Five Supplements Every Nursing Mother Should Take

Breastfeeding is one of those times in a woman’s life when extra care should be taken in terms of diet. Whatever you eat and the supplements you take will affect the quality of breast milk. Although eating a nutrient-dense diet will increase the quality of breast milk, there are also certain supplements that can make it that much better for baby.

Coconut Oil. This healthy fat is by far my favorite. It contains high levels of lauric acid, found naturally in breast milk, which helps boost immunity and support healthy brain development. It can be added into smoothies, spread on toast, or eaten by the spoonful. Aim for at least three to five tablespoons per day.

Probiotics. When babies are born, their guts are completely sterile. Their first cultures of beneficial gut bacteria come from passing through the birth canal, and then from nursing. Taking a high-quality probiotic while nursing ensures that baby gets plenty of beneficial bacteria through the breast milk to help boost immunity and reduce the risk of ear infections. This is especially important for babies born via C-Section since they don’t get the initial boost of beneficial bacteria through exposure to the birth canal.

Vitamin D3. Making sure you’re getting enough vitamin D is critical for baby’s bone development, as well as both mother and baby’s hormone development and immune systems. To supplement accurately, you will need to get a blood test and have a health professional help you determine the right supplement level for you.

Omega 3s. Omega 3s are another healthy fat that beneficial for brain development, and they also protect against inflammation. It is a great mood booster when taken regularly, and they can help combat post-partum depression. Most people supplement 300 mg per day, but check with your doctor to discuss your maximum safe dose.

Multivitamin. Since the mother’s nutrients are prioritized for baby through the breast milk, there might not be enough quality nutrients left for mom. Taking a high quality multivitamin gives mother extra insurance that she’s meeting all of her vitamin and mineral requirements and getting enough to keep both mother and baby healthy.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby. Visit her blog and website at

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