Last update May 16, 2019
Very Low Risk
The recommended daily caloric intake during breastfeeding is 2,300 to 2,500 calories; in the case of twins, it reaches 2,600-3,000 calories (Ares 2016).
Slow weight loss (less than 1.5 to 2 kg per month) through a balanced diet of at least 1,800 calories, along with the practice of moderate aerobic exercise is considered safe for the mother and the infant, provided that the mother does not have malnutrition problems and breastfeeding is on demand (Ares 2016, Amorim 2013, Dewey 1998).
Prolactin levels increase in mothers who follow a hypocaloric diet and exercise, ensuring milk production (McCrory 1999).
Of the approximately 620 calories a breastfeeding mother needs to produce about 750 ml of milk, only 450 calories are obtained from the diet, the remaining 170 calories come from the mobilization of the reserves of subcutaneous fat and body tissues (Butte 2005, Butte 1984, Paul 1979).
In mothers who have a sufficient diet, most of the proteins in breastmilk come from those taken from the diet (Motil 1998).
The regulation of milk production depends mainly on the demand of the infant, being secondary age, dietary intake and maternal nutritional status (Lawrence 2016, p67), so that all mothers, except in extreme cases of malnutrition, produce milk in adequate quantity and quality (Ares 2016).
Despite insufficient maternal intake of nutrients, women with good nutritional status produce milk of adequate quantity and quality to maintain the growth and health of their children; malnourished mothers produce milk of good quality (there may be a slight decrease in protein, fat and calories), but in smaller volumes (Lawrence 2016, p94), so that, if the dietary intake is insufficient, there is a risk of exhausting the nutritional reserves and the health of the mother; diets of fewer than 1,500 calories are not recommended during breastfeeding (Ares 2016).
There is good quality evidence that exclusive breastfeeding helps to regain pre-pregnancy weight earlier than if breastfeeding is partial (mixed) or there is no breastfeeding, and that prolonged breastfeeding helps maintain that loss and as well as body fat loss (Schalla 2017, López 2016, Neville 2014, Sámano 2013, Hatsu 2008, Dewey 2004, 2001 and 1993, Kramer 1993).
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Asociación Española de Bancos de Leche Humana of Spain
Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM