Vitamin Supplements For Breastfeeding Women

Should A Nursing Mom Take A Daily Vitamin?

Do breastfeeding mothers have to take vitamin supplements?
Do you need to take vitamins while you're breastfeeding?. AE Pictures Inc./Getty

Do You Need To Take Vitamin Supplements While You're Breastfeeding?

If you eat a healthy diet consisting of a variety of foods, you shouldn't need to take a daily vitamin supplement while you are breastfeeding. But, if you have any concerns or questions about taking any supplements, talk to your doctor. You health care provider may suggest that you continue to take your prenatal vitamin or another multivitamin.

Vitamins are a good way to get extra nutrients, but you shouldn't take a vitamin in place of healthy eating. Vitamins are only supplements, so don't rely on them to provide your body with all the nutrition it needs: vitamins are meant to add to, not replace, healthy eating.

There are some instances, though, when a supplement is necessary.

When You Need To Take Vitamins 

Iron Deficiency Anemia: If you have a low iron level in your blood, your doctor may give you an iron supplement.

Strict Vegetarian or Vegan Diets: If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, and you do not eat any animal products at all (including eggs and dairy), you will probably need to take vitamin B12 and calcium supplements. You may also have to add a vitamin D supplement if you do not spend enough time out in the sunlight. Talk to your doctor about your diet, so that he can prescribe the vitamin supplements that you need.


American Academy of Pediatrics. New Mother’s Guide To Breastfeeding. Bantam Books. New York. 2011.

Lawrence, Ruth A., MD, Lawrence, Robert M., MD. Breastfeeding A Guide For The Medical Profession Seventh Edition.  Mosby. 2011.

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