Diet During lactation:effect of vitamins and minerals
Today, it seems incredible that the reason why talk about breastfeeding in the media, either by social pressure on women and not for the various benefits of
The best milk for baby: breast milk
Despite the anti-breastfeeding movement and the breakthrough of the food industry in recent years, breast milk remains an irreplaceable tool for the baby. Among the various positive effects we can highlight a protective effect against respiratory tract infections both upper and lower, gastrointestinal diseases or otitis.
Furthermore, although there is no evidence of a high degree, lactation is associated with a lower prevalence of asthma, allergies, urinary tract infections or even celiac. A cognitive level, breast milk has been associated with increased neuronal development both born prematurely in July and infants 6 to 23 months in August. And although television wants us to believe that “my first cookie”, porridges and other substitutes are ideal, the reality is that what our “small” partly consume health mark as an adult
What we observe in breastfed children is that they have lower risk of obesity or other diseases of modern society as cardiovascular problems or hypertension.
However, the main problem we encountered is that the milk quality can be affected by feeding mother
A clear example of this would be a diet deficient in certain vitamins or water-soluble vitamins A and D, in which case milk produce poor these vitamins. At other times, we see that the body is able to supply the requirements of certain micronutrients such as iron, zinc or calcium thanks to the reserves of the mother.
What it is the best diet while breastfeeding?
Actually, the diet during lactation is not very different from what we understand as a healthy diet, as this will be the basis of fruits, vegetables and some animal foods that provide vitamin B12 so famous.
What if we observe is that the energy requirement may vary, especially in the first 6 months because it will be the only food that will bring the baby. Although it may vary depending on the weight and nutritional status of women, it is estimated that about 750ml milk is produced every day, which would mean an extra expense of 525Kcal for the mother.
Although caloric intake will depend on the lifestyle of women (higher activity, increased caloric requirement) if it seems clear that diets with a caloric content below 1500 calories can be detrimental to breastfeeding, however, if it is advisable to exercise during lactation instead of dieting, as it has been observed that does not affect the energy supply for the baby.
Importance of DHA breastfeeding
As for the distribution of macronutrients, protein requirements and carbohydrates are highly relevant if purchased with fat intake. The latter have gained prominence in recent decades due largely to the role of essential fatty acids such as DHA. This essential fatty acid provides a fundamental role in the baby as it is found in large amounts in the brain and retina, is essential for proper cognitive and visual development.
On the other hand, it has been observed that DHA intake during lactation may influence the development of baby `s immune system, in cases postpartum depression or even cognitive ability of the mother. An interesting fact is that the DHA content in milk is lower in smokers than non-smoking mothers but obviously, I think it is assumed that mothers who smoke will not be the only problem seriously.
Unfortunately, the “Western” diet has a very low and very high DHA omega – 6 intake, which aggravates the situation for mothers. To this we must add that the contribution of ALA (precursor of DHA) that we can find in foods like seeds, has a very low impact on the concentration of milk, so that the ideal is to look for foods containing DHA in yes and no precursors. As a global recommendation, we could talk about that for breastfeeding women, the contribution of DHA should be between 200-400 mg / day
Given that foods such as salmon, can contribute between 3-5g of DHA / EPA is clear that is an amount obtainable through the diet, however, those who for any reason can not get this amount, if interest would be supplemented with it.
How much water and salt while breastfeeding?
Macronutrients seen, we would see water intake, salt and micronutrients. In the case of water, we find the famous recommendation that is necessary to ingest more water to increase the volume of milk, which has not been able to demonstrate today. The only variation that should be taken into account is the loss by sweating (exercise and season), a fact that also occurs in non-lactating women.
In the case of the salt, the requirements do not vary, in fact, the high potassium intake through potassium fruits and vegetables, would slightly increase the amount of ingested sodium.
How many minerals during lactation?
Among the micronutrients, include the vitamin D, since its deficit in this population is often common for a low sun exposure and because the passage of vitamin D to milk is quite poor. Therefore, sun exposure is essential for the infant, as it will enable us to get enough vitamin D. In the event of it not being possible this exhibition, supplementation with vitamin if I could be of interest because it brings positive effects on the babe.
Alongside these, we B12 discussed above and which contribution is achieved exclusively through animal foods. This makes it an essential supplement for women vegans and thus avoid, neurological problems in the baby.
Finally, we found the iron, calcium and zinc. While many “experts” advise iron supplementation in the early months of breastfeeding by a decline in stocks, I think it is not necessary if a varied and healthy diet, and thus the requirements are met follows. Still, keep in mind that the first few months there will be no menstruation so iron losses are reduced. To calcium and zinc, we find a greater absorption of the former, which added to the increased consumption of plant foods (if it is not necessary to abuse dairy for calcium) make us meet the needs occurs.
In the case of zinc, we obtain a similar result, as we found in most foods we consume daily such as eggs, meat, almonds, cereals and legumes.
In short, we can see how pushing slight differences, feeding during lactation is very similar to other stages of life, where the forbidden foods would be those with low quality fats (pastries), refined foods with poor nutritional value (fast) or low fiber intake food, in short, all those foods you`d find near the box of your supermarket.
Therefore, my recommendation is to follow a healthy diet with foods rich in omega 3 and slightly increasing physical activity to return to normal activity.