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Nutritional Needs for Lactating Mother Nutritional Needs for Lactating Mother

Nutritional Needs for Lactating Mother

Nutritional Needs for Lactating MotherThe nutritional needs of a mother breast feeding an infant are slightly higher than usual. She does not need to eat for two but ensure that she increases her calorie intake by marginal 300-500 Kcal. The requirement varies as per age, needs and metabolism.

Breastfeeding a baby is a calorie intensive process thus a lactating mothers need to consume more calories to stay healthy and provide continuous milk supply for the baby.

According to the American Pregnancy Association a lactating women releases 425 to 700 calories into their breast milk each day. Thus, she should consume about 500 extra calories per day. Pregnancy stores plenty of fat but it soons gets depleted while nursing and the energy required while taking care of a newborn.

Diet of lactating mother should contain:

Calories - The calorie needs are high in first 6 months of lactation but can be decreased to only additional 400 Kcal once the child is offered supplemental diet.

A mother of twins or triplets will definitely require more calories to meet requirements of feeding more than one infant.

It is vital that the calories are healthy calories from protein and high fiber carbohydrates and not fat. Two glasses of low fat milk and an additional bowl of oatmeal of broken wheat porridge is all that one needs to meet 500 Kcal in a day.

Calcium - The nursing mother should increase calcium intake to nearly 1000mg per day as compared to only 400 mg of calcium required by a non-nursing woman.

To consume 1000mg of calcium it is vital that you take these in a day:

  • At least 500 ml of low fat milk in a day
  • Eat two bowls of green leafy vegetables
  • Have a slice of low fat cheese or two egg whites or a piece of chiken/fish or two bowls of whole grained pulse

Vitamins - Folic acid, Vitamin A and D requirements increase during lactation. A healthy intake of green leafy vegetables and yellow/orange fruits like papaya, mangoes and vegetables like pumpkin, carrots will ensure a good vitamin intake.

Fluids - A mother feels thirsty due to constant feeding the baby. Drinking plenty of water, clear soups and juices is essential. This helps good milk volume as well.

It is advised that you drink a glass of water or other beverage every time you breastfeed. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that breastfeeding women not drink alcoholic beverages. Any alcohol that is in your bloodstream while you are breastfeeding can pass into breast milk. It is okay to have 2 cups of tea/coffee in a day. Soft drinks and diet beverages are best avoided.

Vitamin and mineral supplements can. In addition to eating a healthy diet, some breastfeeding women may need a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Consult your doctor about taking a nutritional supplement, and follow his or her advice. Be sure to tell your provider about any supplements you are already taking, to protect yourself against taking too much.

Consult our dietitians to generate personalized diet for nursing mothers, pregnant women or for any information.

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