Vitamins for nursing mothers – organic substances that provide life processes in the body of a woman and the fetus. They are irreplaceable, since they are almost not synthesized by the cells of internal organs. Vitamins are an important component of biological catalysts (hormones and enzymes), which are the strongest regulators of metabolic reactions in the body.
The birth of a child is a significant event in the life of every woman. However, after carrying a baby, the maternal organism is especially sensitive to nutrient deficiency and is on the verge of hypovitaminosis. There is a need for recuperation after pregnancy and before lactation.
For the prevention of vitamin deficiency, it is extremely important for a nursing woman to eat fully. Due to the mass chemicalization and industrialization of agriculture in the twentieth century, the amount of nutrients in the soil decreased by 70%. As a result, the biological value of plant and animal products decreased by a factor of 4 (according to the experiments of V. Dadali and R. Pisoppel, carried out in 2004 in Spain). Therefore, even a balanced menu cannot satisfy 100% of the organism’s daily need for nutrients. To solve these problems, a woman should additionally take vitamin complexes.
- 1 What nutrients are needed for lactation?
- 2 Recommendations for the reception of complexes
- 3 Beriberi in a woman during lactation
- 4 Common myths about vitamins
- 4.1 Myth number 1 “It is important for nursing mothers to consume several vitamin complexes”
- 4.2 Myth number 2 “If you do not eat nutrients during lactation, breast milk will be” empty “
- 4.3 Myth number 3 “It is permissible to select vitamins for lactation by yourself”
- 4.4 Myth number 4 “It is important to take vitamins throughout the lactation period”
- 4.5 Myth number 5 “The amount of breast milk depends on the intake of multivitamins”
- 5 Vitamins for moms “in products”
- 6 Conclusion
What nutrients are needed for lactation?
During breastfeeding, the baby’s need for nutrients is offset by maternal reserves of essential substances in milk. At the same time, vitamins of groups B, A, E, C and D are “consumed” especially quickly, as a result of which there is an acute shortage of them.
Functions and norms of consumption of these elements:
- Vitamin A (retinol, beta-carotene). Participates in the formation of bone tissue, visual reflexes and skin of the baby, improves the functional state of the dermis, hair and nails of a woman. Daily Value – 1,8 – 4,5 milligrams.
- Vitamin D (cholecalciferol). Mineralizes the bones and rudiments of teeth in an infant, optimizes the functioning of the heart muscle, and prevents the occurrence of rickets. The daily dose for breastfeeding mothers is 0,01 milligrams.
- Vitamin E (tocopherol, tocotrienol). It controls the synthesis of lactation hormones, regulates the pituitary and sexual glands. Daily requirement ranges from 12 to 15 milligrams per day.
- Vitamin C (calcium ascorbate). Strengthens the immunity of the mother and child, improves the absorption of micro and macro elements, potentiates the synthesis of steroid hormones. During lactation, it is important for women to consume at least 90 milligrams, and better – 1,5 grams of organic vitamin C per day, crushing 6 – 8 receptions.
- Vitamin PP (nicotinic acid). It stabilizes blood pressure, regulates blood circulation, normalizes the digestive tract, participates in fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. When breastfeeding, the mother should receive 18 –23 milligrams of nicotinic acid.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine). Participates in the laying of receptor structures (conducting) of the child’s nervous system. The daily requirement is 15 – 25 milligrams.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Growth factor. Potentiates the development of the skeleton, muscle tissue, the brain of the child. Along with this, riboflavin supports the mother’s nervous system. The daily allowance is 2,2 milligrams.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Participates in the formation of the infant’s nervous system, including the development of the brain and spinal cord. In addition, the nutrient “controls” the processes of hematopoiesis and the synthesis of pituitary hormones. It is important for a nursing woman to consume at least 2,2 milligrams of pyridoxine per day.
- Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin). Supports the proper functioning of the nervous, digestive and hematopoietic systems (mother and baby). The daily rate is 0,004 milligrams.
Correct ontogenesis of a child is impossible without essential micro- and macroelements (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron and iodine).
What are they needed for?
- Calcium. Participates in the construction of bone tissue, brain, skin, visual apparatus of the baby. Regulates the mother’s heartbeat, prevents the risk of osteoporosis, strengthens tooth enamel. For a nursing woman, the daily norm is 1200 milligrams.
- Phosphorus. Participates in the mechanisms of energy exchange in the cell, is part of the bone tissue. The daily dose of the nutrient is 1,8 milligrams.
