Nutrition Tips for Optimal Wellness

At CosmetiCare, we’re focused on treating the Whole You.  That’s why we’ve asked a nutrition expert to share tips for optimal wellness.  This month find out about how diet impacts breastfeeding women’s milk composition and the long-lasting effects it leaves on breastfed children.   

Diet For A Healthy Breastfeeding Mom and Baby

Healthy Breastfeeding Mom

Diet has a fundamental influence on breastfeeding women's milk composition and leaves long-lasting effects on breastfed children.

The flavor of human milk is an important taste experience for newborn infants. Human milk is slightly sweet, and it carries the flavors of the compounds ingested by the mother, such as mint, vanilla, garlic, and even alcohol. Infant responses to flavors in milk depend on the length of time since the mother consumed the food, and the amount and frequency of the flavor that the mother consumed (new flavors versus repeated exposure). Infants seem more interested in their mother's milk when flavors are new to them, and they begin to develop and acquire a more diverse palate that leads them to be more accepting of foods later in life.

The ideal diet is one of a wide variety that includes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables of all colors, dairy products, and protein sources that come from beans, nuts and seeds, seafood, lean meats, and poultry.

Breastfeeding women experience hormonal, physical, and psychosocial benefits. Breastfeeding immediately increases levels of oxytocin, a hormone that stimulates uterine contractions, minimizes maternal postpartum blood loss and helps the uterus to return to its nonpregnant size.

Breastfeeding is also extremely beneficial for the baby. It is considered the primary source of active and passive immunity in the early vulnerable months and years of life and has been reported to be the most effective preventative means of reducing the death rate of children under five.

Due to the number of calories burned while breastfeeding, it is estimated that approximately 400-450 calories a day must be added to the diet to maintain weight, milk composition and volume. Many women set goals to lose weight after childbirth which can be accomplished through modest calorie reduction during lactation without significant decreases in the quality of the maternal diet, milk composition, and volume.

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