Prenatal Vitamins and Breastfeeding
Taking prenatal vitamins and breastfeeding is a safe and beneficial combination. Because breast milk is an important source of vitamins and minerals for breastfed infants, it is helpful for mothers to take prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding. However, it may not be beneficial to have too much of certain vitamins and minerals, so you should check with your healthcare provider before taking any additional vitamins.
Should I Take Prenatal Vitamins While Breastfeeding?Prenatal vitamins are safe for use during breastfeeding. In fact, it is often recommended that women take prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding, as breastfeeding is a time of increased nutritional need.
Prenatal Vitamins and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?Research has suggested that many of the vitamins and minerals found in prenatal vitamins pass through breast milk. However, this is usually a desirable thing. For infants who are exclusively breastfed, breast milk is the only source of important vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to take too much of any particular vitamin or mineral, so you should not take any extra vitamins and minerals (unless you have your healthcare provider's approval).
There is one exception to this suggestion -- prenatal vitamins usually do not contain enough calcium for most women. Calcium is a bulky mineral, and it is difficult (if not impossible) to fit enough calcium into a single tablet along with all of the other ingredients in prenatal vitamins. Ask your healthcare provider if you should take extra calcium, especially if your diet is low in dairy products.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Prenatal Vitamins and BreastfeedingYou should talk with your healthcare provider about prenatal vitamins and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about prenatal vitamins and breastfeeding in your particular situation. In general, prenatal vitamins are considered to be safe (and actually beneficial) for breastfeeding women and their infants.