You might hear a lot of advice about how to eat well when breastfeeding. In fact, breastfeeding mothers have the ability to produce the sufficient quantity and quality of milk, even if they are slightly deficient in nutrients.
When external nutrition is insufficient, the body produces breast milk using stored nutrients. However, if you use the energy stored in this way, nutritional deficiencies may occur. Generally, you might find that your nutrients are lacking while you are raising children, but as your immunity weakens, you may feel very tired and therefore it is better to avoid using these stored nutrients.
Ideal Dietary Guidelines for Nursing Mothers
It is more important to eat a variety of foods than to take specific nutritional supplements. It is also important to eat a variety of grains, fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats. If possible, it is great to eat a balanced diet with natural foods rather than instant foods.
Whole Foods, which are minimally processed and refined—make for a healthier diet, so choose breads with whole grains, etc. For nursing mothers, an additional 500 kcal of daily caloric requirement is sufficient.
According to the textbook guidelines, if you are a breastfeeding mother who normally eats a balanced diet, you do not need to take supplements. However, if you are a vegan who does not eat meat, dairy or eggs, then it is recommended to supplement protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
Care must be taken with your water intake. Your daily milk production should be about 750~800ml per day, so it is recommended that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
How would you choose a nutritional supplement?
It is not an easy task for lactating mothers to eat a well-balanced diet every day. So, what kinds of nutrients are good for both the baby and the mother?
1. Vitamin D
Mothers with children rarely go out. Vitamin D is a nutrient known to be particularly lacking in modern people. Vitamin D is an important nutrient for both the baby and mother, who spend less time outdoors and have less sunlight exposure. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption, making bones strong, and supports the immune system and hormonal function.
Studies have also shown that a vitamin D deficiency is associated with atopic dermatitis. Therefore. vitamin D is important for both the mother and the baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an intake of 400 IU of vitamin D from birth for breastfeeding infants, in the absence of adequate sun exposure.
2. Calcium and Magnesium
The recommended daily intake of calcium for a nursing mother is around 1300 mg. Magnesium works with calcium and maintains the balance of mineral ions in the teeth, bones and body fluids of the mother, and has the effect of normalising the thyroid function of the mother.
There is no need to take additional calcium during breastfeeding, but if you have a family history of osteoporosis, etc., if your calcium intake is low while breastfeeding, the calcium concentration in your breast milk may decrease and may affect your bone density. It is important to consume calcium by itself, but it is also helpful to eat well and ensure you get enough vitamin D, etc.
3. Lactobacillus (Probiotics)
These are a form of live bacteria that can be taken as a supplement. About 5-10 billion a day are needed, and they help to normalise the immune system of the mother. When a mother consumes lactic acid bacteria, it is beneficial to the mother's health, but it also has a positive effect on the child through her breast milk. Probiotics prevent fetal fever, atopy, allergies, etc., and help the development of the small intestine and immune system of the newborn.
During pregnancy and lactation, 400mg or more of DHA is required per day, and this protects the mother's brain and retina cells. It is also effective in preventing pregnancy depression and postpartum depression. Choose Omega-3 supplements with a high DHA ratio.
Author: Pharmacist Obora
- Pharmacist of 'Happy Dream Pharmacy' in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
- Hu-EduTV [Educational Channel for Pharmacists] Contents Planning
- Pharmaceutical Consulting Brand A&P Consultant
- Hubase (Hubase) Education Instructor