22 October 2011

Nutrition and Lactation

Nutrition in lactating mother is very much important. Nutrition during lactation is the nutritional relationship between mother and child. Adequate amount of calories and nutrients should be taken by lactating mother as new born baby’s are breast fed and they should be properly provided with all the nutrients through breast milk. Nutritional needs of lactating mother are increased for producing sufficient amount of breast milk for the infant. Foods that are avoided during pregnancy should be continued to avoid until the lactation period completes.

Nutritional requirements during lactation:

Calories:  The calorie requirement during lactating is increased. For first 6 months of lactation period an additional 550 kcals are required .From 6 to 12 months the calorie requirement is around 400 kcals   As body is continuously producing milk lactating mother needs increased amount of calories.

Proteins: The protein requirement during lactation for first 6 months is an additional requirement of 25 gms and for 6 to 12 months it is about 18 grams additional requirement per day. Due to milk production protein requirement is increased.

Iron:  Iron rich foods are essential for mothers own health. Milk is not a good source of iron .The baby is born with adequate reserves of iron. Good sources of iron are beans, green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, meat and poultry.

Calcium: A lactating mother needs calcium of around 1000mg per day. Good sources of calcium are milk, milk products, ragi tofu, almonds, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin C: During lactation vitamin c requirements are increased that is around 80 mg/day. Good sources of vitamin c are Kiwi, Potato, tomato, cantaloupe, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, green peppers.

Vitamins: During lactation vitamins should be increased like vitamin A, C, B1, B2, and B12 are increased.

Good amount of water is required for the lactating mother. As major content of milk is water. It is good to drink  8 to10 glasses of water per day.