Every drop of your breast milk is gold.
That is what we say here at ReLacto. We know exactly how precious breast milk is, and also the difficulty and challenges breastfeeding can bring. Which is why we are here to assist you in getting the best out of your breastfeeding journey with our menu that has been specially researched and made with milk-boosting ingredients.
So, let’s take a look at the basics, the nutrients in breast milk and what food influences them. Here, we discuss how food can affect the baby’s development, how breast milk helps with that, and also how a mother’s diet can affect the transfer of nutrients to her nursing baby.
What nutrients in breastmilk are influenced by mummy’s intake?
A mother’s breast milk contains multitudes of nutrients, immunity building cells, and stem cells that support the growth of her little one, and some of them are influenced by her food intake. Here are 6 of those key nutrients.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an absolute essential for building a healthy immune system. A person with a strong immune system is better protected, functions more efficiently, and does not fall sick easily. The daily recommendation of vitamin D for a person is definitely not enough for a breastfeeding mother as she is eating for two.
Being in a tropical country like Singapore, our biggest source of vitamin D is the sun. But during confinement, how often do mothers leave the house? They are, after all, advised to be resting as much as they can. So, how else can they get their share of vitamin D?
The answer, salmon – a fatty fish with a great source of vitamin D. And we have that in one of our popular dishes, Mint and Lemon Marinated Salmon.
2. Vitamin A
Vital for developing vision of the baby and also mother, vitamin A is stored in the liver until broken down and entering the bloodstream. Aside from that, it helps with skin and allergies. A baby needs to have sufficient stores of vitamin A from breast milk as he prepares to wean because deficiency in vitamin A can also cause poor growth and delayed wound healing.
So, from which foods can you get vitamin A? You can get it from pumpkin, carrots, and wolfberries, which are ingredients that you can get from our menu such as Pumpkin Rice, Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpeas in Lemon Dressing, and Tahini Carrot soup.
Choline is another nutrient that many mothers are not getting enough of. Able to be consumed in supplements such as choline bitartrate and lecithin, choline is a major player in supporting brain development. But before you run to supplements, why not consume it naturally? And you can do so by upping your intake of eggs, poultry, fish, and dairy in your breastfeeding diet meal plan with ReLacto in meals like Fish Fillet with Celery Sauce and Chicken Chop with Orange Rosemary Jus.
4. Omega 3-DHA
Another amazing nutrient needed for brain development is omega 3-DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). It is also needed for vision and the nervous system. Like all omega 3s, DHA is not made in the body, so we have to get them through external sources like prawns and fish, such as salmon and snakehead. And here at ReLacto, we include them in our breastfeeding mum meal plan. For instance, our XO Sea Prawns with Yam and Salmon with Beetroot, two delicious dishes that are great additions to a meal plan for breastfeeding mom.
Brain development is crucial in a baby and also for a mother who has just given birth, so we have here another key nutrient for that – iodine. Furthermore, it is needed for neurodevelopment, regulation of the thyroid hormone and prevention of goitre, the swelling of the thyroid gland, which is caused by an iodine deficiency. For this, you would need seafood like prawns and snakehead fish in our dishes like Fennel Seafood Soup and Ginger and Yellow Wine Prawns.
6. Vitamin B12
Last but not least, vitamin B12, a vitamin essential in the production of healthy red blood cells and nerve cells. This vitamin can only be found in animal protein like beef, chicken, and fish. So, vegetarians and vegans should take special note of this and get their vitamins from supplements.
But for meat-eaters, you can include dishes with animal meat into your breastfeeding mum meal plan. You can find dishes like Yuzu Honey Chicken, Black Pepper Wagyu Beef Cube, and Lychee Sweet and Sour Fish on our comprehensive menu here at ReLacto for your source of vitamin B12.