34 doctors weighed in:
Is it best for me to drink whole milk while breastfeeding?
34 doctors weighed in

Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics
4 doctors agree
In brief: No
No, there is no need to drink whole milk during breastfeeding.
The only difference is a higher fat content and that is unnecessary for the infant or you. However, any recommendation to pursue restriction diets is unfounded and dangerous. Several review studies (including a cochrane review) have shown that elimination diets do not definitively reduce allergy or colic.

In brief: No
No, there is no need to drink whole milk during breastfeeding.
The only difference is a higher fat content and that is unnecessary for the infant or you. However, any recommendation to pursue restriction diets is unfounded and dangerous. Several review studies (including a cochrane review) have shown that elimination diets do not definitively reduce allergy or colic.
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Dr. Marcus Degraw
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Dr. Alan Greene
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree
In brief: No
As others have said, there is no particular reason to prefer whole milk (though recent research suggests that choosing low fat may not lower total daily calories).
There are good reasons, though, to choose organic for those who drink milk. Interesting series of studies: milk fat healthier in organic; breast milk fat healthier (compared to moms drinking conventional milk); & < eczema in babies.

In brief: No
As others have said, there is no particular reason to prefer whole milk (though recent research suggests that choosing low fat may not lower total daily calories).
There are good reasons, though, to choose organic for those who drink milk. Interesting series of studies: milk fat healthier in organic; breast milk fat healthier (compared to moms drinking conventional milk); & < eczema in babies.
Dr. Alan Greene
Dr. Alan Greene
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Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree
In brief: No
As long as you have adequate nutrition with enough healthy fats in the diet whole milk is unnecessary.
Since most americans struggle with excess weight low fat or skim milk is a better alternative.

In brief: No
As long as you have adequate nutrition with enough healthy fats in the diet whole milk is unnecessary.
Since most americans struggle with excess weight low fat or skim milk is a better alternative.
Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
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Dr. Laura Webb
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree
In brief: No
Just drink whatever milk you normally drink.
Drinking whole milk doesn't really increase the fat your baby gets through the milk. It is, though, very important to stay well hydrated in order to keep up good milk supply. Make sure you are getting enough liquids throughout the day (and increase this amount if you are exercising!) aim for at least 64 ounces a day.

In brief: No
Just drink whatever milk you normally drink.
Drinking whole milk doesn't really increase the fat your baby gets through the milk. It is, though, very important to stay well hydrated in order to keep up good milk supply. Make sure you are getting enough liquids throughout the day (and increase this amount if you are exercising!) aim for at least 64 ounces a day.
Dr. Laura Webb
Dr. Laura Webb
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Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree
In brief: No
Nursing mothers need to eat a robust, healthy diet, and should continue taking their pre-natal vitamin.
Cow's milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin d, but whole milk has cholesterol that is neither necessary nor good for you. Best to stick with skim milk--3 or more servings per day--and other non-fat or low-fat dairy products. Nursing moms need more calories--more healthy calories.

In brief: No
Nursing mothers need to eat a robust, healthy diet, and should continue taking their pre-natal vitamin.
Cow's milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin d, but whole milk has cholesterol that is neither necessary nor good for you. Best to stick with skim milk--3 or more servings per day--and other non-fat or low-fat dairy products. Nursing moms need more calories--more healthy calories.
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
Dr. Kevin Rodbell
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Dr. Julia Sundel
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree
In brief: No
No. It is not necessary.
Low-fat milk is fine. Try to drink organic and artificial growth hormone free milk.

In brief: No
No. It is not necessary.
Low-fat milk is fine. Try to drink organic and artificial growth hormone free milk.
Dr. Julia Sundel
Dr. Julia Sundel
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Dr. Nanette Nuessle
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: No
It is best to stay well hydrated.
To do this, you can drink a wide variety of fluids, including but not limited to whole milk. This is particularly important if either mother or baby is sensitive to dairy products.

In brief: No
It is best to stay well hydrated.
To do this, you can drink a wide variety of fluids, including but not limited to whole milk. This is particularly important if either mother or baby is sensitive to dairy products.
Dr. Nanette Nuessle
Dr. Nanette Nuessle
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: No
Breasts create milk out of nutrients circulating in the mom's blood, so milk will be created whether or not the mom drinks any cow milk.
A breast-feeding mom should eat her usual balanced diet. If she was drinking whole milk prior to pregnancy, she can continue that after pregnancy. However, the average person generally eats more fat than needed, so one should consider drinking non-fat milk.

In brief: No
Breasts create milk out of nutrients circulating in the mom's blood, so milk will be created whether or not the mom drinks any cow milk.
A breast-feeding mom should eat her usual balanced diet. If she was drinking whole milk prior to pregnancy, she can continue that after pregnancy. However, the average person generally eats more fat than needed, so one should consider drinking non-fat milk.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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Dr. Lawrence Rosen
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: No
It's not necessary.
If you are not milk allergic and if your baby is not milk sensitive, you can drink low-fat milk. It can be a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin d. If you or the baby are sensitive to cow's milk, you can try alternatives.

In brief: No
It's not necessary.
If you are not milk allergic and if your baby is not milk sensitive, you can drink low-fat milk. It can be a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin d. If you or the baby are sensitive to cow's milk, you can try alternatives.
Dr. Lawrence Rosen
Dr. Lawrence Rosen
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Dr. Jeffrey Min
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Yes
Whole milk is totally fine for most moms to drink while breastfeeding.
You do need to look out for blood or mucus in the stool, extreme fussiness or gassiness which can be a sign of a cow's milk protein allergy. Is it best? That depends on your diet. If you have a well balanced diet with adequate fat, 1-2% milk is totally fine. If not, whole milk is a great source of fat.

