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World Breastfeeding Week: Essential Foods For Lactating Mothers To Ensure Optimum Nutrient Intake

World breastfeeding week 2020: Mother require essential nutrients for baby's proper growth and development. Read here to know some expert recommended diet tips for lactating mothers.

World Breastfeeding Week: Essential Foods For Lactating Mothers To Ensure Optimum Nutrient Intake

World breastfeeding week 2020: Essential nutrients are required for baby's optimal growth


  1. World Breastfeeding week is observed from 1 August to 7 August
  2. Mothers requires optimum nutrition when breastfeeding the baby
  3. Add enough protein, calcium and iron to your diet

A breastfeeding mother needs to consume a balanced diet to ensure that her little one is getting all the essential nutrients required for healthy growth. As most of you know, an infant needs to consume breast milk for at least the first six months as it helps build the baby's immune system. However, there are so many new mommies out there who struggle with this very task because the lactation phase demands that the mother consume an additional 500 calorie, with good proportions of iron, protein, and calcium, which most of them are unaware of. But, don't you worry. We are here to tell you about the essential food all lactating mothers must consume to gain extra nutrition.

World Breastfeeding Week 2020: Foods that should be a part of a lactating mother's diet

1. First and foremost, it is important for lactating mothers to consume a balanced diet, rich in protein, vitamin, calcium, and iron. The additional 500 calories you consume must be according to these essentials.

2. High protein food, which includes grains, cereals, pulses, veggies, eggs, fruits, and chicken are good for both the mother and the baby.

Also read: World Breastfeeding Week: Debunking Myths About Breastfeeding


New mothers should add enough protein to their diet
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Iron is a necessary element that helps meet the additional demands in the baby's development. So, as a lactating mother, make sure you include pulses, legumes, green leafy vegetables, eggs, watermelon, and more.

4. This is not the time to consume aerated drinks or alcohol. Always opt for a healthy option, such as tender coconut water, lassi, fruit juices, and more. Remember, keeping yourself hydrated is the key here because breastfeeding every 2 to 4 hours can lead to dehydration and fluids are mandatory to ensure milk production. So, consume liquids continuously and drink at least 8-10 glasses of water. Also, abstain from caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea, and chocolate drinks.

Also read: World Breastfeeding Week: 8 Benefits Mother's Milk For The Newborn

5. You might think consuming sugar and fats might help you meet the calorie requirement, foods such as potato chips, chocolates, cakes, etc. However, they are empty calories because they have no nutritional value, which means, it won't help enhance your or your baby's health and will lead to only weight gain.

6. You need calcium and vitamin D too. Calcium helps in the baby's bone development. Therefore, include dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, paneer, and more in your diet, and for vitamin D, the best source is sunlight. But, including salmon, mackerel, and egg yolks in your diet also helps.

7. Remember, this is not the time to go on a diet. If you do that, the quality of your breastmilk goes down and that's definitely not good for the baby. If you are serious about losing your pregnancy weight, all you need to do is limit fatty and sugary items and instead consume a balanced meal and exercise regularly.

Following these tips will help lactating mothers and also help ensure good health of your baby.

Also read: World Breastfeeding Week: Neha Dhupia Shares An Important Message About Breastfeeding; Debunking Myths About Breastfeeding

(Dr. Vijaya Manohar, MBBS, MD (OBG), Sr. Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecology Apollo Cradle & Children's Hospital, Koramangala, Bangalore)

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