World Breastfeeding Week: Key nutrition tips for nursing mums

·2-min read

There is no question "fed is best" when it comes to nourishing babies.

But for those mothers who are breastfeeding little ones, it's also important to consider their own diet in order to help regulate and boost milk supply.

To mark World Breastfeeding Week, leading nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert ( has shared her top nutrition tips for nursing mums.

Don't ditch dairy

Be sure to get enough calcium when breastfeeding.

"In pregnancy, you need 1000mg of calcium a day (up from 700mg) and 1250mg a day if breastfeeding," said Rhiannon. "Try to include some dairy, such as milk and yoghurt, or other calcium sources, daily. For dairy alternatives, choose unsweetened, calcium-fortified ones."

Consider choline intake

Choline is thought to work closely with folate at the start of pregnancy to support your baby's brain and neural tube development.

"You need this key nutrient in pregnancy and when breastfeeding," she explained. "A great food source is eggs. It is also found in poultry, cruciferous vegetables, nuts and peanuts, legumes, milk, and soya products. If you are vegan or vegetarian or eat a mainly plant-based diet, it is important to ensure that you are getting enough choline and you may need to speak to your healthcare provider about supplements."

Boost calories

Don't be afraid to give yourself generous portions when breastfeeding.

"If you're breastfeeding, this can use an extra 400-500 calories a day so you may need additional fuel. Bear in mind there's no one-size-fits-all advice for nutrition. The amount of energy you need to consume depends on numerous factors such as your age, genetics, and levels of physical activity," the expert continued.

Stay hydrated

As a breastfeeding mother, you will need to keep hydrated to compensate for the extra water needed to make milk.

"Breastfeeding is thirsty work so always keep water nearby," she added.

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