The nutritional needs of breastfeeding mothers is extremely important, for both mom and child. Did you know that many moms are lacking in nutrients? According to a recent dietary study at Abbott Nutrition, they “found that over 50% of the women in their study were not meeting the needs for key foods groups such as fruits, vegetables and dairy.” Breastfeeding mothers were also lacking in three extremely important nutrients “DHA, lutein and vitamin E”. Renowned registered dietitian, Christina Sherry joined me for an interview recently to discuss the nutritional needs of breastfeeding mothers and how they can obtain key nutrients with proper nutrition and supplementation.
Candace Rose: Why are the nutritional needs of breastfeeding mothers so important?
Christina Sherry: “Nutrition during breastfeeding is actually one of the greatest times of nutritional needs of a woman’s life. Her nutritional demands are even greater than when she was pregnant. Many women obviously will focus on nutrition during her pregnancy, but it’s really key for her to continue to focus on nutrition during her breastfeeding time as well. Not only is she providing her nutritional needs, but she’s also providing for the nutrition for her growing infant.”
Candace Rose: What did a recent study show? How are breastfeeding moms not meeting nutritional needs?
Christina Sherry: “That’s a great question, Candace. At Abbott Nutrition we just completed a dietary study looking at the habits of breastfeeding women. Although their needs are very unique, it’s very surprising that there are very few studies that really look at what mom’s eating? And that’s exactly what we wanted to understand.
When we analyzed the diets of lactating women, we found that over 50% of the women in our study were not meeting the needs for key foods groups such as fruits, vegetables and dairy. We know that foods are very rich in vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients, so it’s important that mom pays attention to these food groups. Additionally, when we looked at the list of other key nutrients important for brain and eye development such as DHA, lutein and vitamin E we saw that a significant majority of moms were not consuming adequate amounts of these nutrients.”
Candace Rose: How can moms make sure that they get enough DHA, lutein and vitamin E from their diet?
Christina Sherry: “My background as a dietitian, I want to help mom focus on the nutritious food choices, so looking to leafy greens as a source of lutein; salmon or other fatty fish for DHA and nuts for vitamin E.
Realistically we know, especially from our study – mom’s very busy, she has lots of other things to be thinking about, and the majority of them are just not consuming these foods. The Similac breastfeeding supplement provides a great peace of mind for mom to know that she’s giving her baby her best.”
Candace Rose: Can you tell us more about the Similac breastfeeding supplement?
Christina Sherry: “Absolutely. I’m very excited about this product, we at Abbott are very interested in breast milk and have been studying it for a very long time, and in this recent study we found that women that are consuming the breastfeeding supplement actually had increases in these key nutrients in their breast milk.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Christina Sherry: “Basically we really want mom to understand that her nutrition is so important during this time and if mom is worried about where she should get information about that, she can visit Similac.com. We have all the information there about her nutritional needs, the Similac breastfeeding supplement, as well as the study.”