Nutrition for lactating mothers

Did you know that milk production and the growth of the baby depend on nutrients acquired from the food eaten by the mother? Before we get to know how nutrients are gotten from what you eat like a mother, let us first understand what nutrients are. We will also get to know why your baby requires those nutrients. This will be by understanding what roles such nutrients play in the mother’s body system and the child’s system.

Nutrients are substances that constitute the food that you eat and are required in the body for specific functions. Breast milk is the source of food for the baby for the first six months. Therefore, a mother is required to eat a balanced diet for good health and that of the baby. These nutrients that your body requires to function include:

1. Fiber consumption

Fiber is made up of soluble fiber, prebiotics, resistant starch, and insoluble fiber. This is a nutrient that helps in stoppage of constipation which normally occurs in pregnant and lactating mothers. Fiber is also known to reduce the risks of inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Soluble fiber is involved in the control of glucose levels in your body. Additionally, fiber helps in weight gain.

Where can you get this fiber as a lactating mother?

These are the food to eat to obtain fiber.

  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Fruits
  • Brown bread
  • Cereals
  • Peas

2. Proteins for lactating mother

This is the second class of nutrients that is required by lactating mothers for healthy growth. Research has shown that a lactating mother requires about 79 gm of proteins per day. The proteins are required for breast milk production and the growth of the baby. Proteins are good for:

  • The maintenance of body Ph.
  • Balancing of body fluids.
  • Transportation of nutrients.
  • Fighting infections.

This is where you can get the proteins:

  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Beef
  • Lentils
  • Fish
  • And pumpkin seeds

3. Carbohydrates for lactating mothers

These are compounds that come from the food that you eat .You require carbohydrates for the performance of various functions in the body. When broken down carbohydrates give you enhance the growth of the young one. Moreover, carbohydrates improve the baby’s ability to absorb nutrients such as calcium. Carbohydrates are also responsible for the development of a child’s brain. Carbohydrates can also help in:

  • Preservation of muscles
  • Promotion of digestion
  • And the provision of stored energy

Where can you get the carbohydrates as a lactating mother?

  • Barley
  • Broccoli
  • Legumes
  • Mushrooms
  • Beetroots
  • Carrots
  • Cereals
  • Wheat
  • Fresh fruits

4. Minerals consumption by lactating mother

Minerals may include iron and calcium. They are required by lactating mothers since they play an integral role in the formation of body fluids and tissues. One fluid that requires minerals for its formation is blood. Moreover, minerals also form part of bones, muscles, and nerves. Additionally, minerals also improve the nerves, regulating muscle tones and cardiovascular systems. Minerals help the body in terms of:

  • Energy production
  • Enhance healing
  • Growth
  • And protein metabolism.

Where can you get the nutrients?

  • Nuts
  • Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Beans yogurt
  • Grains
  • Fruits
  • Leafy greens
  • Sardines
  • Avocados

5. Fats for lactating mothers

Fats help you in the maintenance of good health especially when you are lactating.

They are grouped into two categories namely: saturated and unsaturated fat.

Saturated fats come from beef, pork, and cheese.

Unsaturated fats can be gotten from avocados peanut butter, cashew nuts pumpkins, plant oil, and sunflower. Research has also shown that dark chocolate also have some traces of fat.

Why fats are essential in lactating mothers

  • Fats provide energy.
  • In diets fats transport vitamins and enhance their absorption.
  • Fats are also critical in the formation of structures your body such as the body membrane.
  • Fats are also involved in insulating and protecting the body.

6. Vitamins uptake by lactating mother

Vitamins are organic in nature that you require in your body but small quantities. A diet containing fats helps in the absorption of vitamins along with the digestive system.

Do you require vitamins in the body? Yes. Only a small proportion of fats are needed in your body. However your body need fats for various processes, you still need these components.

For instance, vitamin C is involved in the manufacture of collagen. Collagen is involved in the provision of structures of blood vessels, ligaments, and bones. Moreover, vitamins are important as they help in repairing of damaged tissues. You can get vitamins from;

  • Citrus fruits
  • Pepper
  • Strawberries
  • Yogurt
  • Whole grain
  • Watermelon
  • Liver
  • Eggs
  • Sweet potatoes
  • And spinach
  • Tomatoes

7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Breastfeeding: Why They Matter and How to Get Them

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that are critical for overall health, including brain and eye development in infants. As a breastfeeding mother, it is important to ensure that you are getting enough omega-3s in your diet to support the growth and development of your baby. In this article, we will discuss why omega-3s matter and how to get them while breastfeeding.

Why Omega-3s Matter for Breastfeeding Mothers

Omega-3s are important for breastfeeding mothers for several reasons. First, they support the development of the baby’s brain and eyes. Research has shown that infants who receive adequate amounts of omega-3s during their first year of life may have better visual and cognitive development.

Second, omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body. This can be beneficial for breastfeeding mothers who may experience inflammation in their breasts, nipples, or other parts of their body.

Third, omega-3s may help reduce the risk of postpartum depression. Some studies have suggested that omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy and postpartum may improve symptoms of depression in new mothers.

How to Get Omega-3s While Breastfeeding

There are several ways to get omega-3s while breastfeeding, including:

  1. Fatty fish: Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and tuna, are excellent sources of omega-3s. Aim to eat at least two servings of fatty fish per week.
  2. Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds are all good sources of omega-3s. Try adding these to your meals or snacks.
  3. Supplements: Omega-3 supplements, such as fish oil or algae-based supplements, can also be a good option for breastfeeding mothers. Talk to your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to determine if a supplement is right for you.
  4. Fortified foods: Some foods, such as certain brands of eggs and milk, are fortified with omega-3s. Check the label to see if your favorite foods are fortified.

 What happens when a lactating mother does not drink water?

  • Lactating mothers will most likely have constipations.
  • She will moody
  • Experience nausea
  • Feel dizzy.
  • Have dry mouth
  • And fatigue

Can you improve your water drinking habits?

You can improve your water uptake by:

  • Make sure that you have an alarm. This is to remind you when to drink water.
  • Drinking water before taking any meal. This will ensure little calorie intake.
  • Eating food high in water.
  • And drinking a cup of water when you wake up.


Consumption of fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates improves the health of the lactating mother. Moreover, minerals uptake, fats, and drinking water also improve the health of a lactating mother.