Breast milk is the milk produced by the breasts or mammary glands of a human female to feed a child. Milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborns before they are able to eat and digest other foods; older infants and toddlers may continue to be breastfedin combination with other foods from six months of age when solid foods should be introduced. In preterm children who do not have the ability to suck during their early days of life, avoiding bottles and tubes, and use of cups to feed expressed milk and other supplements is reported to result in better breastfeeding extent and duration subsequently.
Human breast milk provides all of the vitamins and essential minerals and trace elements micronutrients that are required by the normal term infant, until weaning. With a few exceptions, excessive micronutrient supplies to the mother, or a moderate deficiency in her diet, do not greatly alter the supply to the infant. Thus, the infant is well-protected by maternal homeostatic processes, although the mechanisms of these are not yet well understood.
If you eat a reasonably-well balanced diet, vitamin supplements are not considered necessary for breastfeeding mothers. This is even true for mothers who are eating for three during tandem nursing, or while breastfeeding during pregnancy see Nutrition for mom in our Nursing During Pregnancy and Tandem Nursing FAQ. Such a diet would ordinarily supply a sufficient quantity of essential nutrients… Encourage sufficient intake of fluids — especially water, juice, and milk — to alleviate natural thirst.
Background: Parents are advised to avoid the direct sun exposure of their newborns. Therefore, the vitamin D status of exclusively breastfed newborns is entirely dependent on the supply of vitamin D from breast milk. Objectives: We explored concentrations of ergocalciferol vitamin D 2 and cholecalciferol vitamin D 3 vitamin D and hydroxivitamin D 2 plus D 3 hydroxyvitamin D [25 OH D] in foremilk and hindmilk during the first 9 mo of lactation and identified indexes of importance to the concentrations.
Colostrum is also very easy to digest. And what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. For example, colostrum is sometimes referred to as a natural vaccination because its levels of antibodies and white blood cells are so high.
The nutrition requirements for breastfeeding are similar to pregnancyand women are recommended to continue eating similarly to how they were eating during their pregnancy. However, a breastfeeding woman needs more calories per day than she did during pregnancy, and it is important that the calories come from nutritious foods. Breastfeeding women usually lose 1 to 4 pounds per month without restricting their calorie intake.
Vitamins are essential for your baby's growth and development. Experts still recommend a few supplements. But, for the most part, your breast milk has enough custom-made nutrition full of all the nutrients, including vitamins, to support your child as he grows.
Vitamin D is needed to support healthy bone development and to prevent rickets, a condition that causes weak or deformed bones. Vitamin D deficiency rickets among breastfed infants is rare, but it can occur if an infant does not receive additional vitamin D from foods, a vitamin D supplement, or adequate exposure to sunlight. Breast milk alone does not provide infants with an adequate amount of vitamin D, even if mothers are taking vitamins containing vitamin D. Shortly after birth, most infants will need an additional source of vitamin D.