Nutritional requirements during breastfeeding

Omega 3 fatty acids

These acids are known as "essential", because they are fundamental to our health but cannot be synthesised by the body.

Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat found in fish, oils and seeds. During breastfeeding, the mother's fatty acid requirements increase, as the child absorbs them through breast milk. They are essential to the child's intellectual and visual development.


Iodine is necessary at all stages of life and helps maintain normal neurological and cognitive functioning. To ensure babies gets enough iodine, breastfeeding women must consume around double the usual recommended adult intake of iodine.


The mother requires considerably more calcium to boost the baby's bone development and bind calcium to her own bones.

Vitamin A

Breast milk is the richest source of vitamin A for newborns. In addition to its role in growth, vitamin A contributes to immune system function.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is required to fully bind calcium to the bones. The concentration of vitamin D in breast milk depends on the concentration in the blood, and it is therefore advisable to maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D in the blood.