Written by Aparna Hari
When a woman is breastfeeding, her body works hard to provide her baby with the best possible environment for growth and health. However, that doesn’t mean she can stop caring for Herself. A Breastfeeding mother may take many different vitamins and supplements for boosting immunity while breastfeeding.
Taking these vitamins and supplements gives your baby the best possible chance of getting the most out of its growing immune system. In addition to boosting your immunity, these vitamins can also help improve your mood, keep you energized all day long, and much more! In this article, let us discuss the vitamins, and nutrients mothers require during breastfeeding. Let us get started.
In This Article
Many different vitamins are essential for a mother and her baby while breastfeeding. While it is vital to get these vitamins from natural sources, sometimes it is difficult to do so. This is where supplements can be helpful. However, it is essential to consult a doctor before taking any supplements, as some can be harmful.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of nutritional deficiencies is higher for mothers who follow restrictive diet post-delivery. In such situations, supplements come as a helping hand to ensure that lactating mothers consume the daily recommended intake of nutrients and vitamins.
The following are essential nutrient requirements during breastfeeding and how supplements help us meet them.
The most critical vitamin for breastfeeding mothers is vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for strong bones and teeth. It is also essential for immune system health. The best way to get vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight. However, a supplement may be necessary if this is not possible.
Another essential vitamin for breastfeeding mothers is vitamin C. Vitamin C helps boost Immunity and helps the body heal from infection or injury. It is also essential for collagen production, which helps keep skin healthy and elastic. Citrus fruits are an excellent natural source of vitamin C, but a supplement may also be necessary.
Vitamins B6 and B12 are also essential for breastfeeding mothers. These vitamins help with energy production and red blood cell formation. They can be found in meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. However, a supplement may still be necessary to ensure adequate intake.
It is generally safe for breastfeeding mothers to take vitamins in supplemental form to ensure that they and their babies are getting all the nutrients they need. However, it is always best to consult a doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.
Note: Please avoid purchasing over-the-counter medicines. You cannot vouch for the safety of OTC medicines. The medicine affects not just you but also your little one.
[Read : Post Natal Vitamins while Breastfeeding]
The following nutrients and vitamins are vital for a breastfeeding mother:
Calcium is essential for both mother and baby during breastfeeding. It helps build strong bones and teeth and aids muscle contraction and nerve function. So breastfeeding mothers need adequate amounts of calcium to maintain their bone health while meeting the needs of their nursing baby. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and tofu.
|How Much Calcium is Required?||The recommended daily intake of calcium during breastfeeding is 1,000 mg per day.|
|How Does Calcium Help to Boost Immunity?||
1) Calcium is necessary for the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. It also affects muscle contraction, nerve function, and blood clotting.
2) Calcium is needed for the body to absorb and use other essential nutrients, such as phosphorus and vitamin D.
Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin in leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fortified foods. It is an important nutrients needed for boosting immunity of the breastfeeding moms.
|How Much is Folic Acid Required?||Breastfeeding mothers’ recommended daily folic acid intake is 500 micrograms (mcg).|
|How Does Folic Acid Help to Boost Immunity?||
1) Folic acid helps the body make new cells and prevents neural tube defects in developing babies.
2) It also plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair, cell growth, and protein metabolism.
Iodine is a mineral in some foods, including seafood, dairy products, eggs, and fortified foods.
|How Much Iodine is Required?||The recommended daily intake of Iodine for breastfeeding mothers is 150 micrograms (mcg).|
|How Does Iodine Help to Boost Immunity?||
1) Iodine is necessary to produce thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism, growth, and development.
2) It also plays a role in brain development and cognitive function.
Iron is a mineral found in food sources such as meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, enriched flour products, and fortified breakfast cereals. Nursing mothers need adequate amounts of Iron to support their health and the health of their nursing baby.
|How Much Iron is Required?||The recommended daily intake of Iron for breastfeeding mothers is 27 milligrams (mg).|
|How Does Iron help to Boost Immunity?||
1) Iron helps the body make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. It also helps the body use oxygen to produce energy.
2) Iron is essential for growth and development and affects the immune system.
[Read : Beans While Breastfeeding]
Vitamin A is found in food sources such as Oranges, Cantaloupe, liver, egg yolks, carrots, dark leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, and milk.
|How Much Vitamin A is Required?||The recommended daily intake of vitamin A for breastfeeding mothers is 1200 to 1300 micrograms (mcg).|
|How Does Vitamin A Helps to Boost Immunity?||
1) Vitamin A helps to maintain healthy vision, skin, and mucous membranes.
2) Vitamin A also plays a role in the immune system.
3) The primary reason for deficiency of Vitamin A is digestive disorders which hamper the absorption of Vitamin A.
Vitamin B6 is commonly found in Poultry, Fish, bananas, Whole grains, and fortified cereals. Nursing mothers need adequate Vitamin B6 to have a healthy life for themselves and their little ones.
|How Much Vitamin B6 Required?||The recommended daily intake of vitamin B6 for breastfeeding mothers is 1.9 mg.|
|How Does Vitamin B6 Helps to Boost Immunity?||
1) Vitamin B6 helps in healthy brain functioning.
2) Vitamin B6 is essential for the formation of red blood cells.
3) It also helps in breaking down fat and carbohydrates.
Vitamin B12, similar to Vitamin B6, helps form Red Blood Cells. It is found in poultry, fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products.
|How Much Vitamin B12 required?||The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 for breastfeeding mothers is 2.8 mcg.|
|How Does Vitamin B12 Helps to Boost Immunity?||
1) Vitamin B12 helps the body make red blood cells and keeps the nervous system functioning correctly.
2) It also helps in overcoming anxiety and proper functioning of the cells.
Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and green peppers.
|How Much Vitamin C Required?||The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for breastfeeding mothers is 120 mg.|
|How Does Vitamin C Helps to Boost Immunity?||
1) Vitamin C helps to maintain healthy skin, bones, and blood vessels
2) It also helps the body absorb Iron.
3) Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight against infection.
Vitamin D is found in fatty fish, such as salmon, fortified milk, juices, and cereals.
|How Much Vitamin D Required?||Breastfeeding mothers’ recommended daily vitamin D intake is 10-15 mcg (400-600 IU).|
|How Does Vitamin D Helps to Boost Immunity?||Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for bone health.|
[Read : Vitamin D For Breastfeeding Mothers]
DHA stands for Docohexaenoic acid. It is found in fatty fish, such as salmon, fortified milk, and cereals. DHA is also available as a dietary supplement.
|How Much DHA is Required?||The recommended daily intake of DHA for breastfeeding mothers is 200 mg.|
|How Does DHA Helps to Boost Immunity?||
1) DHA helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for strong bones and teeth and also helps the body fight against infection.
2) DHA is also vital for the maintenance of heart health and cognitive function.
3) Also DHA has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, such as heart disease and arthritis.
It is essential for breastfeeding mothers to get enough of the right vitamins and nutrients to help boost their Immunity. While all vitamins are essential, some vitamins are essential for breastfeeding mothers, such as calcium, folic acid, Iodine, Iron, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, and DHA. All these vitamins and nutrients play a vital role in boosting Immunity for breastfeeding moms.
While supplements can help you meet the daily recommended intake of vitamins and nutrients, you must check their safety before consuming them. It is always suggested to talk to your doctor before choosing any supplements. Get yourself tested for the deficiencies if any, and then proceed to take supplements: the supplement’s benefits and effects are not just on you but affect your breastmilk. Life healthy, and Happy Parenting!
Read Also: Healthy Diet For Breastfeeding Mothers
Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.
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