Breastfeeding: essential for the health of the baby and the mother

Most women have the opportunity to breastfeed, but they should always have good information. Therefore, follow some tips for good baby nutrition through the Breastfeeding, will always be an important resource. It is also good to have the support that the family offers, and the health care system.

The World Health Organization recommends that the baby be exclusively breastfed in the first six months of development. After that age, you can start incorporating soft foods, while breastfeeding until the baby is 2 years old.

The importance of breastfeeding

There are many benefits offered by Breastfeeding, not only for the child but also for the mother. Among these are that breast milk helps protect the baby from gastrointestinal infections. This problem is not simply observed in less developed countries, but also in more industrialized ones.

When breastfeeding is started from the first hours of life, it not only offers protection to the newborn, it also reduces neonatal mortality. The risks of a baby dying are increased by infections and diarrhea, mainly caused by artificial feeding or with little breast milk.

Also, the breastmilk it offers a significant amount of nutrients and energy, which are essential for the child. It offers even more than just half the energy required by a child between 6 and 12 months of age. And this amount is a third between the ages of 12 to 24 months.

Every child who has been breastfed is less likely to suffer from obesity. In addition to this, you will get better results when you take intelligence tests, and school attendance will be higher. It has also been associated Breastfeeding to earn higher income in adulthood. It is an improvement for child development, and reduces health costs due to the consumption of breastmilk. In this way, it generates economic benefits for both the family and the country.

If a longer duration of breastfeeding is achieved, it will offer benefits of great importance for the general health of the mother. It reduces the chances of getting breast and ovarian cancer. In addition, it helps to keep pregnancies spaced, since exclusive breastfeeding produces hormonal effects, which induce amenorrhea. This is used in certain cases as a contraceptive method, although it is not without flaws, which is known as the lactational amenorrhea method.

Other benefits of breastfeeding are attributed to development, and the bond established between mother and baby. Therefore, it is ideal to stimulate proper growth of the jaw and mouth, as well as to secrete hormones that satisfy the baby's hunger.

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Nutrition tips and breastfeeding

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Many women have doubts about the foods and drinks they can consume, in order to avoid affecting the baby's diet. For that, it is important to understand the most basic concepts of nutrition in the Breastfeeding, and follow certain tips that could be of excellent help.

Consume additional calories

Nursing mothers will most likely need to eat more, about an additional 300 to 400 calories a day, to maintain body energy.

In order to achieve this amount of extra calories, you need to choose foods that are high in nutrients. An example could be, consuming a slice of bread (preferably whole wheat) spread with peanut butter. After that you should eat some fruit, such as an apple or a banana, plus 227 grams of yogurt.

Choosing healthy foods for consumption

Ideally, appropriately healthy foods are consumed to increase breast milk production. Choose foods high in protein, such as eggs, dairy products, certain legumes, and even low-mercury shellfish. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits should also be consumed.

When you want to bring good BreastfeedingIt is very important to properly wash both fruits and vegetables. This will reduce the amount of residue left behind by pesticides. Being elements that could be highly damaging to the quality of the breastmilk to breastfeed the baby.

Drink fluids frequently

One of the most helpful tips is to drink fluids before you even feel thirsty. But you will also have to increase your fluid intake if the urine is very dark in color. Having a glass of water on hand at all times is essential for breastfeeding.

However, it is necessary to be very careful with excessively sweet drinks, and with certain juices. Consuming large amounts of sugar could lead to unnecessary and unhealthy weight gain. But not only that, it would also sabotage the mother's efforts to shed the extra weight she gained in pregnancy.

Keep in mind, too, that consuming too much caffeine could become a serious problem. Therefore, it is necessary to set limits to only drink a maximum of three cups of coffee per day. An interesting fact is that the caffeine in Breastfeeding It could cause disturbances in the baby's sleep, or also make it unnecessary.

Diet Caution

There are certain foods or also beverages included in the diet that irritate or generate an allergic reaction in the baby through breast milk. When it is observed that the child is upset or has a rash, symptoms such as diarrhea or even congestion, the pediatrician should be consulted.

If there is suspicion about something in the diet that is affecting the baby in some way, food should be avoided. In the event that a few days have passed and the symptoms have not improved, a specialist should be consulted. It would be advisable to eliminate the consumption of foods that are made with cow's milk, eggs, peanuts or wheat.

