Unraveling The Mysteries of Mother’s Milk

Breastfeeding is understood as the first period of life that includes several months during which the newborn feeds slowly and exclusively on breast milk.

The mammary glands are prepared for breastfeeding since adolescence. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and that cause breast growth, increased ducts and alveoli, establish the point for the formal onset of breastfeeding. It is the sucking of the baby the trigger for the production and secretion of milk.

Breast milk is a substance that contains macro and micronutrients in adequate proportions for the growth and development of the newborn. This situation is extended for several months of the life of the newborn and requires an adaptation in the mother’s diet to optimally meet her needs and those of the newborn, without risking any risk to the health of both.

The mother’s diet should evolve in quality and quantity, according to the variations in the nutritional requirements of the infant, taking into account the type of breastfeeding that is carried out. The quality of the food consumed by the mother has direct consequences on the volume and composition of the milk and on its health and that of the infant.

The secretion of milk makes breastfeeding a process, during which part of the nutrients obtained through the habitual intake is used to produce this food. It is assumed that part of the additional energy needs for milk production during the first months of breastfeeding are satisfied with the fat stores accumulated during pregnancy.

The feeding during lactation must be rich in energy, lipids, proteins, and vitamins in order to meet the needs for production

The energy should be increased by an additional 500 kcal/day and the proteins by 2 g / Kg weight/day. The other nutrients in a similar amount than during pregnancy.

Nutrient composition table of breast milk, you can check

Nutrients in breast milkEstimated secretion (600 ml)Estimated secretion (1000 ml)
Energy (kcal)420700
Proteins (g)6.310.5
Vitamin A (µg)400670
Vitamin D (mg)0.30.6
Vitamin E (mg)1.42.3
Vitamin K (µg)1.32.1
Vitamin C (mg)2440
Thiamine (mg)0.140.21
Riboflavin (mg)0.210.35
Niacin (mg)0.91.5
Vitamin B6 (mg)0.060.09
Folates (µg)fifty83
Vitamin B12 (µg)0.61.0
Calcium (mg)168280
Phosphorus (mg)84140
Magnesium (mg)twenty-one35
Iron (mg)0.180.3
Zinc (mg)0.91.5
Iodine (µg)66100
Selenium (µg)1220