Lactation and Nutrition
A lactating parent will produce on average 26 oz of milk per day during the first 6 months postpartum.
The lactating parent will provide the most appropriate food for the newborn that will double their birth weight by 6 months of age.
Studies show that even if the parent is malnourished, the milk that is produced will be appropriate for the development of the infant.
The recommendation is a well balanced diet while lactating, similar to the pre-pregnancy diet.
The metabolism of a lactating body is slightly elevated compared to the pre-pregnancy metabolism (+ 500 kcal/day).
The additional 500 kcal can be found in a healthy snack. (1 apple with 2 tbsp of peanut butter OR 12 almonds with a fruit...)
A good water intake is also important to stay well hydrated. It is recommended to drink to thirst. Keeping a bottle accessible, especially while breastfeeding. Some women report feeling thirsty during the let down. Usually, 50-67 oz of water per day are necessary to feel comfortable and produce clear urine.
Juices can bring a lot of sugar and increase the calorie intake rapidly.
- Try to eat 3 well balanced meals per day + a light snack.
- Eat slowly.
- Eat fibers that help with elimination and prevent constipation (especially when using pain medication).
- Drink plain water.
- A board certified dietitian can help to establish well balanced meals.
- The last month of pregnancy you can freeze lef
t overs so you don't have to cook every single meal the first 2-3 weeks postpartum.