:

Nutrition When Breastfeeding Twins Or More
  • Eat to appetite. Don't restrict your intake too severely in an attempt to lose your pregnancy weight too quickly. If you are losing more than 1/2 to 1 pound per week, you probably aren't eating enough. (If you were overweight before pregnancy or gained excessive pregnancy weight, losing up to 2 pounds per week may be appropriate)

  • If you are exclusively nursing twins or more, you may need an extra 500 calories and 10 grams protein per day for each baby you are nursing. You may need to eat 6 - 8 times per day to achieve this. Drinking extra milk, fruit juice, fruit smoothies and milkshakes can help boost your intake.

  • Take a multivitamin with minerals to help ensure you are meeting your needs for micronutrients. If you aren't choosing 4-5 calcium-rich foods each day, you may need an extra calcium supplement.

  • Keep up your fluid intake. Drink water, milk, or fruit juice each time you nurse. Lactating mothers of multiples can be producing 2 or more liters of milk per day!

  • Use the pregnancy and lactation food guide to help with food selections. Add extra snacks and beverages to meet your extra needs.

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