Nutrition in Your Breast Milk

Breast milk is an amazing liquid. It contains all of the vitamins, minerals, antibodies and more that your baby needs to grow and thrive. The only thing you need to do to make sure that your baby is getting everything needed out of your breast milk is to make sure that you are healthy. Your body will take care of the rest!

Eating a Healthy Diet

While you are breastfeeding, you need to provide your body with all of the nutrients it needs to do that important job of making the perfect baby food for your baby. This means eating a healthy, balanced diet that provides all of the necessary vitamins and minerals as well as the proper amount of calories from fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

Your body will take the nutrients it needs from your body’s stores in order to fill the breast milk with all of the incredible nutrition that your baby can’t get any other way. You will need to replace those nutrients every day. Make sure that the foods you choose are varied and include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and good protein sources. You should aim to follow the recommended daily amounts for servings from each food group. Try to get 6-9 servings of grains, 2-3 servings of protein, 3-4 servings of dairy, and 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables. Avoid unhealthy choices such as those high in sugar or unhealthy fats.

Does Your Diet Affect the Nutrition of the Milk?

The answer is a little complicated. While breast milk has been shown to be remarkably nutritionally stable in spite of imperfect nutrition on the part of the mother, there are many ways in which your diet can affect your breast milk. Your body will continue to make nutritionally sound milk for your baby except in cases of extreme deprivation – however, your diet supports your body’s ability to make enough breast milk for baby’s needs.

Eating the right number of calories, keeping your body healthy with a balance of vitamins and minerals, and maintaining adequate fluid intake are all vital to keeping your production of breast milk steady. Remember that your body is working hard to make that milk – you need to give it a steady source of fuel.

There are some things you eat that can affect the composition of breast milk. Research has shown that the type of fat you consume can affect the type of fat most prevalent in your breast milk. Try to stick to healthy unsaturated fats to ensure baby is reaping the benefits these fats provide. The level of fat in breast milk is most affected by the fullness or emptiness of the breast. A highly engorged breast will have a lower fat content than an emptier one. However, as long as your baby nurses regularly, there is no need to worry about the amount of fat in the milk.

The best thing you can do for your baby’s health is to breast feed, and the best thing that you can do to help your body produce healthy breast milk is to be healthy yourself. As long as you are eating nutritious foods and drinking plenty of water, you shouldn’t have to worry about the content of your breast milk. Your body was made to produce that perfect food for baby, and it is very good at the job. All you need to do is support it!

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