- Magnesium. It regulates the work of the nervous system (baby and mother), participates in the construction of the bone connective tissue of the baby. It is important for a nursing woman to consume 450 milligrams of magnesium per day.
- Iron. Responsible for transporting oxygen to the tissues and organs of the child. Moreover, the level of hemoglobin in the baby directly depends on the concentration of iron in the mother’s body. The daily rate is 25 milligrams.
- Iodine. Participates in the formation of thyroid hormones, improves mental activity, prevents the development of abnormalities in infants. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, they consume at least 0,2 milligrams of iodine per day.
- Zinc. Strengthens the skeleton of the child, protects the thyroid gland from the damaging effects of free radicals, potentiates the synthesis of insulin. Daily Value – 25 milligrams.
Thus, each nutrient fulfills its “mission” in the body of the mother and child. The lack of any of them does not pass without a trace: the woman’s well-being deteriorates, the baby’s development slows down, her hair begins to fall, teeth crumble, chronic fatigue, headaches, depression, loss of appetite, and nervosa occur.
Recommendations for the reception of complexes
After childbirth, women, in 80% of cases, are prescribed vitamin supplements.
Tips for use:
- When breastfeeding vitamins are taken only after consultation with the doctor. Despite the fact that supplements are sold without a prescription, it is important to determine the type of nutrient deficiency. Based on the symptoms and results of the anamnesis, the woman is prescribed a single agent, a mineral complex or a multivitamin composition. In addition, the gynecologist individually adjusts the duration and pattern of medication.
- If, against the background of the use of the vitamin complex, the mother has a rash on the body, itching, burning or swelling of the tissues, then the drug is canceled. If the recommendation is ignored, the child has colic, diathesis, seborrhea, nervous irritability, sleep disturbances. Further intake of vitamin aids is possible only under the supervision of a physician.
- Drinking nutrients throughout the lactation period is highly undesirable. A short-term course is enough to fill in the vitamin deficiency (20 – 30 days). When there is a need (resistant vitamin deficiency), the therapy is repeated after a ten-day break.
- If a woman has chronic pathologies of the liver, kidneys, gallbladder or thyroid, vitamins are taken only as directed by the gynecologist, under the supervision of a physician.
- Nutritional supplements are best consumed in the morning after meals (with a single intake).
- Residents of the coast are allowed to take formulations without iodine.
A competent approach to the appointment and reception of vitamin complexes will ensure the full development of the baby, as well as preserve the health and beauty of the nursing mother.
Beriberi in a woman during lactation
Considering that after giving birth, the body of a young mother is extremely weakened, the first signs of beriberi appear only a month after the start of breastfeeding.
Symptoms of vitamin deficiency:
- fragility and stratification of nails;
- pallor of the skin, dry mucous membranes;
- violation of breathing, heart rate, attention span, sleep;
- thinning and hair loss;
- worsening of psycho-emotional state, depression;
- numbness in the joints and muscles;
- digestive disorders;
- tooth decay (caries).
When these symptoms occur, immediately contact a gynecologist. The doctor, after conducting a laboratory study, identifies vitamin deficiency. After diagnosis, the patient is prescribed oral multivitamins. In advanced cases, when the body does not respond to non-specific methods of compensation for essential substances, the drugs are administered intramuscularly or intravenously.
If a long time does not stop avitaminosis, lactation may stop.
Remember, the lack of nutrients in the mother’s body is fraught with the development of pathologies in the child: a slowdown in growth, a decrease in mental development, and an incorrect formation of bone tissue.
Common myths about vitamins
As practice shows, gynecologists, most often, ask questions not about breastfeeding, but about the effect of vitamin complexes on the health of the infant.
Consider the most common myths.
Myth number 1 “It is important for nursing mothers to consume several vitamin complexes”
When breastfeeding, the need for vitamins of groups B, A, E, C, D, polyunsaturated fats, micro and macrocells increases. Given that a balanced diet covers 70% of the daily “needs” of the body, it is enough to take one multivitamin composition (as prescribed by the gynecologist).
Myth number 2 “If you do not eat nutrients during lactation, breast milk will be” empty “
This theory is based on the opinion that the composition of breast milk is determined by the diet of the mother. However, this is not the case, even with a poor diet, the lack of vitamins and minerals is immediately compensated by the resources of the female body. At the same time, the concentration of nutrients in milk remains stable (up to 2-x years).
Myth number 3 “It is permissible to select vitamins for lactation by yourself”
It is better not to do this (to avoid allergies). Vitamins for nursing mothers, appoint a gynecologist, taking into account the state of health, residence, type of beriberi and diet. This approach will help to avoid overdose and the lack of certain substances that lead to slower growth and development of the infant.
