The short answer to this question is NO – you do not need to maintain a perfect diet to provide quality milk for your baby. In fact, research tells us that the quality of a mother’s diet has little influence on her milk. Mother’s milk is designed to provide for and protect the baby even in times of hardship and famine. A poor diet is more likely to affect the mother as they may experience health complications such as osteoporosis on later life.
It’s common to hear women say that they want to wean (or not breastfeed at all) because they miss drinking coffee or the underlying pressure to constantly about everything they need. But in fact, it is perfectly safe for mothers to drink caffeinated beverages and eat what they want and still provide the best nutrition for their little ones. The keyword here is ‘in moderation’.
If no perfect diet is required? Should mothers take a multivitamin while breastfeeding?
For a certain group of mothers who practices a restrictive diet, it is advisable for them to take multivitamins. Mothers with restrictive diet such as diets that limit calories intake and vegetarian diets may not get adequate nutrients through their diet alone and thus may be at greater risk for nutritional deficiencies.
Also, the recommended dietary intake (RNI) which is the average amount of vitamins and minerals needed by adults increase while breastfeeding; therefore, it is possible that diet alone may not be sufficient to ensure adequate nutrition for women who are breastfeeding. In these cases, breastfeeding mothers may benefit from taking a multivitamin supplement.
Alternatively, if mothers do not want to take multivitamins, they can opt for a healthy diet consists of abundant leafy vegetables, nuts and legumes as these food groups are high in vitamins and minerals.
Are healthy eating habits recommended for mom?
Absolutely! You will be healthier and feel better if you eat well. It is best for anyone to eat a variety of foods close to their naturally occurring state, but this is not necessary for providing quality milk or for maintaining milk supply.
Although it is certainly not recommended, a breastfeeding mother could technically live on a diet of junk food. However, mothers will definitely not thrive with that diet and mother’s health may worsen if not taken properly.
What IS needed for maintaining an ample supply of milk?
The main thing needed to maintain an ample milk supply is simple.
The more often and effectively your baby nurses, the more milk you will have.
Occasionally, a mother’s calorie or fluid intake can affect milk production:
Are there any foods that mothers should avoid or limit while breastfeeding?
Generally, women do not need to limit or avoid specific foods while breastfeeding. Mothers should be encouraged to eat a healthy and diverse diet. However, certain types of seafood should be consumed in a limited amount.
Although fish remains an excellent source of protein and contains essential vitamins and minerals for breastfeeding women, some care must be taken in deciding on the amount and types of seafood to consume.
Most fish contain some amount of mercury, which accumulates in the fish flesh and can pass from mother to infant through breast milk. This can have adverse effects on the brain and nervous system of the breastfed infant. Breastfeeding mothers are advised to eat a variety of fishes in moderation.
What is the takeaway message?
All in all, mothers don’t have to follow a perfect diet to maintain a healthy breastmilk supply but mothers should still make it a habit to eat healthily as poor nutritional intake will have a negative impact on mother’s wellbeing. Additionally, in order to maintain a consistent level of breastmilk supply, mothers should increase their calorie consumption and fluid intake.
Goat Milk Formula – Natural supplement
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