I’m breast­feed­ing my new baby. Is it ad­vis­able to take a vi­ta­min sup­ple­ment?

Deanne Hutchin­son, Slough

Mother & Baby (UK) - - HERE TO HELP -

Yes, you should have 10mcg of vi­ta­min D ev­ery day when breast­feed­ing. Vi­ta­min D helps with cal­cium ab­sorp­tion, and boosts your baby’s bone de­vel­op­ment, so you need to have suf­fi­cient lev­els of it in your breast­milk. It’s es­pe­cially im­por­tant to take a sup­ple­ment from Oc­to­ber to March, as we get most of our vi­ta­min D from sun­shine, and at this time of year there sim­ply isn’t enough. Vi­ta­min D is also found in oily fish, such as salmon and mack­erel, and is added to some break­fast ce­re­als, but most women don’t get enough from diet alone.

If you eat a well-bal­anced diet and have no other health con­cerns, you shouldn’t need any other sup­ple­ments, apart from this. If you eat a re­stricted diet, such as ve­gan or dairy-free, how­ever, you should talk to your doc­tor about sup­ple­ments con­tain­ing vi­ta­min B12, io­dine and other nu­tri­ents.

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