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Recommended daily intake of nutrients for a breastfeeding mother

Recommended daily intake of nutrients for a breastfeeding mother

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You might have come across the term, “recommended dietary allowance or RDA” while reading through nutrition articles.

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Now that you are breastfeeding a baby, eating right is important for you and your baby’s health. Knowing a little more about RDA can help you track your daily nutrient intake.

What is RDA?

Recommended dietary allowance or RDA is the amount of nutrients you need to eat in a day, which will help you maintain good health. The RDA is also sometimes referred as the recommended daily intake.

Both quantity and quality of breast milk is affected by what you eat. Ensure adequate nutrition by eating a variety of foods including whole grains, pulses and legumes, milk and milk products, fish chicken, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Who decides RDA?

In India, the National Institute of Nutrition under the Indian Council of Medical Research at Hyderabad develops the RDA.

How is the RDA decided?

The RDA for a nutrient is decided keeping in mind a number of aspects of daily life that determine the daily requirement of that nutrient.

Some of these aspects are how much of the nutrient is absorbed and used by the body, physical activity of individuals, margin of safety of the nutrient, individual variation, dietary traditions and practices etc.

What are the nutrient requirements of a woman who is breastfeeding?

As mentioned earlier, nutrient requirements differ depending on how active you are. During lactation, nutrient requirements are increased to fulfil your and your baby’s nutrient requirements.  The RDA for lactating mothers is provided for initial 6 months and 6–12 months of lactation.

Here is the RDA for a sedentary (woman with no or irregular physical activity) lactating woman:

Nutrients0–6 months6–12 monthsNutrients0–6 months6–12 monthsNutrients0–6 months6–12 monthsEnergy (kcal)29202870Thiamine (mg)1.31.2Vitamin C (mg)8080Protein (g)7468Riboflavin (mg)1.51.4Folate (µg)300300Fat (g)3030Niacin (mg)1615Vitamin B12 (µg)1.51.5Calcium (mg)12001200Pyridoxine (mg)2.52.5Magnesium (mg)310310Iron (mg)2121Vitamin A950 µg as Vitamin A and 7600 as β-carotene950 µg as Vitamin A and 7600 as β-caroteneZinc (mg)1212

How can you ensure that you are fulfilling your nutrient requirements?

Eating a variety of healthy foods in right amounts and some s

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