Vitamins for nursing mothers are organic substances that provide the vital processes in the body of a woman and the fetus. They are indispensable, 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 the baby, the mother's body is especially sensitive to nutrient deficiency and is on the verge of hypovitaminosis. There is a need for recovery after pregnancy and before lactation.
To prevent vitamin deficiency, it is extremely important for a nursing woman to eat properly. Due to the massive 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 4 times (according to the experiments of V. Dadali and R. Piskoppel, conducted in 2004 in Spain). Therefore, even a balanced menu cannot 100% satisfy the daily requirement of the body for nutrients. To solve these problems, a woman should additionally take vitamin complexes.
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 an acute shortage arises.
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. The daily norm is 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 varies 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 preferably 1.5 grams of organic vitamin C per day, dividing into 6 - 8 doses.
- Vitamin PP (nicotinic acid). It stabilizes blood pressure, regulates blood circulation, normalizes the digestive tract, participates in fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. When breastfeeding, 18 -23 milligrams of nicotinic acid should enter the mother's body.
- 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 norm 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 norm is 0.004 milligrams.
Proper ontogenesis of the child is impossible without essential micro and macro elements (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 norm 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 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. The daily norm is 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 worsens, the baby’s development slows down, hair begins to fall out, teeth crumble, chronic fatigue, headaches, depression, loss of appetite, and nervousness occur.
What vitamins to choose?
Today, the pharmaceutical industry produces a wide range of dietary supplements and vitamin-mineral complexes for nursing mothers.
- "Vitrum Prenatal Forte". It is an improved formula from Vitrum, supplemented with iodine. The complex includes 12 vitamins, 9 micro and macro elements. The drug is indicated for pregnant and lactating women from the first day of lactation (especially with low hemoglobin and persistent vitamin deficiency). Take the supplement once a day for 1 capsule.
- Elevit Pronatal. Vitamin-mineral complex, including 12 vitamins, 4 macrocells and 3 microelements. Given that the drug contains an increased dosage of magnesium, it is advisable to use it to improve the functioning of the cardiac and nervous systems of women. At the same time, iodine is absent in the composition of the additive, as a result of which there is a need for additional microelement intake. Elevit Pronatal drink one tablet 15 minutes after breakfast.
- "Drive." The components of the supplement are vitamins A, B, PP, E, D3, C, iron, calcium. The composition of the drug does not include iodine, zinc, copper, phosphorus and magnesium. Take care of their additional intake.
Pregnavit is taken 1-3 times a day (depending on the state of the mother).
- Alphabet "Mom's health." The drug contains a full range of substances necessary for a nursing woman (13 vitamins, 11 micro and macro elements, organic acid taurine).
A distinctive characteristic of the drug is the separation of tablets into groups, depending on the ingredient composition. In this case, each category of pills "meets" a specific color: blue, red and white. The components are selected in such a way as to enhance the useful properties of each other. The alphabet is taken 1 tablet of each color three times a day.
- "Complies Mom." The composition of the supplement includes almost all the nutrients necessary for a woman (with the exception of iodine). However, the low content of vitamins D and A do not allow the use of the drug during the first 3 months of feeding. Complivit take 1 tablet 1 time per day.
- "Femibion Natalker 2". The drug is a saturated multivitamin, divided into 2 forms of release (tablets and capsules). The first composition contains 10 vitamins and iodine, in the second - tocopherol and docosahexaenoic acid (omega-3). Given that the composition of the drug does not include fat-soluble vitamins (A and D), the complex can be taken throughout the entire period of lactation. Femibion is consumed once a day after meals (together with a tablet and capsule).
Vitamins are washed down with 200 milliliters of pure water. The duration of the course depends on the state of health of the woman.
Which vitamins are best for a pregnant and lactating wife is determined by the doctor, individually, on the basis of clinical history, taking into account the region of residence, diet.
Recommendations for the reception of complexes
After the birth of a child, women, in 80% of cases, are prescribed vitamin supplements.
