About 94 percent of breastfeeding mothers do not follow a proper diet, according to a University of Granada study.
The study revealed that 94 percent of nursing mothers did not follow a proper diet, as they did not consume the recommended diary intake of fat, vitamins A, E and iron, and the intake of proteins was too high. The results obtained will serve to enhance breastfeeding mothers' diet and increase nutritional supply to the newborn.
This study was conducted by Jose Luis Gsmez Llorente, from the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Granada, and coordinated by professor Cristina Campoy Folgoso.
To conduct the study, the researcher collected 100 milk samples from 34 breastfeeding mothers from the provinces of Granada and Almeria. The selected mothers were given a questionnaire on their dietary intake for a period corresponding to the 3 days before the sample taking. The aim was to compare their dietary intake with the recommended diary reference intake, in order to detect deficiencies and enhance babies' intake of nutrients.
This study revealed some important data. 94 percent of mothers were found to consume a hypocaloric diet, mainly due to low consumption of fats. Conversely, 94 percent followed a diet rich in proteins, and their intake of proteins exceeded DRI. The analysed mothers showed deficiencies in Vitamin A and E; 88 percent of them did not meet DRI of Vitamin A, and 99 percent presented deficient Vitamin E intakes.
The intake of iron was 13.8 mg/day, which means that 94 percent of breastfeeding mothers did not meet DRI. They were found to have a deficient intake of this important micronutrient that is essential for the neurological development of their babies.
Jose Luis Gomez Llorente suggests that "human milk is the ideal method of feeding healthy newborns".
Among other nutrients, human breast milk supplies lipids, "which play a crucial role and contain unsaturated omega-3 and 6 fatty acids (linoleic acid and linolenic acid) and its long-chain derivatives (arachinodic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The latter is associated with the development of different functions in the newborn, such as cognitive development (learning) and vision development; it is also associated with protection against allergic diseases and atopy."
"Breastfeeding mothers can significantly improve the composition of their milk by optimising their diet by following international recommendations," he notes.