Last updated on Jun 22nd, 2021 at 05:39 pm

It is so easy to be influenced by the breastfeeding mothers around you and trust what they say, but to put it plainly; no, your nutrition will not affect your milk supply.

In fact, it is for this reason that South Africa has made such efforts to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life as well as continued breastfeeding up to one year with the introduction of complementary foods.

Nature, in all its beauty can sometimes leave us dumbfounded. A mother can always supply milk that is of the highest quality to her baby regardless of what she is eating and what kind of nutritional status she herself is in.

Of course this does not give any excuse for a mother to lose control.

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An unhealthy diet will have a more severe impact on the health of the mother than on the baby. The only thing that affects milk supply is frequency and efficiency of feeds. The more a baby suckles, the more milk is produced – this is a directly proportional relationship.

Adjustments to the protein, carbohydrate and fat contents of breastmilk will also occur over time and is not related to the foods that the mother consumes.

In general it is important to ensure that while breastfeeding you:

  • Consume sufficient calories. This means listening to your body and eating when you are hungry and NOT dieting. When you listen to hunger you will know that your body is receiving enough calories.
  • Drink enough liquid. There is no need to force yourself to drink, but just like hunger, it is important to drink when thirsty. The amount you drink has no affect on milk supply but it is vital that you do not become dehydrated.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.