Taking vitamin supplements when you are breastfeeding
If you are feeding your baby (or perhaps even twins) and you are worried about how this might drain your own nutritional resources, should you take supplements? We ask our resident expert, GP Dr Maryam Balaie.
The current NHS advice is to maintain a healthy balanced diet while breastfeeding. It has been estimated that while exclusively breastfeeding, women need around 500 extra calories daily – but these should come from a good balance of foods, even if you are feeding twins. You can find out more in our feature Eating well while breastfeeding.
Which supplements should I take?
You could take postnatal vitamin supplements if you feel that your diet alone isn’t providing you with the recommended amounts.
NICE does recommend a Vitamin D supplement in the form of drops for exclusively breastfed babies, as they won’t get enough from breast milk. You can buy these over the counter from any pharmacy, or speak to your health visitor to obtain them through the Healthy Start programme. You can find out if you are eligible via healthystart.nhs.uk. And don’t miss our Top breastfeeding tips for new mums.
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