As soon as they fall pregnant mom’s-to-be are advised to start taking nutritional supplements to help meet their increased nutritional needs.
Dietician, Andrea du Plessis advises that nutrition during breast-feeding is vitally important, for the mother as much as for the baby. The energy, protein, and other nutrients in breast-milk come from the mother’s diet or from her body stores. If there are nutritional shortages at this time the mother’s body will ensure that her milk, and thereby the growing baby, receive the necessary nutrients.
The mother’s own energy and nutrient reserves will suffer, a process called maternal depletion. All breast-feeding mothers should therefore know how to optimise their nutritional intake for optimal health.
NUTRITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS DURING BREAST-FEEDING
RDI: 1 300mg per day
Function: Building material for bone as well as maintenance of the mother’s bone density
Sources: Dairy products, tinned sardines (bones), anchovy paste, dark green leafy vegetables, almonds. Since it is unlikely that optimal daily dietary intake of calcium will be achieved, supplementation is highly recommended
Function: Helps with calcium absorption, building of bone tissue and muscle development and functioning
Sources: Dark-green leafy vegetables, legumes, sardines, breakfast cereals, lean red meat, nuts
Function: Formation of DNA (genetic material), tissue formation and maintenance in mother and baby
Sources: Lean meat, seafood, whole grains, dried beans, eggs
Function: Energy metabolism assists growth and development of new body tissues in mother and baby
Sources: Whole grains, breakfast cereals, dairy, eggs, legumes, nuts, green vegetables
Function: Supports protein metabolism that forms part of the growth of new body tissues in mother and baby
Sources: Eggs, lean meat, whole grains, nuts, dairy
Function: Important for division of blood cells and may help in the prevention of anaemia
Sources: Lean meat and poultry, dairy, eggs
DID YOU KNOW?
Since it is highly unlikely that new moms will be able to achieve sufficient calcium intake to meet the increased needs resulting from breast-milk production, supplementation is vital. To ensure optimal nutritional value, calcium supplements should be formulated with magnesium and vitamin D.
Supplemental intake of 400-800mg per day is recommended over and above typical dietary intake, which usually ranges from 400-800mg per day.