81 Tagore Lane, TAG A, #01-11 Singapore 787502 ♦ Booking : +65 6360 1000

Balancing Nutrients: Why Protein, Carbs and Fats Matter for Lactating Mums

Balancing Nutrients Why Protein, Carbs and Fats Matter for Lactating Mums (1)

Just like a perfectly balanced kaya toast combines the sweet, creamy kaya with rich butter, a well-rounded diet during breastfeeding needs a precise blend of proteins, carbs, and fats. These nutrients are vital for lactating mums as they influence the quality and quantity of breast milk, directly impacting both maternal health and the baby’s nourishment. In this blog, we will explore how balancing these essential nutrients supports you and your baby and highlight the best foods to increase breast milk.

Proteins: Building Blocks for Recovery and Immunity

Proteins are indispensable for new mothers, playing a crucial role in rebuilding tissues damaged during childbirth and enhancing immune functions to protect both mother and baby from infections. It is important to include a variety of protein sources in your diet as a lactating mum, as this diversity contributes to a balanced diet and results in high-quality breast milk. High-quality proteins from lean meats like chicken and turkey facilitate efficient tissue repair, while eggs provide essential nutrients such as choline for brain health and cellular growth. Dairy products, rich in calcium, support bone recovery and strength, and plant-based options like legumes provide fibre and essential amino acids for overall health and digestive well-being.

Carbohydrates: Sustaining Energy for Motherhood

Carbohydrates are more than just energy sources for lactating mothers; they form the foundation of day-to-day endurance and well-being. Opting for complex carbohydrates helps maintain energy levels by preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. Whole grains like brown, red, and black rice are ideal, releasing energy gradually to sustain you through a demanding day. Meanwhile, quinoa and barley, rich in proteins and fibres, contribute to fullness and nutritional balance while aiding digestion. Including starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash can provide us with alternative sources of carbohydrates that contain different vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals that wholegrain would provide.

Fats: Supporting Development with Healthy Lipids

Fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, play a vital role in the diet of lactating mothers, profoundly affecting both maternal health and infant development. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is essential for babies’ brain development and visual acuity. The balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is crucial; a proper ratio ensures that breast milk is rich in DHA, directly influencing your baby’s developmental outcomes. To maintain this balance, swap out saturated fats like palm oil for healthier vegetable oils. Reduce intake of deep-fried food to reduce saturated fat and trans fat to not more than twice a week. Apart from that, include foods increase breast milk, like omega 3-DHA content, like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, at least 2-3 times per week. This dietary strategy ensures that you and your baby receive the benefits of healthier fats, optimally supporting your health and your child’s growth. Avocados and seeds such as flaxseeds and chia seeds are also excellent sources of healthy fats and fibre that can be easily incorporated into your diet to enhance digestive health.

Balancing Nutrients Why Protein, Carbs and Fats Matter for Lactating Mums-2

Applying the Quarter, Quarter, Half Rule

Combining the right balance of proteins, carbs, and fats in meals is crucial for lactating mums and can be efficiently managed by following the Singapore Healthy Plate model. This model suggests filling one-quarter of your plate with high-quality proteins, another quarter with complex carbohydrates, and the remaining half with colourful vegetables. This ensures a well-rounded intake of all essential nutrients.

To make meal planning straightforward and less time-consuming, aim to include foods that boost milk supply, like fish, at least twice a week. Fish is a high-quality protein and a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for your baby’s development and your health. Moreover, always stock your fridge with various vegetables, focusing on including at least two different colours at every meal. Quick and easy options like lettuce and cherry tomatoes can be tossed into any dish without additional preparation, adding nutritional value and vibrant colours.

A practical tip for those adjusting to whole grains is to mix white rice with brown rice in a 50:50 ratio. This method eases the transition to whole grains while still enjoying white rice’s familiar texture and taste. It also offers the additional benefits of fibre and essential nutrients.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining a balanced diet rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and fats is essential for lactating mums. Not only does this support your physical recovery and health, but it also ensures that your baby receives the best nutrition through breast milk. 

Are you looking for help to achieve this balance in your diet? At Tian Wei Signature, our confinement food service is designed to offer foods to boost milk supply, prepared under the careful guidance of our in-house dietitian. With over 90 fusion and traditional dishes, our diverse menu caters to various tastes and dietary needs. You can customise your meals to exclude any ingredients you prefer not to have, ensuring that your diet is as unique as your recovery journey. Enjoy the convenience of delicious and balanced meals delivered directly to your doorstep, helping you focus on nurturing your baby.


  • Eunice Tan, In-house Dietitian

    Eunice Tan graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Dietetics with Nutrition from International Medical University. She is a certified Prenatal Dietitian, Accredited by Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association and also the in-house dietitian for Tian Wei Signature and ReLacto. With her expertise and interest in nutrition for women and diet planning, Eunice helps to support mothers get the key nutrients they need for recovery and lactation.