By Wendy Colson, RN, IBCLC, RLC
We’ve all been there mama! You’re feeling under the weather and looking for natural options that are safe for you and your baby while breastfeeding. It can be a confusing task to find things that are effective while being safe! Let’s break down my top recommendations for over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements for breastfeeding mothers!
- Vitamin D3: This is hands-down my favorite vitamin! I believe in it so much I became a certified Vitamin D practitioner in public health. Greater than 50% of the population is deficient, and yet it’s not even included in routine prenatal labs. Correcting a low Vitamin D level while pregnant has been associated with fewer preterm births, gestational diabetes, and hypertension (preeclampsia). In the general population, a deficiency is linked to higher illness, depression, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer. Optimal levels are 40-60 ng/ml for the general population and a vitamin D serum level of 60 ng/ml or greater for breast cancer survivors, like myself. Don’t rely on your prenatal vitamin to provide enough protection, they fall short with only 400IUs. That’s why I included 1,000 IU of vegan Vitamin D3 in our Superfood Protein Powder. Studies have shown breastfeeding mothers who take 6,400IUs per day will actually pass down the recommended 400IU to your baby through your breastmilk.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: helps your immune system and produces anti-inflammatory compounds that “turn off” the inflammatory response. This is also a great supplement for mothers since reduced brain DHA content in studies shows increased vulnerability to postpartum depression
- Vitamin C, Zinc, and Elderberry: these are great to include when you feel a cold or sore throat coming on and continue daily to help promote your immune system when feeling runs down as a busy mama. Our BOOBIE* Bears are a great way to get your zinc and elderberry.
GENERAL TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY WHILE BREASTFEEDING
- Choose superfoods, not junk for your meals and snacks in accordance with your hunger. Make sure you stay hydrated if you are vomiting or have diarrhea and drink to thirst to meet your fluid needs!
- Get plenty of rest when you can!
- Engage in gentle movement (think light stretching, walking, etc) to support your physical health and mood.
Be sure to take it easy mama, even SuperMoms need rest! Your body will thank you for giving it time to recover and you should be on the mend soon.