This first week of August marks World Breastfeeding Week. Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months provides tremendous health benefits for your baby, because breast milk contains everything your baby needs – proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water – in just the right proportions.
Breast milk is the perfect nutritionally-complete food for babies and it’s chock-full of antibodies that protect the baby from infections. Nursing babies are at decreased risk
- for respiratory illness
- sudden infant death
- syndrome (SIDS)
- childhood obesity
Nursing moms need to eat well to produce a sufficient supply of healthy breast milk, and protein is especially important. Nursing moms should drink/eat…
- at least 3 cups of milk
- 6+ ounces of lean protein (fish, poultry, lean red meats, eggs, cheese, beans/peas)
- 4+ servings of fruits
- 3+ servings of vegetables
- 8+ servings of grains (breads, cereals, rice and pasta)
Nursing moms need 500 additional calories and more than 10 cups of fluids each day to produce adequate milk for their babies. And don’t forget to keep taking those prenatal vitamins!