Post-birth nutrition for breastfeeding mothers

Nutritional care for post-birth women is very important in providing energy to the mother's body to recover, to be able to take care of her baby and provide all the necessary nutrients for her baby through breast milk.

1. Why should I pay attention to nutritional care for my mother after birth?

Breastfeeding in the first 6 months is extremely important for the development of the baby. According to the World Health Organization, it is recommended to breastfeed early within 1 hour after birth and feed the baby completely with breast milk for the first 6 months, then feed the baby additionally from the age of 6 months, combined with breastfeeding until the baby is 24 months old.

In the post-childbirth period – breastfeeding, the mother's nutrition has a great influence on the health of the child. In particular, good nutrition helps mothers have enough milk to feed their children. Therefore, post-birth mothers need to have a proper nutrition, combined with movement, scientific rest and have a comfortable mentality.

In particular, many studies have confirmed that the nutrition of the mother has a certain effect on the amount of milk and micronutrient ingredients in breast milk. Specifically, if the mother's diet lacks vitamins, especially vitamins A, D and B1, breast milk will also lack these vitamins. In addition, in the first 6 months of life, the amount of antibodies of the baby is provided directly through breast milk. Therefore, ensuring sufficient energy and nutrients needed for the mother will help prevent the best disease for the baby. Babies who are fully breast fed in the first 6 months will develop comprehensively intellectually and physically, have good resistance, are less susceptible to infections, and when growing up are less susceptible to non-contagious chronic diseases.

How do babies not be lazy to breastfeed?

Breastfeeding mothers need a reasonable diet and diet

2. Post-birth nutrition needs of nursing mothers

The energy and nutrient needs of the nursing mother are quite high, even higher than during pregnancy because the mother loses a lot of energy and nutrients through blood loss during labor, producing colostrum and breastfeeding immediately after birth.

2.1 Energy needs

The energy needs of breastfeeding mothers will be about 500 kcal/day higher than that of women who are not pregnant. In addition, the energy needs of the mother during breastfeeding also depend on the state of physical activity and weight gain during pregnancy. Specifically:

  • Women before and during pregnancy have good nutrition, an increase of 10-12kg: It is necessary to ensure energy needs reach 2,260 kcal/day for light workers, 2,550 kcal/day for the average worker;
  • Women before and during pregnancy have a bad diet, gaining less than 10kg: More food and eating is needed to ensure energy needs when breastfeeding.

2.2 Demand for nutrients

  • Protein: In the first 6 months after birth, the total amount of protein to be provided to breastfeeding women is 79g/day. In the next 6 months, the total amount of protein to be supplied is 73g/day. In terms of proportion, the amount of animal protein should account for more than 30% of the total protein consumed. Post-birth mothers should choose foods with high protein content such as fish, meat, eggs, milk, beans,…;
  • Fat :The amount of fat to provide for breastfeeding mothers should account for 20-30% of the energy serving. Fats such as EPD, DHA, n3, n6,… there are many in fish oil, some types of fatty fish, some vegetable oils,… are recommended for use because they are important for the development of the baby's brain and vision;
  • Vitamins and minerals: Adequate supplementation is required for the breastfeeding mother. Accordingly, post-birth mothers should eat more than 400g of fruits and vegetables a day and eat enough fiber to avoid constipation;
  • Water: To produce enough milk for the needs of the baby, the breastfeeding mother should drink about 2- 2.5 liters of water per day.

Drinking water

Water is a necessary drink for post-birth pregnant mothers

3. Guidelines for proper post-birth nutrition care

2.1 Increase the number of meals during the day

The energy and nutrient needs of post-birth and breastfeeding women increase, so the all-day diet should be divided into several meals: 3-6 meals/day to provide enough essential nutrients.

