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Multivitamin and mineral supplements and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding-specific multi vitamin supplements are expensive and many mothers want to purchase standard multivitamin and mineral supplements. The standard products such as Sanatogen™ and Centrium™ are suitable for use. It is important not to take products which claim to be high dose and where the recommended daily amount is reported as in excess of 100% on the label.

The only vitamins needed by breastfeeding mothers are vitamin D 10 mcg/day and folic acid 400mcg/day if no active contraception is being used. Normal diets should provide everything your body needs. Remember babies need vitamin D supplements too according to UK recommendations

However, we do know that as a new mum finding time to eat properly can be a challenge and a multivitamin is a safety net.

AVOID dose of vitamin A above 700-800 mcg/day and vitamin B6 above 20-50 mg/day. Iodine can concentrate in breastmilk so do not take levels in excess of 100% RDA.

Omega fatty acids are compatible with breastfeeding

There are no studies on the safety of high dose intra-venous (IV) vitamin drips in breastfeeding mothers. These are purported to cure hangovers, help fight exhaustion, have anti-ageing benefits and to boost the immune system. These claims lack scientific evidence of benefit.

In the absence of a diagnosed vitamin deficiency a standard multivitamin and mineral preparation or a supplement developed for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, containing vitamin D and folic acid, as above should supply all nutritional needs alongside a healthy diet.

See also factsheet on high dose vitamin D supplements and breastfeeding


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