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Eating For Health And Energy

Eating for health and energy

When you were pregnant you needed extra healthy calories to nourish your growing baby, as well as you. Now, it's important you get extra nourishment and eat lots of healthy foods to keep your energy levels up. 

Eating well for you and your baby

It's important to eat healthily after pregnancy to give both you and your baby the energy and nutrition you need. When you're breastfeeding, the nutrients and energy you eat get passed on to your baby. This makes breastfeeding a tiring but very important activity! If you're not breastfeeding, you still need all the energy you can get as you run around looking after your new baby and your body begins to heal itself after labour.

How many extra calories do you need when breast-feeding?

The table below shows how many extra calories you need peer day to continue breastfeeding and keep your energy levels up: 

1 month

2 months

3 months

4-6 months onwards

6 months +




480-570 *


*Depending on whether breastfeeding is the main source of food 

Once you start complementary feeding you can begin to return to your pre-pregnancy calorie levels.

Keeping to a healthy diet

It's not just the amount you eat, but what you eat. Many mums find their iron stores run low when they have young babies so make sure you eat plenty of iron rich foods, such as dark, leafy green vegetables or red meat. It's also important to ensure you eat plenty of whole grains, cereals, fresh fruits and other vegetables. And try to get plenty of protein and calcium too. Eating healthily will give you and your baby the energy you both need. And of course you can still have the odd treat!