Kamis, 26 Juni 2008

Nutrition During Lactation

Lactation is an automatic physiologycal process that virtually all mothers are capable of doing. Breastfeeding, on the other hand, is a learned behavior that not all mothers decide to do. Actually, breast milk is the best recommended food for an infant during the first four to six months of life compare to infant formula only. So, breastfeeding is very recommend for mothers to do. Here are some benefits of breastfeeding :

- For infants :

- Provides the appropriate composition and balance nutrients with

high bioavaibility.

- Provides hormones that promote physiological development

- Improve cognitive development

- Protects against a variety of infection

- May protect against some chronic disease, such as diabetes type 1

and hypertension, later in life

- Protects against food allergies

- For mothers :

- Contracts the uterus

- Delay the return of regular ovulation, thus lengthening birth interval

- Conserves iron stores

- May protect against breast and ovarian cancer

- Others :

- Cost saving from not needing medical treatment for childhood


- Cost saving from not needing topurchase formula

Successful breastfeeding requires adequate nutrition. Ideally, the mother who choose to breastfeed her infant will continue to eat nutrient-dense foods throughout lactation. An adequate diet is needed to suport the stamina, patience, and self-confidence that nursing an infant formula demands. The food that the mother consumes not just fulfills her nutritional requirements, but is also used in the production of milk.


A breasfeeding mother produces about 25 ounce a milk per day, with considerable variation from woman to woman and in the same woman from time to time, depending primarily on the infants demand for milk. To produce an adequate supply of milk, a woman needs extra energy- almost 500 kcalories a day above her regular need during the first to six months of lactation. Energy requirement during lacatation is extra 330 kcal/hari during first 6 month, and extra 400 kcal/day during second 6 month. This can be achieved by including whole grain cereals, pulses, milk and milk products in the daily diet. Mothers need additional carbohydrate to replace glucose used to make the lactose in breast milk. During lactation, fiber is also needed 1 gram higher. So, increase consume of vegetables and fruits is needed.

After the birth of the infant, women often exercise to loose weight and improve fitness, and this is compatible with breasfeeding and infant growth. Intense physical activity can raise the lactic acid concentration of breast milk, which may influence the milk’s taste. Some infants may prefer milk produced prior to exercise, which has a lower lactic acid content. In these case, mothers can either breastfeed before exercise or express their milk before exercise for use afterward.

Protein requirement is also increased during lactation due to milk production. The recommend protein additional daily intake are 25 gram for the first six months and 18 gram during the the six to twelve months of lactation. If the protein dan energy is lacking in the mothers diet there will be reduction in milk voume rather than in milk quality but if very low protein are taken then the proportion of casein may be reduced. The extra protein can be achieved by including protein rich foods like milk and milk products, egg, meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and cereal.

Calcium is one of the important minerals required during lactation. An additional 1000 mg per day calcium is required during this period. 500 ml milk or milk products per day must be taken for the calcium requirement and the remaining from the other food stuff like ragi, soyabean, and fish. Actually, dietary calcium has no effect on the calcium concentration of breast milk, but maternal bones lose some of their density during lactation. Bone density increase again when lactation ends; breastfeeding has no long-term harmful effects on bones.


Most lactating women can obtain all the nutrients they need from a well-balanced diet without taking vitamin-mineral supplements. Nevertheles, some may need iron supplements, not to enhance the iron in their breast milk, but to refill their depleted iron stores. Maternal iron stores dwindle during pregnancy when the fetus takes iron to meet its own needs during the first four to six months after birth. In addition, childbirth may have incured blood losses. Thus a woman may need iron supplements during lactation, even though, until menstruation resumes, her iron requirement is about half that of other non preganant woman her age.

Particular foods

Foods with strong or spicy flavors, such as garlic, may alter flavor of breast milk. A sudden change in the taste of milk may annoy some infant. Infants who develop symptomps of allergy may be more comfortble if the mother’s diet excludes the most common offenders-cow’s milk, eggs, fish, and peanuts. Generally, infants with strong family history of food allergies benefit from breastfeeding.

Some substance may impair milk production or enter breast milk and interfere with infant develpoment. A breastfeeding mother should avoid alcohol, smoking, caffeine, environmental contaminants, and consult with her physician prior to taking any drug, including herbal supplement.

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