Here's What You Need to Supplement When You're Breastfeeding

Everything mom and baby should be getting enough of while you're nursing

The first few months with a newborn is a whirlwind of emotions.

Unimaginable love, joy, worry, fatigue, gratitude, panic. Love again . . . and we’re pretty sure there’s another one, but we’ve completely lost our train of thought . . .

To put it simply, there’s a lot to take in. And while you might be getting enough from your well-balanced diet, there’s a decent chance that in between taking care of your baby, going back to work or running your home, you may not have time to fit in all the vitamins and minerals you need.

If you’re still breastfeeding, it’s important to make sure that you and baby are getting enough nutrients. And since establishing a great milk supply is key to successful nursing, you’ll want to make sure you’re not just getting enough calories, but the right quality. 

Whether that means fitting in an extra glass of milk or supplementing with vitamins, here’s what you need to get enough of.

MOM

Prenatal Supplement

Contrary to its name, many doctors recommend continuing to take prenatal supplements after you’ve given birth if you’re breastfeeding. In doing so, you’ll be topping your body up with essential nutrients like folic acid (since this is excreted in breast milk), iron and calcium (although this will need more topping up) – plus, prenatal vitamins contain more than the standard multivitamin. Plus, some vitamins (like vitamin A, C, and some Bs) are needed in even larger quantities than during pregnancy.

Probiotic

We’ve all seen yogurt commercials on TV and heard about probiotics. But what are they and what can they do for us? Probiotics are the “good bacteria” in our digestive system, and they can help build your infant’s immune system and restock you with nutrients you may have lost from breastfeeding. A great suggestion for your digestion.

Protein

Protein is incredibly important for mom’s health as well as baby’s growth and development. To make sure you’re getting enough, you’ll need 2-3 servings per day. An easy way to do this is to ensure you have some sort of protein at every meal (meats, poultry, fish, nuts, beans, legume, grains, and eggs), and have snacks on hand during nursing sessions.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil is rich in fatty acids, which are passed to a baby in breast milk. It’s great for baby’s brain and eye development, and it’s good for breastfeeding moms, too. It also contains lots of vitamin D, which is vital to the way our bodies deal with calcium. Unless you’re eating a lot of fish, your best bet for high concentration Omega-3 is the bottle variety.

Calcium

We’re not just talking about the white stuff. Kale, broccoli, yogurt, and cheese are all rich in calcium and can be consumed in addition to milk. Breastfeeding moms have a storage of calcium in their bones, but if it’s not possible to meet the recommended daily allowance of 1,000 mg (4 servings of dairy products), you should think about topping up with a calcium supplement. 

Zinc

Having a cold while you’re nursing is no fun, but it happens. Of course, the usual rest and fluids are recommended – but R&R may not be realistic for a busy new mom. Zinc Gluconate is safe for breastfeeding moms to take, although the nasal gel is recommended over oral drops. Zinc does enter the breastmilk so make sure you stick to the recommended 12-15 mg per day.

BABY

Vitamin D 

It’s important for breastfed infants to get a supplement of Vitamin D. After all, it’s how they develop strong bones and teeth. Getting them to ingest anything isn’t easy, but thanks to PediaVit’s Vitamin D3 drops, you can add one drop to the nipple – breast or bottle – to ensure they’re getting their recommended daily intake of 400 IU. Plus the PediaVit gravity bottle is specially designed to release the same dose every time—so even during those sleepless feeds, you can be assured that they are getting the right amount.

Iron

Most babies are born with enough iron stores to last around six months, by which point they should be eating an iron-rich diet (meat, lentils, beans). However, your doctor may recommend an iron supplement if your baby was born prematurely or if they do not eat iron-rich foods. Visit PediaVit.ca to learn more about PediaFer iron supplement or talk to your doctor if you think your baby might need an iron supplement.

 

This post is sponsored by PediaVit but the thoughts and opinions are our own. These products may not be right for your baby. Always read and follow the labels.

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