A Healthful Diet for Lactating Mothers Because human milk represents the ideal food for young infants, it's only natural to focus first on the type of diet a mother needs to consume in order to produce nutritious milk for her baby. Concerns about the adequacy of their diet cause many women to doubt the quality of their milk. But a mother's diet doesn't have to be perfect in order for her to make adequate milk and to nourish her baby well. Human milk produced by women all over the world is amazingly uniform in its composition. When mothers are poorly nourished, the quantity of milk they produce may be reduced, but the quality of milk tends to be fairly consistent.
Don't count calories
Guidelines recommend breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for most babies. The Nutrition meeting will feature new research findings on the nature of breast milk and how breastfeeding may affect the health of both moms and babies. Contact the media team for abstracts, images and interviews, or to obtain a free press pass to attend the meeting. Breastfeeding may help reduce mom's risk of type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes A study of 4, women followed for more than 20 years suggests breastfeeding for a longer period of time could help women diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Many new moms wonder how breastfeeding will affect their diet. You probably don't need to make any major changes to what you eat or drink when you're nursing, though there are a few important considerations to keep in mind:. One of the wonders of breast milk is that it can meet your baby's nutritional needs even when you're not eating perfectly. However, if your diet is too low in calories or relies on one food group at the exclusion of others, this could affect the quality and quantity of your milk. Just because your baby won't be harmed by your occasional dietary lapses doesn't mean that you won't suffer. When you don't get the nutrients you need from your diet, your body draws on its reserves, which can eventually become depleted. Also, you need strength and stamina to meet the physical demands of caring for a new baby.
Breast-feeding requires extra nutrition, making healthy eating just as important post-pregnancy. Compared to women who are not, women who are exclusively breast-feeding use to calories daily to make the full amount of milk most babies need from birth to 6 months. Two-thirds of those calories should come from meals and snacks containing foods from all five food groups. The remaining calories come from the weight gained during pregnancy. While many women find breast-feeding helps them lose weight, weight loss varies among mothers depending on physical activity, the amount of weight gained during pregnancy and how much breast milk is produced.