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Does a Nursing Mother's Fiber Intake Affect Her Baby?

author image Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
Does a Nursing Mother's Fiber Intake Affect Her Baby?
A mother is feeding her newborn. Photo Credit: SolisImages/iStock/Getty Images

Fiber is an important part of the diet and can help you maintain digestive health, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease. Although breastfeeding women need to follow a healthy diet, fiber has little effect on the nutrients in breast milk. As a result, a nursing mother's fiber intake is unlikely to affect an infant's health.

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Fiber and Nursing Mothers

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the digestive tract cannot break down and absorb. As a result, it can help push waste products through the digestive tract, helping to prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Some forms of fiber may also help lower cholesterol and blood-glucose levels. Breastfeeding women should get 29 grams of fiber each day, according to the Institute of Food and Agricultural Services at the University of Florida.

Diet and Breastmilk

Although fiber is important for nursing mothers, it has little effect, if any, on breast milk. Breast milk is made from the compounds in the blood, so as long as the mother has an adequate diet, the composition of breast milk is unlikely to undergo big changes. Because fiber isn't absorbed by the digestive tract, it is even less likely to affect the makeup of breast milk and the infant's health.

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