Breast feeding and Vitamins: The role of vitamins in   breastfeeding and nursing babies and infants. Although calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folate are particularly important, all of these and others can come from fortified soy beverages rather than cow's milk.


The Role of Vitamins in Breast Feeding.

A woman's vitamin and calorie requirements remain quite high after giving birth if she breastfeeds. An extra 500 calories a day are needed. In addition, five nutrients are particularly important. Milk is a good way to get many nutrients. If you assume this means women should drink cow's milk, think again. There are other alternatives without the high antibiotic and hormone content of some cow's milk.

According to the editors of Prevention Magazine in Food and Nutrition, one of a series of health books, "Even after the additional nutrient demands of pregnancy, a woman's vitamin requirements remain quite high after giving birth if she feeds her baby naturally".

"You still need more of many nutrients," says Kathryn Dewey, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis.

A lactating woman should consume an extra 500 calories a day to obtain nutrients and to compensate for the energy her body expends in producing breast milk.

Five nutrients are particularly important, both because they are needed in higher amounts and because diets, particularly of American women, can be low in these: Calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folate are especially important.

The level of vitamin D in breast milk is directly related to the amonnt of D in the mother's diet. If she eats a D-deficient diet or she is not often exposed to direct sunlight to stimulate natural production of vitamin D, the American Dietetic Association recommends supplementation.

Pat Harper. R.D. of the American Dietetic Association says four or five glasses of vitamin D fortified milk a day will fulfill the vitamin D requirement.

If you assume this means cow's milk with all of its fat and lactose, and according to Consumer's Report, antibiotics and hormones,  think again. One of these, and there are probably many, is West Soy Plus, a fortified soy beverage.

Drinking cows milk and breast-feeding a baby really have nothing to do with each other!  According to John Wilson, M.D., "The antibiotics and hormones in most cow's milk can be passed to your baby and might be harmful. For that reason I recommend a fortified non-dairy soy beverage, naturally low in fat and totally devoid of lactose, that will fill all of the vitamin D and other nutrition requirements normally met by fortified milk. If you like cow's milk, go back to this after you quit breast-feeding your baby."

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Benefits of Breast Feeding!
Advice about Breast Feeding.

Questions and Answers about Breast Feeding.

More Reasons to Breast Feed Your Baby.

Directions for Breast Feeding Your Infant.

Hints for Breast Feeding in Public.

Breast Feeding and Working.

Milk Supply:
Is your milk supply adequate?
The Older Child.
New Insights on Breast Feeding.

One more reason to breast feed!
The role of vitamins in breast feeding.
The role of nutrition in breast feeding.
Pregnancy and birth control in breast feeding.

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