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