Maternal nutrition during lactation
A good breastfeeding should be prepared already during pregnancy. In the period of gestation, the well-controlled mother is making fat reserves of around two to four kilos. These reserves are those that will serve to partially satisfy the supplementary energy needs for the production of breast milk.
For a good breastfeeding during lactation we can calculate, that with these reserves, they are supplied with two hundred to three hundred kilocalories a day during the first three months of breastfeeding, the rest should be provided by feeding.
The success of breastfeeding
With some exceptions, all mothers can breastfeed their child. The success of breastfeeding will depend on some factors:
- the desire and conviction of the mother to be able to breastfeed.
- The suction of the baby, which will stimulate the secretion.
- The feeding of the mother, which will allow the production of milk in sufficient quantity and quality to feed the baby.
The interest for breastfeeding has been increasing significantly in recent years, motivated by scientific discoveries that demonstrate the superiority of this type of feeding with respect to other formulas.
However, it is fair to point out that artificial milk is more and more complete and is a good source of breastfeeding when it is not possible.
Nutritional needs of women during breastfeeding
During the period of breastfeeding the nutritional needs of the nursing mother are higher than those of pregnancy. It must be borne in mind that making a liter of milk supposes to the mother an additional expense of seven hundred kilocalories, as well as increased needs for those nutrients that intervene in the production of breast milk: vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and water.
It is evident that the nutritional needs of the mother will vary depending on their nutritional status and the amount of milk secreted. In any case, we must remember that the energy, nutritive and water needs are higher than those of pregnant women and, in cases of overweight or obesity, it will not be the most appropriate time to start a hypocaloric diet.
Dietary recommendations for nursing mothers
- The daily intake of water or liquids as milk, broths, infusions or non-sugary juices, it should not be less than two liters.
- The daily intake of milk or dairy products It should not be less than one liter. Keep in mind that a glass of milk is equivalent to two yogurts, or 75 grams of fresh cheese or 40 grams of cured cheese or two custards or two custards.
- Avoid eating foods that may "sour" the taste of milk As they can be: the cauliflower, the cabbage, the artichoke, the radish, the asparagus, the game meat and the garlic, onion and raw peppers.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages, stimulants or sweetened.
- Avoid too spicy or too copious meals. The same principle as in pregnancy continues to be valid: "it is not necessary to eat for two".
Pedro J. Toranzos Carazo. Pharmacist and Nutritionist