Do you need additional vitamins and supplements while breastfeeding because all your essential body nutrients are going to your baby?
Do you feel there is a need to supplement your diet with additional vitamins and minerals? What if I told you that if you are eating a well-balanced diet, there is absolutely no need for you to supplement your diet? Yes, that’s true.
But there are certainly some conditions when a mother’s diet has to be supplemented with additional vitamins and minerals. Here’s what you should know.
ALSO READ – Vitamin Deficiencies In Breastfed Babies
If like me, you are an anemic mother, then you must include iron and zinc supplementation in your diet. If you are deficient in iron, then your blood will not carry enough oxygen to your body. Not only that, it is also crucial for proper brain function and development. When you become or are anemic, your iron supply is greatly reduced. In order for your baby to receive enough iron, you must supplement your diet with the same.
Speak to your doctor first and he may run some tests on your.
ALSO READ – How To Increase Breast Milk Supply
Another important factor is that if you have absolutely no dairy in your diet, then you have to supplement with calcium and zinc intake. Dairy includes all the milk products like milk, curd/yogurt, cheese, khoya, cream, custard etc.
Mostly a combination of calcium, magnesium and zinc is found in the supplements recommended by doctors. A combination of these three helps it being absorbed by the body easily.
How much calcium should you take? Your doctor is the best person to judge this.
If you are a vegetarian, Vitamin B12 deficiency is going to be a norm. Since your diet is limited to it being vegan, most of the food items have either no or very less of this vitamin.
So for that purpose, you have to ensure that your diet includes enough of the Vitamin B12.
There is, however, an exception though – if you include animal protein like milk, eggs, cheese etc to your diet, you will get enough B12 that your body needs.
If you are a mother who is not eating a well balanced diet, calcium and zinc should be your biggest concerns.
ALSO READ – Pregnancy Care Tips – Secrets You Must Learn
An average breastfeeding mother requires at least 2700 calories a day and if you’re eating anything less than that, there are chances you will need additional calcium, magnesium, iron, folic acid etc.
Any addition of these supplements in your diet will not affect your milk supply and will not give any additional benefit to your baby.
The reason is that the levels of these minerals and vitamins in the breast milk remain fine even if you find yourself deficient in any of them.
Point to be noted here is that being Indian, we tend to take herbal supplements without the consideration of a doctor. We think that herbs don’t cause any harm whatsoever to the breast milk or mothers for that matter.
However, in whatever case, whether you’re pregnant and breastfeeding or simply breastfeeding, as long as your baby is directly affected by what you consume, do not self medicate.
Do you think you require additional supplements for your diet as a breastfeeding mother? What else would you recommend (obviously if you have experience in this area)? Let us know in the comments below.