Vitamin A is necessary for healthy vision. Breast milk contains enough vitamin A for your child. Colostrum, the breast milk your body produces during the first few days of breastfeeding, has twice as much vitamin A as mature or transitional breast milk. These higher levels of vitamin A, especially beta-carotene, are what give colostrum its yellow-orange color.
Formula-fed babies may need additional vitamin A, but breastfed children don't. Vitamin D helps build strong bones and teeth. There is vitamin D in breast milk, but levels vary depending on how much vitamin D is ingested by breastfeeding parents. You can get some vitamin D from your diet, but since most of your vitamin D comes from the sun, your skin tone and where you live play an important role in how much sun exposure and how much vitamin D you'll get.
Because of these factors, along with the protective measures that many people take against sun exposure, they may not have enough vitamin D in their breast milk. When babies don't get enough vitamin D, they can develop a condition called rickets. Rickets cause soft bones that can fracture, arch the legs and other bone problems. Because of the risk of rickets in exclusively breastfed infants whose parents are vitamin D deficient, doctors recommend that all breastfed babies receive a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU daily starting from birth.
Vitamin E protects the cell membranes of the eyes and lungs. There is more than enough vitamin E in breast milk to meet the recommended daily requirements. Vitamin K is involved in the production of blood clotting factors that help stop bleeding. It is given to all babies at birth.
After a dose of vitamin K is given at birth, healthy breastfed babies do not need any additional vitamin K supplements. However, if you're concerned about your own vitamin K levels, your doctor will prescribe supplements to increase vitamin K levels in breast milk. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a strong antioxidant. It helps to heal the body, supports the immune system and helps the absorption of iron by the body.
Vitamin C also prevents a rare condition called scurvy. Breast milk contains plenty of vitamin C. You don't need to take additional vitamin C supplements and you don't have to supplement your breastfed baby with vitamin C. Even if you don't take any extra vitamin C, breast milk will still have twice as much as the recommended amount.
Smoking reduces the amount of vitamin C in breast milk, so if you smoke you will have lower levels and you may need to add more citrus fruits or a daily vitamin C supplement to your diet. Diet influences the amount of vitamin B6 in breast milk. If you have healthy eating habits, you don't need to take B6 supplements. A typical daily dose of B6 supplement will increase the amount of B6 found in breast milk and is considered safe.
Folate contributes to children's health and development. The amount of folate in breast milk is directly related to your diet. The supplement form of folate is folic acid. If you eat a healthy diet, breast milk should contain most of the vitamins your baby needs.
However, even if you follow a healthy breastfeeding diet, if you're exclusively breastfeeding, there are some vitamins and mineral supplements your child may need. For example, as stated above, a vitamin D supplement is usually started right away. Your doctor will use your health history, prenatal tests, and the results of routine blood tests to decide what vitamins, if any, you should take while breastfeeding. In addition to choosing healthy foods to eat, you can continue to take your prenatal vitamins and any other supplements your doctor recommends.
Breast milk alone does not provide babies with an adequate amount of vitamin D. Soon after birth, most babies will need an additional source of vitamin D. The lack of access to modern analytical techniques, such as HPLC, was another possible explanation; simple methods, such as titration measures, only reduced vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and not total ascorbic acid. However, if you're undernourished or follow a diet that doesn't include a variety of healthy foods, the levels of these B vitamins in breast milk are more likely to be lower.
If you follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, or if you've had gastric bypass surgery, breast milk is most likely vitamin B12 deficient. Effects of different levels of vitamin C intake on the concentration of vitamin C in breast milk and on the vitamin C intake of breastfed infants. Alpha-tocopherol in breast milk of women with preterm delivery after a single oral dose of vitamin E after delivery. In total, 26 studies investigated the effect of vitamin A or its different supplementary forms, such as retinol, red palm oil (rich in provitamin A), retinyl palmitate, beta-carotene and retinol palmitate on breast milk content.
Micronutrients and vitamins have a profound effect on children's neural development, metabolic processes, soft tissue and muscle development, oxygen transport and DNA synthesis. Impact of a single mega-dose of vitamin A at the time of delivery on mothers' breast milk and the morbidity of their children. Previous results on the effect of maternal micronutrient and vitamin intake in breast milk are contradictory. A systematic review found that maternal dietary intake, in particular fatty acids and some micronutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamins, vitamins B1 and C, was associated with the micronutrient content in breast milk.
The effects of vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine on breast milk and maternal status in well-nourished women 6 months postpartum. The vitamin D content of breast milk is completely variable and may be affected by season, maternal dietary intake of vitamin D, and ethnicity. Supplementing pregnant women with zinc and beta-carotene is superior to supplementing with beta-carotene alone in improving vitamin A status in both mothers and infants. Continuing exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months indicated a greater cumulative need for vitamin A compared to mothers who only breastfeed 1, 2, or 3 times a day.
Comparison of the effect of maternal vitamin D3 supplementation at daily versus bolus doses on the ratio of 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3...