Pregnancy While Breastfeeding
By Dr. Lauren Molinaro Shelton
Pregnancy and breastfeeding can take a toll on a woman’s body, which is why many postpartum moms turn to supplements to support their health and wellness. However, if you are pregnant again while still breastfeeding an older child, it’s important to be cautious about the supplements you take. Some supplements may not be safe for both pregnancy and breastfeeding. In this article, we’ll explore the supplements that are commonly recommended for postpartum moms who are newly pregnant while still breastfeeding an older child.
Prenatal vitamins: Prenatal vitamins are recommended for all pregnant women to help support the growth and development of the fetus. They are also important for breastfeeding moms to help replenish nutrients that may have been depleted during pregnancy and delivery. Look for a prenatal vitamin that contains iron, folate, and vitamin D. According to the American Pregnancy Association, prenatal vitamins can help prevent birth defects and support the health of both mom and baby.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are important for both pregnancy and breastfeeding. They help support the baby’s brain and eye development during pregnancy and can also help with postpartum depression in breastfeeding moms. Fish oil supplements are a common source of omega-3s, but if you’re worried about mercury contamination, you can also try algae-based supplements. The National Institutes of Health reports that omega-3s may also reduce the risk of preterm labor and birth.
Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help support digestive health and boost the immune system. They may also help reduce the risk of eczema and other allergies in infants. Look for a probiotic supplement that contains lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains. According to the National Institutes of Health, probiotics may also help prevent gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Spore-based probiotics have also increased the ability for the probiotic to travel safely to the gut and be more effective.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is important for bone health and immune function. Breastfed infants may not get enough vitamin D from breast milk alone, which is why it’s important for breastfeeding moms to take a supplement. Look for a vitamin D supplement that contains at least 600 IU per day. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all breastfed infants receive a vitamin D supplement. Always discuss with a trusted medical provider that in knowledgable on supplementation to better understand how much to supplement.
It’s important to note that not all supplements are safe for both pregnancy and breastfeeding. Always consult with your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements or medications, especially if you are pregnant and still breastfeeding an older child.
In summary, prenatal vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, and vitamin D are commonly recommended supplements for postpartum moms who are newly pregnant while still breastfeeding an older child. These supplements can help support the health and wellness of both mom and baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding. By incorporating these supplements into your daily routine, you can give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive during this special time.
American Pregnancy Association. Prenatal Vitamins. Retrieved from https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/prenatal-vitamins-7665/
National Institutes of Health. Omega-3 Fatty Acids Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/
National Institutes of Health. Probiotics Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-HealthProfessional/
American Academy of Pediatrics. Vitamin D & Iron. Retrieved from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/Pages/Vitamin-D-and-Iron-Supplements.aspx