“Diet for lactating mothers”

Breast milk is known as the “gold standard” for infant nutrition and is often referred to as
liquid gold. Breast milk is full of nourishing nutrients and protective compounds that are
essential for your baby’s development.
Breast milk contains everything your baby needs for proper development during the first 6
months. During breastfeeding your body requires more calories and nutrients to keep you
and your baby nourished and healthy. It is important that your diet supplies the nutrients
you need during breastfeeding, including:
Protein – During breastfeeding , it is very important to add plenty of protein in your diet.
Protein sources include foods like chicken, meat fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts,
quinoa, and soy, lentils, beans ,peas ,tofu.
Calcium. Calcium makes up an important part of breastmilk. Getting enough Calcium is
especially important since breastfeeding draws from your body’s calcium reserves , so it’s
important to get plenty of this nutrient. Good sources includes dairy products such as cheese,
yogurt and milk, soymilk fortified with calcium as well as broccoli, tofu and chia seeds. Calcium
supports your skeletal structure and function ,it also plays a major role in nerve function,
cell communication as well as in muscle contraction and blood clotting.
Iodine – Baby depends on breastmilk as a source of Iodine . Iodine is very important for
baby’s development as it keeps baby’s brain and nervous system developing. You get
iodine from dairy foods , seafood, iodised salt, and bread flour fortified with iodine.
Iron – Try to get iron-rich food each day as pregnancy uses up your iron stores so during
breastfeeding, you need to rebuild your iron stores with iron-rich foods. Good sources of
iron include red meat , poultry, seafood, and egg yolks, nuts, dried fruits beans or fortified
cereals, green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin B12 – Baby gets vitamin B12 from breastmilk. Vitamin B12 is very important for
baby’s growth as it plays a major role in the development of baby’s  nervous system.
You get vitamin B12 from milk, fish, eggs, meat and fortified breakfast cereals .
If you’re not eating enough calories or nutrient-rich foods, this can negatively affect the
quality of your breast milk and It can also be detrimental for your own health. So it’s very
important to choose a variety of nutrient-dense, whole food as well as nourishing foods to
support your breast milk production.
Add Whole Grains – Whole grains are a great supplement for healthy breastfeeding diet
because they are naturally high in fiber, minerals and vitamins, as well as carbohydrates,
protein. Eating whole grains can help digestive system to function well as well as keep you
full longer. Eating whole grains like brown rice, barley and oatmeal per day keeps you
Eat Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are important part of any healthy
diet. Fruits provide vitamins such as B1, B2, B6, and C, which help to keep you healthy and
are necessary for milk production and also fruits are good source of fiber that helps in the
digestive process and also assists your body to absorb nutrients. Include apricots, bananas,
mangoes, oranges, prunes, grapefruit in your diet .

Vegetables are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and many other important nutrients that are
essential for a healthy breastfeeding diet. Consuming sufficient quantity will help the body
to replenish the nutrients it needs to make milk. Green leafy vegetables like spinach,
broccoli, kale, cabbage carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin and asparagus all these
contribute to healthy cell function and division.
Dairy – Both pregnancy and breastfeeding can leach calcium from the bones so you should
ensure that you’re getting enough calcium. As during breastfeeding, Calcium is depleted and
this puts mothers at risk of osteoporosis. Dairy products, such as cheese and milk, are
excellent sources of calcium, and many have added vitamin D .So aim for three to four
servings a day from dairy foods, such as milk, yoghurt and cheese.
Nuts and Seeds – Nuts are powerhouse of nutrition as they are healthy source of essential
fatty acids and protein. Nuts are also high in essential minerals such as iron, calcium, and
zinc as well as vitamin K and B vitamins. Incorporate nuts such as almonds and walnuts in
your diet .Seeds are also good source of healthy fats ,essential minerals such as iron, zinc,
and calcium and protein . Choose and snack on a variety including sunflower seeds,
pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds.
Stay hydrated – While breastfeeding, your body needs more water so it’s very important to stay
well hydrated . To keep your breast milk supply where it needs to be, make sure to drink
plenty of water to replace the fluids that you are losing while breastfeeding As water is the
healthiest drink ,so drink water whenever you feel thirsty. Avoid flavoured water, soft drinks
energy drinks and sports drinks.
Galactagogues-The word “galactagogues” comes from the Greek “galacta,” meaning milk.
A galactagogue, or galactogogues also known as a lactation inducer or milk booster, is a
substance that promotes lactation.
Foods that are used as galactogogues – Shatavari ,Fenugreek ,Fennel ,Garlic ,Ginger ,Yams
and Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Beets ,Spices like turmeric and cumin , Oatmeal
As Breastfeeding uses a lot of energy and nutrients, a healthy diet is essential for ensuring
that your baby is getting all the nutrients they need to thrive. No single diet will be ideal for
everyone who is breastfeeding. Eating healthy foods postpartum can help you feel better
both mentally and physically The goal should be to eat a healthful, varied diet.

Ranu Singh.
Community Nutritionist
Vice President Indian Association of Parenteral &Enteral Nutrition, Lucknow Chapter.
Faculty – Nutrition & Diabetes Core Group Indian Association of Parenteral &Enteral
Founder of Nutrition Punch with more then 178K followers on Facebook page &
Head Uttar Pradesh, Global Nutrition Partnership Program of Indian Association of
Parenteral &Enteral Nutrition, -American Society of Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition.
MSc. in Food & Nutrition.
A Certified Diabetic Educator from the International Diabetes Federation.
Fellowship in Clinical Nutrition.
Certified Maternal & Child Nutritionist.
Certified in Nutrigenetics

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