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Are Supplements Necessary For Breastfeeding?

The very first food for your newborn that has all the necessary nourishments needs for optimal growth and development, in other words, your breastmilk! Mothers must be aware by now that the food they consume will, albeit not entirely, affect the production of their breastmilk. Bet you are wondering if there are any breastfeeding supplements that you can take to make your production better for your baby.

A lot of people would suggest that natural supplements are the best and it can benefit both mothers and babies alike. However, some mothers may prefer an easier and more direct approach, which is to take supplements that contains all the vitamins and minerals for your breastfeeding needs. Neither is right nor wrong. If you are browsing some breastfeeding supplements, here are the things that you should look for but first, ask yourself:

Do I need Breastfeeding Supplements?

What are the reasons behind the consideration of taking supplements? Was it a recommendation from your health provider? Or was it because of other observable conditions like not producing enough milk?

For your information, not everyone would require supplements for breastfeeding. In fact, only a small minority of mother may need it. The best nourishment is to get yourself a healthy diet. However, it is understandable that sometimes we may not have the required vitamins and minerals in our daily diet. Mothers who goes through a certain diet with limitation like vegetarian diet may need supplements of Vitamin B for instance.

Most of the times, undersupply of breastmilk can be treated by breastfeeding or breast-pumping regularly. As your breast detects an increase in demand, it will automatically increase its production so supplement is not necessary.

Check out this article on other ways to increase milk supply:

If I Don’t Have A Condition, Is It Okay To Take Supplements?

Yes. It should be okay for you to take vitamin supplements even when you are breastfeeding. If you took any prenatal vitamins before, you can continue taking it throughout your breastfeeding journey. Having said that, if you have decided to take on any supplements, be sure to inform your health provider about it just to be on the safe side.

What is Prenatal Vitamin?

Prenatal vitamins are multivitamin supplements that you take before and during pregnancy to ensure that you don’t lack on any of the important vitamins. These supplements are usually recommended to be taken as soon as you plan to get pregnant.

A good prenatal multivitamin supplement should include:

  1. Folic Acid
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Calcium
  4. Vitamin C
  5. Thiamine
  6. Riboflavin
  7. Niacin
  8. Vitamin B12
  9. Vitamin E
  10. Zinc
  11. Iron
  12. Iodine

What Supplements Should I Take While Breastfeeding?

Believe it or not, breastfeeding supplements comes in variety of forms, not just medicines. They can be in the form of teas, and even cookies.

What Is Lactation Tea Supplements?

There are many different blend of lactation tea available in the market. The tea is basically a mixture composing of herbs that can help you increase your milk supply. The best part about lactation tea is that it doubles as a relaxation and hydration boost. The downside of lactation tea is that it is not regulated by any official body unlike medicinal supplements. So, be sure to check with your doctor before you decide to consume any.

What Is Lactation Cookies?

We all know that certain type of foods can help increase the milk supply and lactation cookies are made exactly for that! Lactation cookies are made of milk-boosting ingredients with additional flavour boosters like dark chocolate or coconut. If you like snacking, perhaps you can consider some lactation cookies?

Yes, they look like your ordinary cookies!

In general, these milk-boosting cookies usually would consists of flaxseed meal, whole oats, and brewers yeasts. How about trying out a recipe?

Best Supplements To Increase Breast Milk.

Ensuring that you receive enough amount of the following vitamins and minerals can help with your breastmilk production. So look for supplements that contain these for best results!

1.Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The omega-3 fatty acids is an important mineral needed by your baby even during pregnancy! It helps with the development of the baby’s brain, eye, immune and nervous system. When received adequately, omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the chances of your baby developing food allergies and eczema. You would need about 300mg of Omega-3 Fatty Acids per day.

2.Iodine

For the development of your child’s brain, visual, hearing, and motor skills, the body needs sufficient supply of iodine. When breastfeeding, you would need 150mcg of Iodine per day.

3.Vitamin Bs

Vitamin Bs includes B1, B2, B3, B5,B6,B7,B9, and B12. This group of vitamin is used for development of the nervous system, and the production of red blood cells. It is essential to get vitamin Bs in your diet daily as our body does not store it.

4.Calcium

Strong bones and teeth! That is what calcium is for but do you know that if your body do not have enough supply of calcium for the breastmilk production, it will steal calcium from your bones? This is why it is important to get the right amount of calcium in your daily diet. Everyday, you would need about 1200mg of Calcium.

5.Vitamin D

The body needs this vitamin in order to absorb calcium. You only need about 15mcg of Vitamin D per day. So your if you are taking calcium supplement, be sure to take adequate amount of vitamin D too!

6.Fenugreek (Halba/Kasuri Methi)

Fenugreek is a type of herb that is most popular as a lactation boosting herb. You would need about 106g of Fenugreek per day. Diabetic mothers are advised to take extra caution when taking Fenugreek because it is known to lower blood sugar levels.

Fenugreek leaves and seeds.

Last but not least, if you are considering taking supplements be sure to note that different people can have different effects with the same supplements. Sometimes supplements can have adverse effects or other times, your baby may be sensitive to some of the herbs. Hence, it always important to discuss it with your doctor beforehand.

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