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Vitamins and Minerals Needs For Nursing Moms

Vitamins and Minerals Needs For Nursing Moms

Most women know the importance of prenatal vitamins during pregnancy for the healthy development of their child, but a nursing mom also requires extra vitamins and minerals. Although your baby will get what he or she needs from breast milk even if you're lacking in certain vitamins and minerals, a nutritional diet combined with supplements is necessary for baby's long term health. Certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6 and vitamin C are affected by what you eat, so it's important to maintain a healthy diet to ensure that your baby is getting adequate nutrition from breast milk.

It can be difficult to eat well after pregnancy and childbirth. When baby keeps you up all night it might be tempting to get by on coffee and sugar to stay awake, but it's not healthy for you or your baby. Every day, you should be eating between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables, three to four servings of dairy products, and two to three servings of protein such as lean meats or beans. Nursing moms should also be eating six to eleven servings of pasta, cereals and rice, and staying hydrated with at least eight glasses of water per day.

Breastfeeding requires a lot of nutrients, so you might need an additional supplement while you're nursing. Omega 3 is essential for the brain development of your baby, and calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth. Other vitamins and minerals a nursing mom needs are iron, zinc and magnesium. Some breastfeeding mothers get enough vitamins and minerals from their diet, while others require a supplement to make up for deficiencies.

If you eat a vegetarian diet, you might need to supplement your diet with vitamin B12 and vitamin D, as well as iron and calcium. It's important that vegetarian or vegan moms get enough protein, which is found mostly in lean meats and fishes. Other good sources of protein include tofu, beans, and nuts.

The majority of vitamins and minerals don't affect breast milk levels and are very safe for nursing moms. However, fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A and E do affect breast milk, so you must be careful when taking supplements that contain them. Too much of these vitamins can be harmful to your baby. Always talk to your doctor before taking supplements, and remember that even herbs and natural supplements can have risks and side effects. It is not safe to take a general multivitamin either; nursing moms need special supplements made especially for use during breastfeeding.

The best bet for healthy breastfeeding is a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as an assortment of vitamins and minerals found in food. If extra nutrients are needed, a supplement can help nursing mothers get the vitamins and minerals they need.


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