What is Lactation? Nutrition During Lactation


Lactation is a term peculiar to the female world and is a process that occurs in both humans and animals. Lactation is the lactation period in its most abstract form. It plays a vital role in feeding babies in female animals and females. In this useful article, we will be answering the questions of what is lactation and what does lactation mean. In these lines, we will explain one by one those who are curious about the lactation period, which has a very important place in the world of females.

There are many factors that affect the lactation process that helps the milk to come soon after birth. This process progresses in a healthy way in every pregnancy period. However, due to unpredictable reasons after birth, the lactation process may be interrupted.

In order for this period to be productive, you can listen to our nutritional recommendations during lactation. You may need the information we have explained to you in order to feed your baby with breast milk in the best way and to feel good during and after lactation.

What is Lactation?

  • From the first week of pregnancy to the last week, the mother prepares herself for her baby. In this process, milk hormones come into play and a cycle of milk production gradually occurs in the breasts.
  • The lactation period, known as the period of breast milk production, continues to run every day the mother continues to give milk.
  • This period is prolonged as the baby takes milk from the breast. In order for the lactation process to continue in the best way, the mother needs the hormone oxytocin. For this hormone, it is necessary to be happy and eat well.
  • The hormone oxytocin, known as the love hormone, is secreted every second when the mother thinks of her baby and family.
  • As a result of secretion, milk production is also supported due to the love for the baby. As rings are added to this chain, the lactation process gets longer.

What is Lactation Period?

  • According to the common opinion of pediatricians and obstetricians, the lactation period should continue for 2 years.
  • The lactation period, which starts from birth, includes the period of time that the baby should take breast milk as much as possible.
  • An exact time cannot be given for every baby; however, the baby should receive breast milk for 2 years. Of course, there will be times when he can’t. This period is not a shortcoming. Only in the opinion of experts, the best food is breast milk.
  • Follow-on milks, which contain the closest values ​​to breast milk, will also support your baby’s development.

The lactation period can be examined under 3 different headings:

1) Mammogenesis

  • This process, which starts with adolescence, is completed in the last month of pregnancy. It is related to the effect of hormones in the breasts.
  • Estrogen, placental lactogen, progesterone and adrenocorticotropic hormones play a role in the mammogenesis process and help milk production after birth.
  • It is known as the growth and development period of the breasts.

2) Lactogenesis

  • During the last weeks of pregnancy, very little milk comes out of the breasts on some days. This period indicates the start of lactogenesis.
  • Within a few hours after birth, the mother begins to give milk. The first stage of the lactation process is lactogenesis.
  • If the mother’s hormones are working properly; It controls the lactogenesis process.

3) Galactogenesis

  • After birth, the mother begins to give milk and the baby takes breast milk for a long time.
  • According to the advice of experts, only breast milk should be given to the baby in the first 6 months. In cases where breast milk is insufficient, follow-on milk is given.
  • Babies who receive supplementary food and follow-on milk or breast milk are fed with maternal support for an average of 2 years.
  • If the breast milk is no longer given and the baby does not receive milk, it is said that the galactogenesis process is finished.
  • Because the galactonesis period continues until the day when the baby stops taking breast milk.

Lactation Period Nutrition Recommendations

In order for mothers to breastfeed their babies efficiently for a long time, they need to be fed very well. Let us explain you healthy eating tips step by step. With this information, you can feed both yourself and your baby.

Fluid Intake

  • Fluid intake is very important for the mother during the lactation period. Drink plenty of water and support milk production.
  • It is recommended to drink soup at every meal. Soup is also effective for the mother’s intestines.
  • Thanks to the nutritional value of soups, the development of the baby will also be supported.
  • More fluid should be taken during lactation than during pregnancy. Because milk production continues continuously.
  • Those who ask what to drink during breastfeeding may prefer teas such as linden, mint, chamomile, nettle, unsweetened compote, freshly squeezed fruit juices, lemonade and milk.

Meat and meat products

  • If the mother is fed with protein during the lactation period, she will avoid weight gain and feed the baby through milk.
  • In this process, processed and raw meat should be avoided. It can increase the amount of milk by consuming very well cooked, reliable meat products.
  • Salt added to meat must be iodized. Iodized salt greatly supports the baby’s intelligence development.
  • Fish meat is also a food that should be during the breastfeeding period. Fish should be consumed twice a week for the best continuation of the lactation period.

Milk and milk products

  • In the first few weeks after birth, the milk, yoghurt and dairy products taken by the mother seem to cause gas to the baby, although milk and dairy products have an important place in the mother’s nutrition.
  • You can choose milk and milk products that support protein and calcium from those prepared under hygienic conditions.
  • Milk and dairy products that will support the baby’s nutrition also help healthy weight gain.


  • Nursing mothers should focus on fruit consumption. They can eat fruits that are low in sugar and high in fiber.
  • Fruits such as apples, plums, bananas, apricots, cherries, strawberries, pears and quince support breast milk.
  • You can be a little more careful when consuming acidic fruit. Because types of acidic fruits such as orange, tangerine, grapefruit can cause the baby to have gas.
  • You can consume fruits as juice at home. Thus, you both support fluid intake and introduce the baby to fruits through milk.


  • The place of vegetables in the lactation period is also very important. You can use seasonal vegetables to prepare healthy meals.
  • You may be more sensitive when consuming gas-producing vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic. It can cause the baby to be gassy through milk. After consuming such vegetables, you can relax your stomach by drinking fennel tea.
  • You can support the production of breast milk by making many healthy choices such as salad, vegetable soup, boiled vegetables.
  • Iron deficiency can occur during breastfeeding. To prevent this situation, it is recommended to consume green leafy vegetables.

Grain and Cereal Products

  • Grain group foods, which have an important place in terms of B vitamins and iron, help breast milk to be more satisfying.
  • Especially beneficial foods such as bulgur, buckwheat, whole wheat, brown rice help the baby gain weight in a healthy way.
  • You can stay away from white flour in order not to gain weight during breastfeeding and to support the baby’s healthy nutrition.

Foods to Avoid During Lactation Period

  • Do not dehydrate yourself so that the milk will always come. Being dehydrated can stop the lactation period.
  • Consumption of alcohol and cigarettes delays the arrival of milk as they will adversely affect the hormones. This hinders the stimulation of the breasts and the discharge of milk.
  • Since acidic, sugary, processed drinks will pass to the baby through milk, you should stay away from such harmful drinks.
  • You should choose the freshest and most beneficial foods for the baby’s mental development and physical development.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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