Do nursing moms (and their babies) need special care?

Gestation for rats is 21 days and baby rats start eating solid food as early as 10 days old (when their eyes open), so the young develop rapidly, so they will need food. Lots of food. Cornbread enriched with soy flour is good. Cooked rice (white or brown) for moms and babies too. Small amounts of cat food or some Nutri-Cal spread on a bit of wheat bread is good.
Plenty of fresh water offered at all times.
Babies can be safely weaned as early as 3 1/2 to 4 weeks old, but it is suggested to not wean then till they are at least 5 weeks old, to make sure they get a good start. Precocious male babies who are trying to start mating should be weaned right away so they don't get their mother pregnant, as they can be sexually mature as early as 5 weeks old in some cases.