Certain women in full Breastfeeding, comment that they avoid foods that are spicy or those that generate gases. According to this statement, they say it could help, although scientific research has not yet confirmed anything about it.

Regarding the relationship between the baby's behavior and feeding, a food diary would be ideal. This diary must include absolutely everything that is eaten and drunk on a daily basis. Notes should also be included about the baby's reactions, whether positive or negative. If removing any food or drink from the diet does not reduce the discomfort, it is included again and other factors are considered.

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Vegetarian feeding in lactation

For those women who have decided to implement a vegetarian diet, they should know that they have to incorporate highly nutritious foods, to carry a correct Breastfeeding. Some tips for these cases are as follows.

Choose foods high in protein, calcium, and iron

The greatest sources of iron in plant foods are lentils, certain fortified cereals, peas, dehydrated fruits, and green leafy vegetables. This will greatly help the body to absorb iron from the foods mentioned, through breast milk.

To include protein in this type of diet, you must consider the consumption of eggs and plant sources. These sources include most legumes, dried fruits such as walnuts, soy meat, and also whole grains.Other food options in a vegetarian diet for the BreastfeedingThese would be fortified and enriched products.

Take food supplements

Most likely, your routine doctor will recommend taking the supplements. Where preferably vitamin B-12 should be ingested daily. This is a vitamin that is very easily found in animal products. That is why it is very difficult to obtain when eating a vegetarian diet.

For the development and general growth of the baby, the intake of vitamin B-12 is essential. In addition to this, having a diet both vegan and vegetarian, normally requires the consumption of food supplements. Due to this, it is always recommended to consult with the doctor to implement the intake of Omega-3 as a supplement.

When you do not get enough nutrients through food, as in the case of vitamin D, you will have to take supplements. The baby requires vitamin D, so that his body correctly absorbs phosphorus and also calcium. If not, a deficiency in nutrients like these would even cause rickets. Being the consequence of disqualification and weakening in the bones. However, it must be remembered that it is the specialist who offers the best advice regarding the intake of supplements.

Drinks and foods to avoid when breastfeeding

Eliminate certain drinks and foods to promote good Breastfeeding is of utmost importance. Therefore, the elements that should be avoided are those mentioned below.

Alcoholic drinks

There is no alcohol level within the breastmilk that is considered possibly safe for the child. If alcoholic beverages have been ingested, it will be necessary to avoid breastfeeding the baby, until the alcohol is completely eliminated from the body.

Generally, for this to happen, it takes at least three hours for 355 milliliters of beer ingested. For 149 milliliters of wine or up to 44 milliliters of an alcoholic beverage with 40% alcohol, it will also be 3 hours. Although all this also depends on the body weight of the person.

If a breast pump is used for the extraction of milk and thus eliminate it, at no time will it accelerate the total elimination of alcohol in the body.

Caffeinated drinks

As already mentioned, the maximum amount of caffeinated drinks to consume is 3 cups per day. Even so, it is preferable to do everything possible to avoid consuming these products, in order to promote the good health of the baby. Remember that sleep disturbances and unnecessary concerns in the child are not positive things.


Certain shellfish represent an excellent source for obtaining fatty acids such as omega 3 and protein. However, for the most part, shellfish have too much mercury and even other contaminants. High exposure to factors such as these through Breastfeeding, increases the risks of the baby developing nervous problems.

One of the tips to follow when breastfeeding is to place limits on the intake of seafood to avoid exposure to mercury. When it comes to consuming local fish, you will have to pay attention to the recommendations of the specialists. Normally, a maximum of 170 grams of fish are consumed per week.

Mixed eating has risks

When other fluids or other foods are offered to the baby when he is less than 6 months old, it causes risks that must be kept in mind. If the baby's feeding is mixed, the production of breast milk will decrease significantly, as the child stops suckling.

Another of the most important risks of this practice is that the appearance of diarrhea increases, like other infectious diseases. Babies do not require any additional fluid from the breastmilk. Therefore, water should also not be supplied before 6 months of age. Since milk contains everything necessary for the baby, regardless of hot weather.

To finish the topic, it is important to remember that a rigorous diet is not required to breastfeed. You just have to focus on choosing healthy foods.


Mayo clinic