Breastfeeding mothers have a slightly increased requirement for most nutrients compared to mothers who do not breastfeed as many vitamins and minerals in a breastfeeding mother’s diet are transferred into the breast milk. Therefore, it is important for the mother to eat adequately for her own nutrition combined with the nutrition of her baby.
A breastfeeding mother needs additional dietary protein to build the protein in her breast milk. Protein is vital for the growth, maintenance and repair of cells. Protein is found in a wide range of foods such as meat (including fish and poultry), eggs, dairy, legumes (such as beans, pulses and soy products) and nuts. Smaller amounts of protein are found in grain-based foods such as bread and pasta.
Folate is a B vitamin that is needed for healthy growth and development Folate can be found in leafy vegetables, wholegrain, peas, nuts.
Breastfeeding mothers should drink adequate amount of water in order to hydrate themselves fully. Depending upon the weather at least 8-10 glasses of pure water is important. It may be helpful to have a drink at the time of each breastfeed, as well as drinking regularly throughout other times of the day.
Courtesy: Nestle Pakistan Advisory