In brief: Yes
Whole milk is totally fine for most moms to drink while breastfeeding.
You do need to look out for blood or mucus in the stool, extreme fussiness or gassiness which can be a sign of a cow's milk protein allergy. Is it best? That depends on your diet. If you have a well balanced diet with adequate fat, 1-2% milk is totally fine. If not, whole milk is a great source of fat.
Dr. Jeffrey Min
Dr. Jeffrey Min
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Dr. Roy Benaroch
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: No
Probably not. The fat content of your milk won't depend very much on your fat intake, as long as your overall nutrition is good.
And very, very few people in the developed world need the additional calories of whole versus lo-fat milk.

In brief: No
Probably not. The fat content of your milk won't depend very much on your fat intake, as long as your overall nutrition is good.
And very, very few people in the developed world need the additional calories of whole versus lo-fat milk.
Dr. Roy Benaroch
Dr. Roy Benaroch
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Dr. Stephen Shroyer
Pediatrics
In brief: Yes
Whole milk has been getting a bad RAP latey.
There is no correlation to breast feeding. It is still part of a nutritious diet for americans. When the baby is 1 year and older, whole milk is preferred.

In brief: Yes
Whole milk has been getting a bad RAP latey.
There is no correlation to breast feeding. It is still part of a nutritious diet for americans. When the baby is 1 year and older, whole milk is preferred.
Dr. Stephen Shroyer
Dr. Stephen Shroyer
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Dr. Kristen Stuppy
Pediatrics
In brief: No
Most breastfeeding mothers get plenty of calories from their diets and do not need the extra milk fat in whole milk.
Eating a well balanced meal, drinking plenty of water, taking vitamin supplements, and getting rest all help your body make the best quality milk. You don't need to drink milk at all to make human milk!

In brief: No
Most breastfeeding mothers get plenty of calories from their diets and do not need the extra milk fat in whole milk.
Eating a well balanced meal, drinking plenty of water, taking vitamin supplements, and getting rest all help your body make the best quality milk. You don't need to drink milk at all to make human milk!
Dr. Kristen Stuppy
Dr. Kristen Stuppy
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Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics
In brief: No
Although you should stay well hydrated and get plenty of calcium and vitamin d, low fat or skim milk is best! the type of milk you drink does not have any affect on the composition or quality of your breast milk! your body makes human milk to the perfect specifications for your baby.

In brief: No
Although you should stay well hydrated and get plenty of calcium and vitamin d, low fat or skim milk is best! the type of milk you drink does not have any affect on the composition or quality of your breast milk! your body makes human milk to the perfect specifications for your baby.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Dr. Pamela Lindor
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Dr. Holly Maes
Pediatrics
In brief: No
The difference between whole milk and other milks is the fat content of the milk.
Whole milk is higher in calories and fat content if you are increasing these things through other foods in your diet, then you don't need whole milk. However, if you are having difficulty increasing your calories, then going with the higher calorie options like whole milk will help you accomplish this. Keep balanced.

In brief: No
The difference between whole milk and other milks is the fat content of the milk.
Whole milk is higher in calories and fat content if you are increasing these things through other foods in your diet, then you don't need whole milk. However, if you are having difficulty increasing your calories, then going with the higher calorie options like whole milk will help you accomplish this. Keep balanced.
Dr. Holly Maes
Dr. Holly Maes
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Dr. Adam Naddelman
Pediatrics
In brief: Yes
Yes, there is usually no reason to avoid whole milk while you're breastfeeding.
Sometimes, if your baby is particularly gassy or fussy, your pediatrician may recommend you try to cut out whole milk, but the vast majority of babies do perfectly fine with whole milk in your diet. It's a good source of calcium for you and your baby!

In brief: Yes
Yes, there is usually no reason to avoid whole milk while you're breastfeeding.
Sometimes, if your baby is particularly gassy or fussy, your pediatrician may recommend you try to cut out whole milk, but the vast majority of babies do perfectly fine with whole milk in your diet. It's a good source of calcium for you and your baby!
Dr. Adam Naddelman
Dr. Adam Naddelman
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Dr. Cornelia Franz
Pediatrics
In brief: No
I generally do not recommend any cow milk while breast feeding.
It can be allergenic for the baby. It can present as colicky symptoms, eczema, general tummy upset, or excessive fussiness. I have even seen it constipate babies when mom is drinking it. If you need a "milk-fix" try rice or almond milk instead. You may find occasional yogurt and cheese are fine but not liquid cow milk.

In brief: No
I generally do not recommend any cow milk while breast feeding.
It can be allergenic for the baby. It can present as colicky symptoms, eczema, general tummy upset, or excessive fussiness. I have even seen it constipate babies when mom is drinking it. If you need a "milk-fix" try rice or almond milk instead. You may find occasional yogurt and cheese are fine but not liquid cow milk.
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Dr. Cornelia Franz
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Dr. Syed Masood
Pediatrics
In brief: No
I agree with dr.Roy's answer. It does not alter your breast milk composition.
You can have it if you want or need some extra calories but you will be fine with low fat milk.

In brief: No
I agree with dr.Roy's answer. It does not alter your breast milk composition.
You can have it if you want or need some extra calories but you will be fine with low fat milk.
Dr. Syed Masood
Dr. Syed Masood
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Dr. Syed Masood
Pediatrics
In brief: Yes
That is fine.

In brief: Yes
That is fine.
Dr. Syed Masood
Dr. Syed Masood
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