A lactating mother needs about 500 kcal more energy than she needed before pregnancy. To provide this amount of calories, nutritious foods (including fat and protein) are needed during this period.

Here are some of the important ingredients that are particularly important in lactating period.


Vitamin D:

This vitamin helps the mother's body absorb more calcium, which is needed for metabolism and health of the bones and teeth of the mother. Many women in Iran have vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, women during lactation are advised to take daily 10 micrograms (400 international units) of vitamin D supplements.


Vitamin A:

Due to the important role of vitamin A in the vision and development of bone and tooth tissue, the amount of vitamin A intake should be increased. The daily requirement of vitamin A during lactation for mothers younger than 18 is 1,200 and for mothers over 18 years old is 1,300 micrograms daily.


Vitamin B1 (thiamin):

This vitamin helps maintain the health of nervous system of the mother and baby. The amount of vitamin B1 needed for lactating women is 1.4 mg daily.


Vitamin B2 (riboflavin):

Taking this vitamin during lactating is beneficial for the health of the baby's skin and nervous system. Vitamin B2 also contributes to the merriment and vitality of mothers during lactation. The amount of vitamin B2 needed for lactating women is 1.6 mg daily.


Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine):

The presence of this vitamin in the body of lactating mothers helps them to make better use of their body's energy storage, thus it causes the mother's vitality. The amount of vitamin B6 needed for lactating women is 2 mg daily.


Biotin:

The presence of this nutrient in the body of lactating mothers helps to have a healthy nervous system in the baby and is also useful in metabolism of carbohydrates and fat. The required amount of biotin for lactating women is 35 micrograms per a day.


Folic Acid:

Consumption of folic acid (Vitamin B9) during lactation helps the mothers' vitality and merriment. The amount of folic acid needed for lactating women is 500 micrograms per day.


Calcium:

Calcium is important in strengthening bones and teeth as well as in preventing osteoporosis. The calcium required for lactating mothers younger than 18 is 1300 and for mothers over 18 years old is 1000 milligrams daily.


Iodine:

Due to the role of iodine in metabolism and energy production as well as the evolution of the baby's brain, the amount of iodine needed during lactation increases by about 100% compared to pre-pregnancy. The amount of iodine needed during lactation is 290 micrograms per day.


Zinc (Zinc):

Zinc intake during lactation helps brain function and grow, as well as boosting the immune system. According to nutritionists, the daily requirement of zinc is 12 mg.


Iron:

Iron intake helps maintain the body's immune system as well as the merriment and vitality of the mother and also brain development of baby. The iron requirement for lactating women is 9 mg daily.


References:

Soldavini, Jessica. "Krause's Food & The Nutrition Care Process." Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 51.10 (2019): 1225.

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