Nursing is a nutrient intensive job and one most of us don’t take lightly. How to supplement for nursing can be confusing at best! Since my baby was born it’s one of the most frequent questions I am asked, so I wanted to share whats working for me.
IMPORTANT: This article is for informational purposes only, based on my needs as a nursing mama, and should not supersede advice from your MD, Naturopathic Doctor or Nutritionist, etc. However, please feel free to share this list with him or her to have an open dialogue. What works for me may not necessarily work for you.
How to supplement for nursing
High Quality Multi-vitamin
Nursing burns anywhere roughly 500 extra calories a day. These calories need to be high quality or mama will burn out and have dramatically aged skin. A multi is like an insurance policy alongside a nutritious diet. An ideal pre-natal multi will include fatty acids, especially DHA; vitamin A; several water-soluble vitamins including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate; iodine and selenium; fatty acids; and vitamin D. A whole food based, non-gmo preferably fermented prenatal is a great way to go. Bonus if its fermented as the nutrients more easily assimilate. Avoid synthetic brands as nutrients may not be properly absorbed.
I am currently taking this new post natal from New Chapter
I have also used and love this one from Garden of Life
Probiotics are vital for helping mama’s fluctuating metabolic needs as well as strengthening immunity. Since 60-70% of the immune system is in the gut, probiotics will help build your baby’s gut and immunity. They can help prevent acid reflux, constipation, diaper rash, yeast, eczema, colic and thrush. They also assist in digestion as well as the absorption of minerals. Yes, fermented foods are great, but I highly recommend supplementing daily (with one like this). Twice per day until baby is taking solids and you can add an infant probiotic if you had a C section.
Greens reduce inflammation, remove toxins, help to balance blood sugar, while providing phytonutrients (disease fighters that keep our system running efficiently.) Greens energize our bodies by supporting healthy mitochondria (powerhouse of our cells.) They also promote healthy digestion. Add one scoop a day to your coconut water or smoothie (like this one.)
I choose to add extra chlorella as it is improves breast milk quality by filtering toxins. This study examined the effects that supplementing with 6 grams of chlorella per day had on breast milk quality. Encouragingly, chlorella was found to increase immunoglobulin (an essential antibody in the immune system) concentrations in breast milk. The research revealed that women who were supplementing with chlorella had lower levels of dioxins in their breast milk – dioxins have been linked to developmental problems, as well as hormone imbalance, and a weakened immune system. Chlorella is also shown to help blood sugar levels and a healthy overall body composition (source). I use this one daily.
Studies (like this one) show fat is essential to brain development. You’ve probably heard the term “mommy brain?” This happens when you are not getting in enough healthy fats like omega-3s. Your body essentially leaches nutrients to provide adequate nutrition for your baby through your breastmilk, and guess where an abundance of those fats exist in your body? You guessed it, your brain and your eyes. I know it’s ideal to eat as nature intended but I am guilty of not getting in 3 servings of wild fish (like salmon, cod, herring, etc.) as well as chia seeds and walnut daily. Fish oil is my anti-inflammatory insurance policy. I like a fish oil that’s not heat purified and from the whole fish (like this one.)
Essential for healthy bone formation. Recent research also tells us that vitamin D is key in the maintenance of our immune systems regulating both infection and inflammatory pathways. I know it’s ideal to get our vitamin D from the sun, but as a new mom (and human surviving daily life) I find it almost impossible to bask in the sunshine. Many people don’t get year round sun where they live as well. Under close watch of my functional MD I have played around with my D intake. I find I get very depressed when I have less than 5,000 IU’s a day. I find all of my clients have a sweet spot. I do recommend nursing mama’s take 5,000 IU’s daily with fish oil and a healthy diet to meet the recommended 6400 IU’s recommended (in this study) to avoid infant supplementation. This is my favorite D3 supplement.
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Desiccated Liver– keeps my energy up as well as supporting my liver and thyroid when my sleep is all over the place. I like this one.
Hydrolyzed Collagen- to prevent hair loss, balance hormones and tighten skin postpartum, I added 1 T in my smoothie and 1T in a mug of bone broth for the first full month after delivery. I add to my smoothies daily and bone broth several times a week. I like this one.
The photo above is my first “brelfie” breast feeding selfie so I thought I would share. I know so many people have so many thoughts on “brelfies.” What’s your take? Filter, show it all or don’t do it?
Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition.PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive montetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust. MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, or as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with your advising physician before starting any treatment for a medical condition. Real Nutritious Living, LLC shall not be held liable or responsible for any misunderstanding or misuse of the information contained on this site or for any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any treatment, action, or application of any food or food source discussed in this site.