Diet for a Healthy Lactating Woman

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Abstract

The nutrient and caloric requirements for lactation are set by the Institute of Medicine. The dietary pattern to meet those needs is found in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Only deficiency states for selected nutrients and/or prolonged inadequate caloric intake appear to affect the volume and quality of breast milk. Other dietary concerns of lactating women include “dieting” to return to prepregnancy weight; low maternal intake of selected nutrients due to health conditions or food choices; need for supplementation of calcium, vitamin D, and fatty acids; and use of non-nutritive sweeteners, caffeine, herbal supplements, and alcohol.

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