For vegetarian women, it is wise to eat the recommended amount of the dairy products and eggs to meet protein and calcium needs, as well as to eat more whole grains and legumes. If milk consumption is minimized, more tofu, legumes, nuts and seeds, and leafy greens and some calcium supplement are recommended. More care in balancing the diet is usually necessary whenever the diet limits specific food groups. Additional protein powder or supplemental amino acids (free form), as powder or capsules (750–1,500 mg. daily) may be useful if the protein intake is not sufficient.
For healthy breastfeeding, mother’s comfort is important. To maintain good milk production, use both breasts regularly and relax before and after nursing. Remember, good fluid and nutrient intake is essential for successful nursing and thus to the growth and development of the baby. Many women tell me that using olive or coconut oil on their nipples keeps their skin healthier and aids nursing. (See earlier Infancy program for further discussion of nursing.)
The nutrient program shown in the table gives the range of values from the minimum requirements to the optimum amounts for the needs of lactation. Refer to the table in the previous section on Pregnancy for comparison with the nutrient needs listed here. The following program refers to the combined intake of diet and nutritional supplements. Chloride, fluoride, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium are not usually supplemented unless shown by testing to be needed.
Nutrient Program for Lactation
(Range — RDAs to Optimum)
|Vitamin A*||7,000–10,000 IUs||
|Vitamin D||400–600 IUs||
|Vitamin E*||60–400 IUs||
|Vitamin K||100–400 mcg.||
|Thiamine (B1)||1.6–25.0 mg.||
|Riboflavin (B2)||1.7–25.0 mg.||
|Niacin (B3)||18–100 mg.||
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||7–250 mg.||
|Pyridoxine (B6)||2.5–100 mg.||
|Cobalamin (B12)||4–200 mcg.||
|Folic acid*||600–1,000 mcg.||
|Vitamin C*||100–2,000 mg.