Tips for use:
- When breastfeeding, vitamins are taken only after consultation with a doctor. Despite the fact that supplements are dispensed without a prescription, it is important to determine the type of nutrient deficiency. Based on the symptoms and results of the anamnesis, a woman is prescribed a single drug, mineral complex or multivitamin composition. In addition, the gynecologist individually adjusts the duration and regimen of medication.
- If, against the background of using the vitamin complex, the mother has rashes on the body, itching, burning or swelling of the tissues, then the drug is canceled. If you ignore the recommendations, the child has colic, diathesis, seborrhea, nervous irritability, sleep disturbances. Further consumption of vitamin preparations is possible only under medical supervision.
- Drinking nutrients throughout the duration of lactation is highly undesirable. To compensate for the vitamin deficiency, a short-term course is enough (20 to 30 days). If necessary (persistent vitamin deficiency), therapy is repeated after a ten-day break.
- If a woman has chronic pathologies of the liver, kidneys, gall bladder or thyroid gland, vitamins are taken only as prescribed by the gynecologist, under the supervision of a doctor.
- Nutritional supplements are best consumed in the morning after a meal (with a one-time intake).
- Residents of the sea coast are allowed to take compounds 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.
Vitamin deficiency in a woman during lactation
Considering that after the birth the body of the young mother is extremely weakened, the first signs of vitamin deficiency appear already 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, concentration of attention, sleep;
- thinning and hair loss;
- worsening of the psychoemotional state, depression;
- numbness in the joints and muscles;
- digestive disorders;
- tooth decay (caries).
When these symptoms appear, they immediately contact a gynecologist. A 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 compensating for essential substances, the drugs are administered intramuscularly or intravenously.
If you do not stop vitamin deficiency for a long time, lactation may stop.
Remember, a deficiency of nutrients in the mother’s body is fraught with the development of pathologies in the child: growth retardation, decreased mental development, malformed bone tissue.
Common Vitamin Myths
As practice shows, gynecologists are most often asked questions not about breastfeeding, but about the effect of vitamin complexes on the baby’s health.
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 No. 2 "If you do not use 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 so, even with poor nutrition, the lack of vitamins and minerals is instantly compensated by the resources of the female body. At the same time, the concentration of nutrients in milk remains stable (up to 2 years).
Myth number 3 "Vitamins for lactation is acceptable to choose independently"
It is better not to do this (to avoid allergies). Vitamins for nursing mothers are prescribed by a gynecologist, taking into account the state of health, location, type of vitamin deficiency and diet. This approach will help to avoid overdose and lack of certain substances, which lead to a slowdown in the growth and development of the baby.
Myth No. 4 "Vitamins are important to take throughout the lactation period."
Perhaps this is the most common misconception. To replenish the supply of essential substances, vitamins are drunk in short-term courses (according to the scheme indicated by the gynecologist). The average duration of therapy varies from 20 to 30 days. After a week, the treatment is repeated (if necessary).
If you use pharmacological complexes constantly, in 80% of cases, symptoms of hypervitaminosis develop (diarrhea, rashes on the body, headache, insomnia, hair loss). In addition, an excess of fat-soluble substances (A, D, E) is fraught with dysfunctions of the urinary system, increased bone fragility (osteoporosis), and increased blood pressure.
Myth No. 5 "The amount of breast milk directly 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 mothers "in products"
A balanced diet during lactation is the key to the well-being of the mother and child.
Consider the range of products that are important 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 the 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. A woman needs the product to make up for a deficiency in protein, iron, and vitamin B12. During lactation, it is better to use boiled meat of chicken, turkey, rabbit, beef (200 mg per 300 grams every 2 days).
- 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, vegetables contain iron, amino acids, vitamins C, A and B. The most useful of them are broccoli, herbs, 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 months), it is advisable to eat 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% of 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, to prevent vitamin deficiency, pregnant and lactating women are shown additional intake of multivitamin complexes, the type and duration of administration of which is determined by the doctor based on the state of health, place of residence and time of year.