In previous posts I’ve discussed how good breast milk is for a baby. Many may be wondering why? Why is breast milk the best for my child health wise? Lets dive into the nutrition facts of breast milk, starting with the nutrients. The facts about the nutrients can be found at americanpregnancy.org.
Here is some basic nutritional information for breast milk:
- 70 Calories
- 89.97 grams of water
- 7.4 grams of carbohydrates
- 4.2 grams of fat
- 1.3 grams of protein
Breast milk contains two types of proteins: whey and casein. The milk is made up of about 60% whey and 40% casein. This balance allows for quick and easy digestion. Casein is more present in formula, making the milk harder to digest. Combined these proteins have infection-protection properties. The fat in breast milk contributes to brain development, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and is the primary calorie source. The vitamins found in breast milk are directly correlated to the mothers vitamin intake. Pregnant and lactating women should consume both fat soluble (A, D, E, K) vitamins and water-soluble (C, and all B) vitamins. All are vital to a child’s development. Finally the carbohydrates. The main carbohydrate found in breast milk is lactose, which decreases the amount of unhealthy bacteria in the stomach. Breast milk provides the perfect balance of all the nutrients. Formula may try to replicate the nutrients produced in breast milk but it is nearly impossible. Breast milk aids in fighting infections. Nothing can compete with milk from the body.
As a mom your diet can directly affect the breast milk. Make sure you take the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. Eat a variety of foods providing different vitamins and minerals. It is suggested women to increase their caloric intake between 2,500-2,800 calories per day. Drink about 2.5-3 quarts of water daily. Overall healthy eating will benefit your baby.
For recipes and ideas of foods to eat while breastfeeding visit webmd.com.