Lactation is the most important nutrition form for the healthy growth and development of the baby. It has biological and psychological effects on the relation between mother and baby. During the lactation period, the need for energy and nutrients is very high; this need is more than the one during the pregnancy.
During lactation, milk production is directly proportional to the energy obtained from the fat stored in the mother’s body and the energy taken from the protein, minerals, and vitamins taken into the body. Every nutrient that the mother intakes pass directly to the milk and directly affects the nutrition of the baby. To produce milk, the mother should consume plenty of fluids. For calcium and vitamin C, the mother should consume plenty of milk and fresh-squeezed fruit juice.
The weight-loss diet should not be followed during the lactation period. Inadequate calorie intake will directly affect the amount of milk.
The mother should not rush to return to her old bodyweight. This period may take 6 months or more. If the mother is breastfeeding her baby, she will be able to return to her old form more easily. It is normal to lose 2 kilograms each month if the mother did not gain more than the recommended weight during pregnancy. Weight loss of more than 2 kilograms per month is not healthy.
The mother should not drink alcohol and smoke during the lactation period.
Consumption of certain foods (garlic, onions, legumes, cauliflower, spices) causes flatulence for the baby. If the baby becomes uneasy after consumption of these products, the consumption of these foods should be suspended.
The Amount of Food to be Consumed Daily for Lactating Mothers
Food Groups Quantity
Milk, Yogurt 2-3 cups
Cheese In the size of 2 matchboxes
Meat, chicken, fish 3-4 portions
Eggs, legumes 1 portion
Fresh vegetables and fruits 5-7 portions
Bread 4 -6 slices
Rice, bulgur, pasta none or 2-3 portions
Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation. General Directorate of Basic Health Services. 2008.