Maternal nutrition during breastfeeding

With proper nutrition, the mother provides adequate nutritional intake for the baby, necessary for proper growth, development and health. It also provides a healthy and strong recovery of the mother after childbirth.

The breastfeeding mother still eats as if for two. As a breastfeeding mother, the mother is the sole source of all the baby's nutrients.

Practical recommendations

  • Daily intake of vegetables and fruits (it is desirable to eat one meal of orange vegetables daily, two meals of green leafy vegetables and one meal of citrus fruits). In practice, this means including two pieces of fruit or vegetables in each meal (for example: a banana and a glass of orange juice for breakfast; a glass of tomato juice and a salad for lunch; and a meal of cooked vegetables for dinner).
  • To increase the intake of cereals. At least five meals should be whole grain breads and cereals (cornflakes, rice).
  • Sufficient milk intake. The breastfeeding mother has daily calcium needs - the equivalent of four glasses of low-fat milk.
  • Sufficient protein intake. Eat three protein meals daily: lean meat, skinless chicken, fish or cooked beans or peas.
  • Supplementation with vitamin preparations. In consultation with the doctor, if there is a need for supplementation with vitamin and mineral preparations.
  • Careful selection of drinks. Everything the mother drinks, the breastfed baby drinks. Therefore, it is necessary to drink enough water, and to reduce the intake of alcohol, caffeine with coffee, tea and other beverages.
  • Balanced calorie intake. The daily needs of a breastfeeding mother are higher by 500 calories per adult, but the needs for vitamins and minerals are higher. The daily needs of the breastfeeding mother range from 2000 to 2200 calories per day.
  • It is necessary to eat regularly during the day. Finished products that are low in vitamins and minerals and high in calories are not desirable.
  • It is not necessary to diet during breastfeeding. Reducing calorie intake reduces the intake of necessary vitamins and minerals, which makes the mother prone to frequent colds, fatigue and other health problems, and the quality of milk and the health of the baby may be affected. After giving birth, during the first six weeks, the mother does not need to worry about her weight.
  • It is necessary to avoid gourmet and spicy dishes (beans, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, onions, peppers), and in contrast, it is recommendable to prepare simple nutritious dishes rich in vegetables, fruits, lean cheese and meat.
  • If there is a family history of allergies, it is possible for the mother who consumes milk, egg, fish or citrus fruits to cause a reaction in the baby.
  • If the mother smokes or drinks alcohol, they pass into the milk and can harm the baby, as well as reduce the secretion of milk. If the mother smokes, it is advisable not to smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day, and to avoid smoking in the room where the baby stays.
  • If the baby is allergic to cow's milk, it is necessary for the mother to limit the intake of cow's milk, and to satisfy the calcium with other foods (kale, broccoli, salmon, sardines)..
  • If the mother is on a vegetarian diet, there is a risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency,and therefore consult a doctor for additional vitamin B12 supplementation..
  • Most medicines are safe and do not pass into milk, but if the mother is taking medication she should consult a doctor. Only a small proportion of medications pass through breast milk and can be dangerous to the baby. Chloramphenicol and tetracyclines, as well as metronidazole and sulfonamides, should be avoided. Avoid milk-lowering drugs such as estrogen-containing contraceptives, thiazide diuretics.

During breastfeeding, the baby uses the mother's nutrients for its own needs. Although the mother's diet is not adequate, the milk meets the baby's needs. Therefore, a deficiency of a certain vitamin or mineral in the mother can easily occur, which affects both the health of the mother and the health of the baby. Thus vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C and other vitamins depend directly on the mother's diet. From here, in certain cases, in this period it is allowed to supplement with multivitamin and mineral preparations in consultation with a doctor. Care should be taken not to exceed the recommended dose for certain vitamins and minerals.

Certain vitamins and minerals in higher doses can also cause certain problems. Excessive iron intake can cause constipation or diarrhea. Of course, vitamin and mineral preparations can not guarantee health if the diet is poor.

Therefore, it is always necessary to first ensure a sufficient intake of fruits and vegetables as a source of vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in other food products, which are necessary for health, and which can not satisfy the pharmaceutical preparations.