Myth number 4 “It is important to take vitamins throughout the lactation period”
Perhaps this is the most common misconception. To replenish the reserves of essential substances, vitamins are drunk with short-term courses (according to the scheme indicated by the gynecologist). The average duration of treatment varies from 20 to 30 days. A week later, the treatment is repeated (if necessary).
If you constantly use pharmacological complexes, in 80% of cases, symptoms of hypervitaminosis (diarrhea, body rash, headache, insomnia, hair loss) develop. In addition, excess fat-soluble substances (A, D, E) is fraught with dysfunctions of the urinary system, increased bone fragility (osteoporosis), increased blood pressure.
Myth number 5 “The amount of breast milk depends on the intake of multivitamins”
The amount of nutrient fluid is not affected by the diet of the mother, including the intake of biological complexes. Milk is formed by lactocytes (breast cells) from the blood and lymph, under the influence of the sex hormone prolactin. You can increase the daily portion of the nutrient fluid by frequent application of the baby to the chest (to stimulate the “factor that inhibits lactation”).
Vitamins for moms “in products”
Balanced nutrition during lactation is a prerequisite for the well-being of mother and child.
Consider the range of products that are important to use for a nursing woman:
- Red fish (salmon). A natural source of easily digestible protein, essential fats, vitamins D, B, E and A. To prevent allergic reactions, the product is consumed in moderate dosages – 35 grams per day (maximum 350 grams per week). In addition, low-fat fish varieties are introduced into the mother’s diet: pike perch, hake, cod.
- Sour-milk products (kefir, cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, whey). This food “delivers” proteins, amino acids, B vitamins, cholecalciferol, calcium, phosphorus, lactobacilli to the body. With regular use of sour-milk foods (1 – 2 times a day), the digestive, nervous and immune systems of the mother improve.
- Meat of low-fat varieties. The product is necessary for a woman to fill the deficiency of protein, iron and vitamin B12. During lactation, it is better to eat boiled chicken, turkey, rabbit, beef meat (every 2 of the day for 200 – 300 grams).
- Nuts. The treat is introduced into the menu gradually (no more than 20 grams per day), observing the reaction of the body. The most useful for mothers are pine nuts, walnuts, coconut and almonds. They are rich in antioxidants, fat-soluble vitamins, protein and fiber. With regular consumption of nuts, the fat content of milk increases, cell regeneration processes accelerate.
- Fruits, berries. They contain a wide range of useful substances: vitamins, organic acids, micro and macro elements, bioflavonoids. It is permissible to include blueberries, currants, gooseberries, cherries, cherries in the diet of a nursing woman. At the same time, it is better to refrain from tropical products (oranges, lemons, tangerines). The daily need for berries and fruits is 300 grams per day.
- Green vegetables. They are dairy-free sources of natural calcium. Along with this, iron, amino acids, vitamins C, A and B are present in vegetables. The most useful of them are broccoli, greens, leaf salads, cauliflower (steam), zucchini (baked).
- The eggs. An indispensable product in the diet of a lactating woman. Choline, folic acid, fat-soluble vitamins (D, A and E), phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and calcium are present in the eggs. These substances are involved in the formation of the circulatory, nervous and skeletal systems of the child. At the beginning of lactation (1 – 2 of the month), it is advisable to use soft-boiled quail eggs (2 pieces per day).
- Cereals. After the birth of the baby, preference should be given to unroasted buckwheat (green), brown rice, corn and oatmeal. Then, whole-grain dried bread is introduced into the diet. These products supply the body with dietary fiber, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, zinc, amino acids. With regular intake of cereal crops, the energy potential of the body increases, mood improves, digestion normalizes (evacuation function).
In addition, throughout the day, a nursing mother should drink at least 2,5 liters of pure water.
During breastfeeding, a woman “loses” a huge amount of essential substances. As a result, in 70% mothers, immunity decreases, fatigue increases, irritability increases, and the appearance of the skin worsens. To prevent such dysfunctions, it is important for women “in an interesting position” and women in childbirth to eat fully. The diet should include fish, meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, berries, eggs. At the same time, allergenic foods are excluded from the daily menu (chocolate, tropical fruits, strong broths, peanuts, canned food, sausages, smoked dishes, confectionery, alcohol, exotic dishes).
In addition, for the prevention of beriberi in pregnant and lactating women, an additional intake of multivitamin complexes is shown, the type and duration of which the physician determines based on health, place of residence and season.