Nutrition For Breastfeeding Mothers - from the blog of Dr. Lauren Gouin, ND

Nutrition for Breastfeeding Mothers

Good nutrition is one of the best gifts a parent can give their children. Expecting mothers often are mindful their nutrition in anticipation of their little one, but in the sleepless first months, nutrition can be a challenge. As baby’s needs are the center of attention, mom’s nutrition may be neglected. Countless studies have established that if possible, breastfeeding is the best source of an infant’s nutrition. Optimizing mom’s diet can not only help her out, but also enhance the quality of the milk for her new infant.

Breast Milk Basics

To know what to eat to support breast milk production, it’s best to look at what it’s made up of. Water is the largest constituent in breast milk. It’s not unusual for the nursing mom to be thirsty. She should be drinking at least eight 8 oz glasses of water a day to keep up with her own hydration as well as her baby’s. Especially in the summer, a baby’s hydration is important, as 25% of heat loss is through evaporation of water through the lungs and skin.
Fats are the area mom’s can make a real impact on their infant’s diet. Fats make up about half of the infant’s diet and the types of fats that a nursing mom eats are what come through to the breast milk.

Addressing Mom’s Nutrient Status

Mom’s nutritional status and dietary intake will affect the constituents in her milk. Studies have shown Vitamin D, vitamin A,


Garlic is known for its wonderful beneficial properties from controlling cholesterol to supporting immune function, but it’s not limited to just helping adults. One study reported when nursing mothers were given garlic, the babies ate more and nursed longer than placebo.

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