It is well established that breastfeeding is the superior method of feeding an infant. Companies that manufacture infant formula have tried to mimic the composition of human breast milk, but there is no substitute. The American Dietetic Association recommends that mothers breastfeed exclusively for six months and complementary feeding for 12 months. One of the greatest benefits of breast milk is that it is designed to meet perfectly the needs of a child, regardless of the mother’s diet.
Composition of breast milk
Each milliliter of milk provides about 0.65 calories, although this varies as the fat content in the milk changes. Fifty percent of total calories derived from milk fat. The fat content is lowest at the start of feeding and gradually increases as the continuous feeding. The protein content is generally lower than that of commercial infant formula. Most of the carbohydrates are lactose milk, commonly known as “milk sugar.” The vitamins and minerals in highly bioavailable forms and immunoglobulins are other important components of human milk.
Mother’s diet and breast milk composition
Although good nutrition is very important for a nursing mother, the composition of breast milk is relatively stable despite the mother’s diet. The most significant factor that affects the production of breast milk is the baby’s demand. Unless a woman is severely malnourished, even a woman who has no calories and protein in your diet can produce milk that meets all your baby’s nutritional needs.
Fats, carbohydrates and proteins
The types of fats you eat the mother influence the types of fat that are present in milk. If you eat primarily saturated fat, a higher percentage of fat in your milk will be saturated. However, the total fat content, along with carbohydrate and protein content are not affected by maternal diet. Eating a lot of sugar in your diet will not change the composition of breast milk.
The Breastfeeding is a completely natural and healthy, but very demanding on your body. You need more calories, vitamins and minerals while breastfeeding a baby. Although this will get the nutrients it needs, it is important that you get proper nutrition for yourself. Eating a lot of empty calories from foods from sugar and snacks instead of other foods more nutritious could prevent you get the important nutrients your body needs. Be filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and vegetables, nuts and low-fat dairy products to be well nourished.