The issue of diet for a nursing mamma can sometimes become a little confused.
Some pre and post natal vitamin supplements claim to 'supercharge your breastmilk' for the good of your baby, implying that without extra vitamins and minerals, your baby will not thrive as well.
Diet for whom?
However, research suggests that even if the mother's vitamin and mineral reserves are low, that her breastmilk will still be rich in the nutrients required for her baby to thrive.
Diet for you!
Some women can be put off breastfeeding by assuming that they have to follow a rather saintly diet while nursing.
However, this is simply not the case. It stands to reason that what you eat and drink will end up in your breastmilk in small quantities, but not enough to adversely affect your baby (unless you follow an unusually extreme diet). What does a breastfeeding mamma need?
With diet established as important for the mother rather than the baby, it is important to bear in mind the two things that a nursing mamma actually needs: calories and fluid.
Breastfeeding can use up 500 calories a day, and if these are not found from a mamma's pregnancy fat stores, they will come from her own reserves.
With this in mind, it is very important to find strategies to eat well during the day. Visit mammasaver's Quick Tips for Quick Food page for some helpful suggestions.
Does this mean that I can eat cake?
Lord, yes. Remember that the more you take care of yourself, the longer you are likely to want to breastfeed for.
For more information on the link between maternal diet and breastmilk, visit