A Brief Guide to Essential Vitamins for Breastfeeding Moms

 In Blog, Health

If you are a new mother, then it is very likely that you are concerned about making the right choices for yourself and your baby. And, for breastfeeding moms, those choices should include adding the best vitamins to your daily regimen.

Although there are numerous benefits to providing your child with breast milk, ensuring that your diet supports your efforts isn’t always an easy task.

Ultimately, your goal should be to give your bundle of joy the nourishment he or she needs without putting further stress on your body due to strained nutritional levels. 

Otherwise, you run the risk of being unable to continue breastfeeding for as long as you had planned, as well as experiencing other negative issues in your own health… 

The Importance of Vitamins for Breastfeeding Moms

It’s true that all individuals need to consume a wide range of nutrients to keep their bodies functioning properly. However, it is even more crucial for new mothers to get enough of the recommended vitamins for breastfeeding moms. 

Why?

Because when you choose to breastfeed, what you take in (or don’t get enough of) affects not only your own health, but your baby’s health as well.  

Your Health…

For starters, breastfeeding can be physically demanding. After all, you are sustaining another human life with your body, so it is no wonder the process is more than a little draining. Combined with restless nights and busy days, the act of breastfeeding can lead to low energy levels. As a result, you may grow too tired to continue feeding your child this way.  

Additionally, your body takes the nutrients it needs to make healthy breast milk first, so you don’t receive the amount you would normally.    

When you don’t keep up with a balanced diet and supplement regimen to compensate for the nourishment you are giving your child, you can experience issues such as…

  • Exhaustion
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Illness

That’s why it is so important for your own health to make sure that you are getting enough of the recommended vitamins for breastfeeding moms. 

Your Baby’s Health…

As mentioned previously, your body is naturally designed to create healthy breast milk, pulling from your own stores when necessary. However, if you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals, there is a chance that your breast milk will be affected. 

Though rare, it’s not unheard of for infants to develop a vitamin deficiency if the mother has one as well. In serious cases, babies can suffer from conditions such as anemia and more.      

Taking proper care of your own body by getting enough of the recommended vitamins for breastfeeding moms is the best way to ensure your baby is healthy too. 

What Vitamins Are Recommended

The list of essential minerals and vitamins for breastfeeding moms is quite extensive, and with good reason. Each one has a role to play in your health and the health of your infant.

Some of the most important nutrients you should be getting each day are as follows:

Of course, the amount to consume varies depending on your individual needs, which is why it’s best to consult your health-care provider. However, having a firm grasp of what each vitamin and mineral does can help you determine whether you should consider increasing your daily intake. 

Calcium

Calcium is a vital mineral for all people, as it strengthens bones, helps with blood clotting, and allows for proper muscle function.     

When you breastfeed, calcium leaves your bones and is replaced by the calcium you take in. If you aren’t getting enough calcium, you could end up with a deficiency, resulting in weak bones, brittle hair, and/or itchy skin, along with more serious issues such as pancreatitis.   

Vitamin D

Vitamin D also has an impact on bone strength, as well as immunity. Combined with the absorption of calcium and magnesium, this vitamin helps support bone health by boosting mineralization. 

Although your body creates vitamin D naturally, sunlight is an essential part of its production. With a newborn infant, it’s likely that you may not be spending much time outdoors, so using a supplemental vitamin D will ensure that you both have enough. 

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3—or niacin—is necessary for converting food into fuel for the body, regulating hormones, and improving circulation. 

Like all B vitamins, B3 is water-soluble, so your body does not store it up for later use. If you aren’t regularly consuming enough B3 in your diet, you could suffer from issues such as indigestion, fatigue, and/or depression. 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A offers a variety of benefits, including eyesight improvement, immune system function, and tissue development.  

Unlike B vitamins, vitamin A is fat-soluble, which means that it is stored in the body. Although having enough vitamin A is important for your health and your child’s health, you should be careful not to consume too much, as it can build up to dangerous levels in your breast milk.  

Vitamin K

Vitamin K provides a boost to bone health and density, but its primary function is associated with blood clotting and wound recovery. 

Though vitamin K deficiency is rare in adults, it is common among infants, which is why a single injection for newborns is often recommended. As a nursing mother, you should also ensure you’re getting enough vitamin K in your diet.  

Vitamin B9

Also known as folic acid, vitamin B9 supports the development of red blood cells and the absorption of iron. Further, it’s vital for the brain development of babies. 

As with other essential vitamins for breastfeeding moms, vitamin B9 is provided to infants through the breast milk. That’s why it is important to get enough through your diet and supplement regimen when nursing. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is primarily known for its ability to boost immunity, but it can also improve cardiovascular health, blood sugar levels, tissue condition, and more. 

Because vitamin C is water-soluble, its presence in breast milk does not exceed a safe amount. However, it’s still important to get adequate levels of this vitamin while breastfeeding to avoid deficiency.  

How to Get These Essential Vitamins for Breastfeeding Moms

To get enough of the recommended vitamins for breastfeeding moms, you need to follow a balanced diet. 

Examples of foods you should be consuming regularly include the following:

  • Yogurt, seeds, and spinach – Good sources of calcium
  • Eggs, fatty fish, and cheese – Good sources of vitamin D
  • Peanuts, chicken, and avocadoes – Good sources of vitamin B3
  • Carrots, mangoes, and sweet potatoes – Good sources of vitamin A
  • Kale, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts – Good sources of vitamin K
  • Beans, whole grains, and turnip greens – Good sources of vitamin B9
  • Peppers, oranges, and tomatoes – Good sources of vitamin C

Additionally, you may want to add a supplement to your routine for peace of mind. 

Although there is an extensive array of supplements to choose from in the marketplace, It’s worth noting that not all supplements are created equal. Prior to purchasing such a product, you should look into the manufacturer, the ingredients, and the claims associated with the supplement. 

Ideally, you want a supplement that doesn’t contain any harmful fillers or boast of being a “miracle” product.

Dead Sea Moringa, for example, is a natural dietary supplement that contains many essential vitamins for breastfeeding moms. Made from the leaves of moringa trees grown in the nutrient-rich soil of the Dead Sea region, Dead Sea Moringa provides greater nutrition for mothers and their infants. 

In fact, it has even been found to increase milk supply in nursing mothers, making it a helpful addition to your daily regimen. 

In Summary…

It may be a challenge to get enough of the recommended vitamins for breastfeeding moms, but it is a worthwhile endeavor, and crucial for maintaining your health and the health of your child while nursing. 

By following a balanced diet and taking a high-quality supplement, you can ensure that you are providing your baby with the nutrients he or she needs while keeping your own body in tip-top shape.

 

Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/diet-and-micronutrients/vitamin-k.html

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