During breastfeeding, it is very important for a mother to pay attention to the intake of nutrients that enter her body. Not only does it support physical health, nutrition for breastfeeding mothers also supports the production of breast milk, which has a vital role in the baby's growth and development.
Fulfillment of nutrition for breastfeeding mothers can be done in a number of ways, from taking supplements to eating healthy foods. Fulfillment of these nutrients is not only important to support the health of the mother, but also the development of the little one. Then, what nutrients are needed by breastfeeding mothers?
Here are a variety of nutrients that are good for breastfeeding mothers and their sources:
- 1. Calcium
For breastfeeding mothers, calcium has a role to optimize the function of blood circulation, muscles, and nerves. In a day, breastfeeding mothers are advised to get a calcium intake of 1,000-1,500 mg. Sources of calcium that can be consumed include low-fat dairy products, yogurt, cheese, green vegetables, and nuts.
- 2. Carbohydrates
Eating foods with carbohydrate content from vegetables, fruit, and whole grains is very important for breastfeeding mothers. Carbohydrates have a role to provide supporting energy in the baby's growth and development process.
- 3. Folic acid
Maintaining folic acid intake is important so that breastfeeding mothers avoid the risk of developing anemia. Folic acid is a nutrient that has an important role in the production of red blood cells. Food sources rich in folic acid include green leafy vegetables, asparagus, avocados, oranges, and nuts.
- 4. Unsaturated fat
Unsaturated fats (healthy fats) have an important role in the development of the baby's brain and nervous system. Intake of this nutrient can be found in foods such as avocado, salmon, and canola oil. Although necessary, you should limit fat consumption to less than 30 percent of daily caloric needs.
- 5. Iron
Eating foods rich in iron content during breastfeeding can prevent and reduce the risk of developing anemia. If you are deficient in iron, you will be prone to infections and feel tired easily.
Some good sources of iron for nursing mothers include lean meats, green leafy vegetables, seafood, and nuts.
- 6. Protein
Protein is a nutrient for breastfeeding mothers which is important to support the process of breast milk production. Some sources of protein that can be used as choices for breastfeeding mothers, including lean meat, eggs, nuts, and seafood that are minimal in mercury content.
- 7. Vitamin D
Vitamin D can help the body absorb calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Foods with vitamin D content are good for nursing mothers such as egg yolks, fish oil, salmon, fat-free milk, and some mushrooms.
- 8. Vitamin C
Commonly found in foods such as oranges, broccoli, and tomatoes, vitamin C has an important role in the growth and repair of tissues, as well as the development of baby's bones and teeth. In addition, vitamin C also supports the process of iron absorption by the body.
- 9. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 can be found in foods such as beans, nuts, fish, poultry, potatoes, bananas, and dried fruit. This vitamin is useful for helping the formation of red blood cells in infants. In addition, vitamin B6 is also needed for the development and function of the baby's brain to run normally.
- 10. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 has an important role in the production of red blood cells and the development of the baby's brain function. These nutrients can be found in animal products such as lean milk, fish, lean meats, poultry, shellfish, liver, yogurt, eggs, crab, shrimp.
In addition to consuming the food above, nutrition for breastfeeding mothers can also be obtained by taking supplements. Before taking certain supplements, you should first consult with your doctor to prevent the bad effects that can be caused.
Foods and drinks that should be avoided by breastfeeding mothers are fish with high mercury content, alcohol, caffeine and cow's milk (if the child has an allergy to cow's milk because cow's milk protein is absorbed into breast milk.
Mayoclinic (2021). https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/breastfeeding-nutrition/art-20046912
Healthline (2021). https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/breastfeeding#returning-to-work
What to expect (2021). https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-diet.aspx
Nancy F Butte (Juni 2020). https://www.uptodate.com/contents/maternal-nutrition-during-lactation/print?search=maternal%20nutrition%20during%20breastfeeding&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1
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