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Breastfeeding supplements: What breastfeeding women should know

During breastfeeding, women are in an exceptional state. The body has some special features, which are reflected in the hormonal composition and the need for vitamins and minerals, among other things. This article shows whether dietary supplements are necessary during breastfeeding and what nutritional requirements exist.

Why should breastfeeding mothers consider taking nutritional supplements while breastfeeding?

As the female body is in an exceptional state during breastfeeding, there are some special features to consider. The daily energy requirement, for example, is increased by around 500 kcal. This additional requirement can be covered by a varied diet. Your diet should include fruit, vegetables, fish, wholemeal products and high-quality vegetable oils. If you eat a balanced diet, there is usually no need to take vitamins and minerals in the form of food supplements.

However, in certain cases it may be necessary to help out a little. Some women do not like fish. The additional requirement for omega-3 fatty acids can be covered by dietary supplements. And those who follow a vegan diet should also consider taking appropriate supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This not only provides the woman herself with everything her body needs. The baby also gets all the nutrients it needs.

The most important thing in any case is to consult your doctor. The doctor can not only determine a deficiency or an increased nutrient requirement. They are also in a position to make recommendations. Women should not simply take vitamins and minerals in the form of food supplements on a whim during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is better to discuss the intake with your doctor in advance.

Which food supplements are suitable for mothers who are breastfeeding?

Many vitamins and minerals are particularly important during breastfeeding. We have selected the essential nutrients that should not be missed during this special phase of life. Whether through food or supplements – every breastfeeding mother needs these substances.


Women need more iodine – one of the most important trace elements– when breastfeeding and during pregnancy. This nutrient is particularly essential for a functioning thyroid gland. Many other bodily functions are derived from this, which are essential for both the mother and the child.

In many cases, an increased iodine requirement cannot be covered by food. That is why there are special preparations. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) advises women who are breastfeeding to take a daily dose of 150 micrograms. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends 100 to 150 micrograms.

Women with thyroid disease are a special case. Anyone suffering from Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis should always consult a doctor before taking iodine.

Omega-3 fatty acids

As the baby is supplied with all the important nutrients through breast milk , a sufficient supply of omega-3 fatty acids plays a major role for the breastfeeding mother. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for good brain and eye development. Experts advise pregnant and breastfeeding women to take 200 mg of DHA a day.

Folic acid

A sufficient supply of vitamins is also important. Folic acid is particularly important. It is included in many vitamin complexes for breastfeeding mothers for good reason. Folic acid is an important vitamin for the healthy development of babies. It is found in wholemeal cereals and green vegetables in particular. The vitamin is particularly important for cell division and other growth processes . This is why such nutrients are also recommended if you want to have children and during pregnancy. Women should not exceed an intake of 1000 micrograms of folic acid per day.

Other B vitamins

Folic acid belongs to the group of B vitamins. However, there are other B vitamins that breastfeeding women should not do without. Vitamin B12 and vitamin B2 promote haematopoiesis and the child’s energy metabolism . Vitamin B12 is found in liver, meat and fish. Other sources include dairy products and eggs. Those who eat a vegan diet are therefore often not sufficiently supplied with these vitamins. Food supplements come into play.

Vitamins A, C, E

Vitamins A, C and E have an antioxidant effect. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the intake of vitamin C must be increased. There is a very simple reason for this: vitamin C helps the mother’s body and that of the child to absorb iron better. It also prevents brain damage in the baby. Furthermore, vitamin C strengthens the immune system – the vitamin is therefore essential for good defences and against tiredness and weakness. Fruit and vegetables are the main sources of vitamin C: peppers, sea buckthorn, kale, fennel, rosehips and blackcurrants are good examples.

Vitamin A is also essential. The vitamin is found in large quantities in liver and liver-containing products in particular. Eggs and milk also provide vitamin A, which is also contained as beta-carotene. But what is the vitamin actually important for? In fact, the need for the vitamin is almost twice as high during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is essential for the child’s immune system and for good development .

And what about vitamin E? This vitamin is needed so that the cell membranes can build up properly. Foods such as nuts, fruit and vegetables provide vitamin E. However, oils such as sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, maize germ oil, wheat germ oil and soya oil are particularly recommended.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a vitamin that cannot be obtained from food. The body has to produce it itself – with the help of sunlight. A regular intake of vitamin D while breastfeeding is said to reduce the baby’s susceptibility to infections. The dose should not exceed 10 to 20 micrograms per day.

Tips for taking food supplements while breastfeeding

If you are unable to cover your need for a certain vitamin through your diet while breastfeeding, you may want to consider supplementing with food supplements. In fact, such supplements can make a big difference and have a positive effect on both mother and child.

When buying supplements, it is important that they are of high quality. There are many products on the market. Capsules and tablets of natural origin are the most suitable. At Kingnature, for example, you will find high-quality , natural food supplements that contain healthy ingredients. These can be particularly well utilised by the body.

In addition, mothers who are breastfeeding should only take nutritional supplements if the nutrient supply from their diet is insufficient. An overdose of a particular vitamin or mineral can be absolutely dangerous. To avoid harming yourself and your child, breastfeeding and pregnant women should always consult their doctor or pharmacy beforehand. Here you can get the advice you need for this situation.

Conclusion: dietary supplements can be useful during breastfeeding

As breastfeeding mothers have a higher requirement for certain vitamins and minerals , it can happen that this cannot be covered by the diet. This is when dietary supplements come into play. Women in this situation should always bear in mind that such supplements are no substitute for a balanced diet. They should also carefully check the dose and quality of the supplements.