3.2 Variety of food groups

Breastfeeding mothers' meals should be varied foods with all 4 groups of nutrients: Powdered sugar, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet, combining a variety of healthy foods including:

  • Starch: Rice, noodles, pho, bread, potatoes,…;
  • Dairy products: Fresh milk, yogurt, cheese,…;
  • Fats: Fish oil, cold sea fish, nuts;
  • Protein: Meat, fish, eggs, milk, beans, sesame, cereals,…;
  • Vitamins and minerals: Contained in vegetables and fruits;
  • Water: It is recommended to drink 12-15 cups of water per day.

Every day, breastfeeding mothers need food including: 450 – 500g of cereals, 50- 100g of beans and bean products, 80-100g of fish and meat, 40-50g of eggs, 300 -400g of vegetables, 100 – 200g of fruit, 20g of grease.

3.3 Foods to eat

  • Salmon: Rich in nutrients for newborn mothers. Salmon has a lot of DHA, which improves the mood of the mother and is very important for the development of the baby's nervous system. As recommended, every week post-birth women should eat about 336g of salmon;


Salmon is a recommended food for post-birth women
  • Low-fat dairy preparations: Yogurt, fresh milk, cheese provide a large amount of vitamin D to help the bones of the mother and baby stay strong. In addition, milk is rich in proteins, B vitamins and calcium. Every day, the mother should drink about 700ml of milk;
  • Beef: Rich in iron, protein and vitamin B12, providing enough energy for the mother. Women who breastfeed should eat lean beef to limit fat intake to the body;
  • Vegetables: Greens such as spinach, green cauliflower are rich in vitamin A, good for the health of mother and baby. In addition, vegetables, especially legumes, are also abundant sources of vitamin C, iron and calcium, good for health;
  • Fruits: Post-baby and breastfeeding women should eat at least 150g of fruit a day. Citrus fruits rich in vitamin C are good for the post-birth mother;
  • Whole grains, brown rice: Provide enough energy for the mother and create quality milk for the baby.

3.4 Foods to avoid

When breastfeeding, the foods the mother eats can be transmitted through the source of milk for the baby. Therefore, breastfeeding women should be careful with the following foods:

  • Alcohol, beer: The child's nervous system and digestive system are very immature, so they need to be protected by alcohol even if it is very small. Moreover, alcohol can also affect the milk production capacity of the mother;
  • Tea, coffee: Breastfeeding mothers should not drink too much of these stimulants because they will cause the baby to break down, discomfort, difficulty sleeping,…;


Post-birth women should minimize coffee use
  • Types of fish containing mercury: Swordfish, sharks, tuna,… contains a lot of mercury, which can be transmitted to the baby through breast milk, affecting the nervous development of the baby;
  • Heavy-smelling spices: Onions, garlic can affect the taste of breast milk, making the baby uncomfortable when breastfeeding;
  • Spicy food: Can irritate the mother's digestive system and adversely affect the baby's intestinal tract;
  • Food is easily rancid or suspected rancid.

At the same time, the mother after eating any food should monitor the baby's reaction because they may cause the baby to be allergic to manifestations such as poor feeding,diarrhea, ingestion, rash, swelling of the eyes, swelling of the lips, runny nose, vomiting,… Allergenic foods include cow's milk, beef, eggs, oysters, shrimp, crab,…

3.5 Some important notes when caring for post-birth nutrition

  • Do not abstain excessively but need to eat well and varied to have enough energy to take care of the baby;
  • Choose fresh food, ensure hygiene;
  • Have a proper rest regime, avoid anxiety, sadness, insomnia ,keep the spirit optimistic, comfortable;
  • Use with caution during breastfeeding, especially antibiotics, hormones, or medications that act on the nervous system

Establishing a scientific post-birth nutrition will help the mother have enough milk to feed her baby, help her have enough energy to take care of her baby and help her have comprehensive development both physically and brainly.

If you have any questions regarding post-birth nutrition for pregnant mothers, you can leave a question to open the section"ASK DR SHARE99" right on the page.

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About: Minh Quynh

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&d=identicon&r=gI am the author of I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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