Breastfeeding? Say Yes to Oily fish!

Breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for your baby with many long-term benefits for your baby such as the reduction in the risk of obesity and certain infections and allergies.

Remember to take the time to look after yourself during this important time, particularly your own diet. The foods you eat will actually affect both the flavour and nutritional composition of your breastmilk.

Why eat oily fish when breastfeeding?


Oily fish is hands down one of the best food choices you can make when breastfeeding as it is rich in those healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are really important for your baby’s brain & vision development. These omega-3 fats pass from your diet into your breastmilk for your baby to benefit from.

Oily fish is also a great source of vitamin D which your baby will need for normal bone development.

What are oily fish?


Oily fish includes salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, herring, & sardines.

If you don’t particularly like oily fish you could try eating it in a fish pie or making fish cakes as the taste won’t be as strong.

Is frozen oily fish ok?


Frozen oily fish is perfect too. Just make sure that it doesn’t have breadcrumbs or batter on it. Most supermarkets will do those individual portions of frozen plain fish.

Is tinned oily fish ok?


Tinned fish is great too and always good to have in the cupboard for those days where you just have no time for cooking. Try and get the tinned fish that’s in brine or spring water as opposed to in sunflower oil.

Although, tinned and frozen fish have less omega-3 fats than fresh varieties they’re still a good option and very handy!

How often should I eat oily fish when I’m breastfeeding?


Aim to have a portion of oily fish 1 to 2 times per week to make sure your baby gets those fantastic vitamin D and omega-3 benefits.


Michelle, Dietitian

I qualified as a Dietitian in 2008 and am a member of the Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute. Shortly after graduating I joined Danone Early Life Nutrition as an Infant Nutrition Specialist. I have a particular interest in the importance of good nutrition during the very early stages of life as it lays a solid foundation for good health across a life time. I think it is extremely important that this message is communicated to pregnant woman and the parents of babies and toddlers so they can ensure that their family achieves optimal nutrition for a healthy life.

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