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Breastfeeding




  1. Where can I find a dietitian who works with breastfeeding women? Answer
  2. What is the fat content of human milk? Would you have a reference for this? Answer
  3. What should a non-birth mother do (nutritionally) if she wants to nurse her infant child? Answer
  4. I gained about 30 pounds during pregnancy and have lost none of it even though he was breast-fed for 8 months. Answer


Where can I find a dietitian who works with breastfeeding women?

The Women's Health dietetic practice group of the American Dietetic Association specializes in working with breast feeding women. Many dietitians are breast feeding consultants in state public health agencies. You can find a Find a dietitian on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Include your zip code or city / state and the type of service you want (individual consultation) with expertise in Lactation / breast feeding or nutrition during and after pregnancy.


What is the fat content of human milk? Would you have a reference for this?

Human milk has 1.3 gms of fat per fluid ounce and 11 grams in 1 cup (USDA Survey database). Human milk is perfect for little humans whereas cows milk is better for little cows. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends breast feeding for the first year of life. About time!


Could you please answer what a non-birth mother should do (nutritionally) if she wants to nurse her infant child?

First, I would suggest talking to a lactation consultant for how-to breast-feed an adopted baby. Contact your state public health department, WIC or a certified lactation consultant to locate qualified professionals. You will need to prepare your breasts and might need some hormone shots to support breast-feeding. Talk to your doctor about this too.

Second, it is never too soon to start modeling eating healthy for a growing child. Try out the Healthy Body Calculator and add that you are breast-feeding. You can include slow weight loss (1 pound per week) if that is your goal as well. The calculator will include the extra nutrients you need for breast-feeding. You will need more of every nutrient except Vitamin D and iron. When you start breast-feeding, the quality and quality of breast milk is dependent on the mother's calorie and fluid intake. A 3-month-old infant can drink up to 3/4 liter of breast milk per day and that fluid has to come from the mother's system. The nutrient content of breast milk does vary between mothers and the composition of milk changes over the length of breast-feeding. Only when the mother is malnourished or not eating does this affect the nutrient content in breast milk. Your body is 80% efficient in turning your energy (calories) into milk energy (calories).

Next, use My Plate to plan healthy meals and read My Plate topic. Since there is a range of servings per food group in My Plate, choose the larger number of servings i.e. 3 milk, 4 meat, 3 fruit and 5 vegetable to meet your increased nutrient and calorie needs. You may not need 11 servings from the Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta group though depending on your calorie needs. You may find that 9 servings are adequate.


My first baby was born last September 24. I gained about 30 pounds during pregnancy and have lost none of it even though he was breast-fed for 8 months. My suspicion is that lack of exercise is my particular problem. My question, though, is related to advice I have received not to worry about losing weight until after the next (presumably last) baby, which my husband and I hope to produce next year. Should I make a concerted effort to lose weight now (if I can summon the will power) or wait until later?

If you have no other health concerns, I would strongly recommend you start losing the weight now. I do not believe in will power, which doesn't last. I do believe in slow weight loss combined with regular exercise. See the overweight.

If you gained 30 pounds during pregnancy and haven't lost it by the time you get pregnant again, then you may have even more weight to lose after the birth of your second baby.

Breast-feeding actually increases your metabolic rate to about 2300 calories per day (non-pregnant women need about 1800 calories per day). The amount of breast milk produced is dependent on your calorie and fluid intake. Some women lose weight, some don't breast feeding.






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