This article may help answer:
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
What are the best supplements for breastfeeding?
What is in breast milk?
For those women who can breastfeed and choose to do so, nursing a baby can be extremely rewarding. However, don’t expect too much of yourself or your newborn at first. Breastfeeding is a skill you will both learn and perfect as you go along. You may even need breastfeeding lessons from an expert to help you on your way.
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Why is diet important during breastfeeding?
Not only is your breast milk the best source of nutrition for your baby, breastfeeding has physical and emotional benefits for you both.
For the first few months of life your baby can survive - and thrive - entirely on breastmilk alone
On a practical level, your breast milk contains the perfect mix of nutrients for your baby’s growth, and helps protect against infections and allergies. For the first few months of life your baby can survive - and thrive - entirely on breastmilk alone. Pretty incredible.
Bonding through breastfeeding is another thing many women start to enjoy about it, and once you get the hang of it breastfeeding can be one of the most peaceful times of the day.
Anything else? Breastfeeding releases a hormone that encourages your uterus to contract back to its previous size. You will also find calories burned through breastfeeding, can help you get back into your favourite jeans.
What if I struggle to breastfeed?
Like riding a bike, we aren’t born knowing how to do this, and many new mums need help with breastfeeding. Don’t be afraid to ask your midwife, nurse or GP for support. Or phone the 24-hour National Breastfeeding Help Hotline or on 1800 686 268.
What is in breast milk?
Human breast milk is generally made up of 87% water, 4% fat, 1% protein and 7% lactose.
Breast milk also adapts to the changing needs of your child as she grows. For example, in the first few days after birth, you will produce what is known as colostrum, which is a sticky, yellow-coloured liquid. Colostrum benefits include protecting your baby from infection and helping build their immune system. After a few days your breastmilk will “come in” and will look a lot more like the milk you’re used to seeing.
Choosing a breastfeeding supplement
According to the Federal Government website EatForHealth.gov.au, breastfeeding mums are likely to need a breastfeeding supplement with iodine and folate. Other guidelines, including the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) recommend that all breastfeeding women take an iodine-containing supplement.
Elevit Breastfeeding vitamins are specially tailored to support the increased nutritional requirements of breastfeeding mums. They support energy levels and contain both folic acid (a form of folate) and iodine. It also includes health-promoting:
- Betacarotene: Supports healthy development of your baby’s overall vision and eye health
- Omega-3 (DHA): Promotes healthy development of baby’s brain and eyesight
- B-Group Vitamins and Iron: Assists with energy requirements
- Vitamin D: To aid calcium absorption
- Zinc and Vitamin C: Supports healthy immunity