Are you planning to breastfeed your newborn? Experts recommend this option during the first 6 months after your baby’s birth. If it’s possible to continue until his/her first birthday it’s even better. Breast milk provides your young baby with all the nutrients they need during the first months of their lives. However, it’s also important to know about the vitamins to help produce breast milk including Vitamins B, C, and D. You might experience vitamin deficiencies because of the amounts required to produce mother’s milk. There are other factors to consider like if you’re on a low-carb diet or not going outdoors too much.
It’s always important to get enough vitamins, minerals, and enzymes for your daily life. However, the situation changes when you’re breastfeeding. The reason is you’re sharing your body’s nutrients with your little one. When that happens there’s a greater chance that you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals. One of the most critical ones is Vitamin D. This makes sense since milk is high in the vitamin for strong teeth and bones. However, there are other important nutrients you’ll need to provide your baby with nutritious milk. It’s also critical to producing enough to meet your infant’s dietary needs.
Breastfeeding Mothers and Nutrition
Before taking up the most important vitamins/minerals to consume when breastfeeding the big question is: should you do it? There are exceptions to every rule.
However, most medical experts agree that mother’s milk is the most nutritious option for infants. This is especially true before the baby turns 6 months old. Until he/she is one year old you can start introducing solid food during that time.
What’s the big deal? As the old saying goes, “fresh is best.” While milk formula can be nutritious the problem is it’s still made in a factory. Meanwhile, the nutrients in mother’s milk even change as your baby ages. For example, the milk of the first month is different than one year later.
Nutrients are especially important during the first years of your little one’s life. Besides providing key nutrients it also helps to protect the baby from infection. This is critical until their immune system develops more so they’re better protected from their environment.
While you’re breastfeeding it’s important to maintain a healthy diet. This includes a well-balanced diet. It will help to keep you and your newborn as healthy as possible. Some experts recommend a multivitamin but keep in mind they contain a small amount of several vitamins.
One thing to keep in mind is postnatal nutrition is different than before you were pregnant. This is especially important if you’re breastfeeding since you’ll be sharing nutrients with your young baby. It’s always important to eat a well-balanced diet and avoid stuff like smoking/alcohol. However, it’s even more critical now.
You should also be consuming healthy food. That includes organic whole foods. The chemicals in synthetic pesticides/fertilizers might affect the quality of breast milk.
You can also follow some lifestyle guidelines that might improve the amount of milk for breastfeeding. They include:
- Drinking enough water
- Exercising regularly
- Reducing stress levels
- Avoiding smoking/alcohol
- Getting enough sleep.
Vitamins to Help Produce Breast Milk
There are various B Vitamins. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough when breastfeeding. They include B1, B6, and B12. Some B vitamins deficiencies are based on the particular diet you’re on like low-calorie or vegetarian/vegan.
In modern times many people aren’t getting enough of the B Vitamins. So, the situation could become more serious if you’re also breastfeeding. That’s because you’re already sharing your calorie intake with your baby.
You should bump up your Vitamin C intake if you’re breastfeeding. You don’t need tons of the nutrient but you’ll need a little more for making mother’s milk. Besides Vitamin C supplements you can get ascorbic acid from foods like:
- Bell Pepper
- Citrus fruits
Many of these foods are also considered superfoods so you’ll be getting other nutrients like calcium, potassium, and antioxidants.
This is easily one of the most important vitamins a nursing mother should get. That’s because the milk is high in Vitamin D. If you don’t get enough in your diet then it could affect your milk production and your own health.
There’s also an X-factor involved. If you’re not getting much sunlight during the first months of your newborn’s life then this could affect your Vitamin D levels. So, make sure to go outdoors from time to time to get fresh air and Vitamin D from sun rays.
Calcium and Zinc
These are technically minerals but are important for breastfeeding mothers. If you’re on the Standard American Diet (SAD) of 2700 calories/day then you should consider taking these mineral supplements.
If you’re on a low-calorie diet then you might need other mineral supplements. They include magnesium, iron, phosphorous. It depends on factors like the number of calories you’re consuming and how high-nutrient they are.
Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers
You can take various steps to improve breastfeeding sessions. It’s a good idea for your newborn baby to sleep in your bedroom. This should continue until the baby is 6 months old. This can boost safety and make breastfeeding easier.
Make sure your little one sleeps in his/her personal crib. The reason is full-size beds are unsafe for young babies. Studies show it’s safer for infants to sleep in cribs/bassinets.
You should also let your newborn lead the way. During the first couple of weeks after giving birth, your infant should be fed like clockwork every 2-3 hours. It’s important to know the signs your baby is hungry. They include movement and lip motions.
Allow the baby to feed for up to 20 minutes or so. Continue the process until the breast becomes soft. After the feeding session burp your baby. If your baby is still hungry then he/she will continue feeding on the other breast.
What if your infant keeps feeding on one breast? Pump the second breast. It will help to lower pressure and help to maintain the breast milk supply.
Finally, get help when starting out. This is important when you first start breastfeeding your infant. It’s good to do it within an hour after delivery. Make sure to get help since the process can be difficult without help.
You can get some tips from the hospital staff including maternity nurses. This will help to get the best results. You can also get breastfeeding tips from the baby’s doctor or your own physician.
There are several issues you should know about. They include your position while feeding your baby. Even releasing your infant from the nipple is important to get the best results. Using good technique will help to provide the best results for mothers and babies after learning about vitamins to help produce breast milk.