What Vitamins Should My Baby and I Be Taking While Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding mothers should continue to take whatever prenatal vitamin supplement they took while they were pregnant. Many mothers choose to stop their prenatal once their baby is a year old and eating more solids, and switch to a regular woman’s multivitamin. You should think about what vitamins you are getting through your diet when deciding whether to stop taking a prenatal vitamin and switch a regular vitamin. When you are breastfeeding, you have the same need for extra vitamins as you did while you were pregnant. You should also pay careful attention to your vitamin D levels, as well as your iron levels while pregnant, and while breastfeeding. It is important to maintain those levels during pregnancy, not only to keep you and the baby healthy, but to ensure you levels will be steady after you give birth. Both vitamin D and Iron deficiencies cannot be fixed immediately, but instead must be built up over a few months or longer. If possible, have your D and Iron levels tested during pregnancy to make sure you do not need a larger dose of either vitamin than what is already in your prenatal vitamin. Breastfed babies do not usually need any extra supplements. This is only the case if the mother has had adequate levels throughout her pregnancy, and continues to take a prenatal while breastfeeding. If you have adequate vitamin D levels while breastfeeding, your baby will too. As always, continue to get some vitamin D directly from the sun if possible. If your levels are low, or if you had low levels during pregnancy, then it is usually recommended for your baby to take a small amount of iron, and spend some time every day in the sunshine. As always, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about you and your baby’s specific needs.