Nutritional Requirements at the time of Breastfeeding

During the first six months after delivery, the baby is mostly breast-fed, and depends on the mom for all his nutrient requirements. Consumption of a healthy diet during lactation is vital as what you eat forms the basis of the protein, nutrient, as well as vitamin content of your breast milk. As a baby only survives on breastmilk for some months after being born, nutritional demands at the time of breastfeeding are high and if they are not met, can have a bad effect on both you as well as your baby. Your everyday diet will be sufficient, if only your food selection is apt, considering all the nutritional requirements, including protein foods 2-3 times a day like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds, three servings of vegetables, comprising dark green and yellow vegetables a day,  whole grains like whole wheat breads, pasta, cereal and oatmeal in your everyday diet.

Nutrition during Lactation Time

Healthy diet during lactation is required by both the mother and the baby for their well-being and the production of good quality breast milk.


More calorie intake is required for a lactating mother. Just having more of the usual healthy diet would let you meet the higher energy demand when you lactate. In the first 6 months after delivery, 750 ml of breast milk is produced every day. If the additional demand for energy is not met from food sources, then your reserved fat stores will be used in its place.


The increase in protein requirements during breastfeeding is negligible compared to that of energy. Though, if your energy intake is less, protein will be used for production of energy. The extra protein requirements throughout breastfeeding period can be met by having protein rich foods. If you do not have a sufficiently high protein consumption, then the amount of Casein in your milk might be reduced. Casein protein is a vital constituent of your milk, and helps to offer your baby with calcium as well as phosphate. Insulin resistance is modulated by quality of protein, not quantity. Proteins derived from fish might have the most desired effects on insulin sensitivity.

Other nutrients

The consumption of a few nutrients like vitamins C, A, thiamine, riboflavin, B6, B12, iodine and selenium is reflected in the composition of your breast milk. Newborns have very less amounts of these specific nutrients, and therefore they are dependent on breast milk for ample supply. Rich sources of Iodine are seafood as well as iodised salt. Then again, nutrients in your breast milk for example Zinc, Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin D, Calcium, and Copper are also affected by what you consume. Nutritional and supplemental consumption of these minerals and vitamins throughout breastfeeding will not just benefit you but your baby as well, by making you both healthy and unaffected by any health ailment.

Calcium is vital throughout lactation as it is required for milk production. A consumption of 1000 mg Calcium every day is needed throughout the first six months. 500 ml of milk or milk products every day should be taken along with eating Calcium rich foods, for example green leafy vegetables and fish. But then, consumption of fish should be done with care since some types of it contain high levels of Mercury.

If you are not able to meet the nutritional requirements through having balanced diet during pregnancy, then you can also have nutritional supplement powders in your daily regimen.

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