Are you a first-time mother and ready to breastfeed your baby but do not know the importance of Vitamin C while breastfeeding? Then you are in the right place. Here you will find all the information about how vitamin C is beneficial for breastfeeding mothers, in what perspective it helps grow your baby, and are there any issue if you take a lot of it?
What role Vitamin C plays in the body?
Vitamin C has an essential role to play in teeth development as well as in tissue growth and repair. Also, it is a vital nutrient needed for the body to form and maintain blood vessels, skin, and bone. So, a woman needs to increase their intake of Vitamin C when starting to breastfeed their baby.
Also, because it is an excellent source of antioxidants, it carries a protective function in the body. In other words, it protects the cells, aids absorption of iron, helps healing wounds, infant urine, etc. Moreover, it’s a water-soluble vitamin found in many fruits and vegetables like kiwi, berries, tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, etc.
Do babies benefit from Vitamin C?
Yes, babies need Vitamin C in their diets in the same way adult does. So, it is best to include the sources of Vitamin C as much as possible from their younger age. The facts of including it in their diet are mentioned below:
- If your baby does not receive the required amount of Vitamin C, they may eventually develop deficiency. Moreover, if the deficiency of Vitamin C continues for long, your baby has a threat of suffering from scurvy.
- It is a well-known fact that until your baby turns the age of six months, he or she requires 40mg of Vitamin C daily. However, the dose increases to 50mg from six months to one year and the rest. So, as long as you are taking in the required amount of Vitamin C the baby will also be getting its share of vitamins for proper growth.
- When your baby is small, he or she has no source of Vitamin C intake other than your breastmilk. This means to give your baby plenty of vitamins that he/she requires, you must include plenty of Vitamin C in your regular diet as well. It is not a good idea to give your baby Vitamin C supplements at such an early stage. However, if you are the one taking it, it’s not a problem.
Considering the above points, if your question is: Can I take Vitamin C while breastfeeding? Then the answer would be yes. In fact, it is very necessary for the proper growth of the baby.
Pros of taking Vitamin C when breastfeeding
There are tons of benefits of adding Vitamin C to your regular diet when starting to breastfeed your baby. To be specific about the situation, it helps strengthen the immune system, increases the milk supply in the body, and makes teeth and bones strong.
However, to get more benefits, make sure to stick to the supplement schedule and maintain the right amount of it. Otherwise, it might show you some side effects, which we will discuss later.
The advantages are as below:
Boosting your immunity
Including vitamin C in your diet plan when breastfeeding will boost your immunity system. So even if you catch a cold or falls sick and immediately start taking Vitamin C, you will notice a great recovery. This is mainly because Vitamin C helps the body fight better against infection or illness. Also, remember that the benefits you are getting from intaking Vitamin C are passing down to your baby, giving him/her steady health.
Increasing supply of milk
Another benefit of taking Vitamin C while breastfeeding is an increased supply of milk in the body. So, when you regularly take Vitamin C supplements, you notice a steadier flow of milk and other positive effects on your milk because of the antioxidants level present in the supplements. Therefore, if you are a mother who has a problem with your milk supply, it is best to try this supplement. However, also make sure to talk about the problem with your doctor.
Stronger teeth and bones
Vitamin C is also capable of making teeth and bones stronger. Many people think that Vitamin D has the power to do so, but in reality, several other vitamins also have the capability to ensure the teeth and bones are healthy and stronger. Plus, when you become a mom, you always want to prevent your baby from suffering any problem relating to bones and teeth. So, in such a case switching to Vitamin C supplements would be a great idea.
Cons of taking too much of Vitamin C for lactating mothers
In case the level of the Vitamin C intake increases than the level recommended, the mother may experience the following problem:
- Burning sensation in your chest
- Extreme pain in the abdominal area
- Nausea or vomiting
- Possibly kidney stone
- Intestinal gas
What is the recommended dosage of Vitamin C for proper breastfeeding?
If your diet plan does not contain the required Vitamin C level, then it is best to take a Vitamin C supplement. However, if you have no idea of the amount of Vitamin C that will keep both you and your baby safe? Then consult your physician and they will prescribe the required dosages of Vitamin C suitable for your body.
If you are not pregnant, it is commonly suggested to take 75mg of Vitamin C per day. In contrast, the recommended vitamin C intake in nursing women is around 120mg per day. There are cases in which the dosage level rises to 1000mg, but it is also not the reason for causing health issues and definitely not the reason to stop breastfeeding.
The important fact is that you can never overdose on Vitamin C. This is because it is a water-soluble vitamin, so if in case you overdose, the body immediately expels the increased amount out of your body. However, some side effects will still appear like diarrhea, upset stomach, headache, etc.
Related Article: Are Protein Shakes Safe While Breastfeeding?
What happens when you don’t take enough Vitamin C while breastfeeding?
Another question that pops up in mind is what happens when you don’t take enough Vitamin C while breastfeeding? Even though such deficiency is rare in nursing mothers and babies, if the situation arises, there is a chance of developing joint pain, small red and purple spots all over the body, gum inflammation, poor wound healing, fatigue, scurvy, etc.
Vitamin C deficiency could occur when you are eating only a limited amount of food or having severe medical conditions like kidney problems, malabsorption or cancer.
There are a lot of reasons for including Vitamin C in your diet plan when breastfeeding your baby. It is a vital nutrient that your baby needs to grow right and fight against diseases. However, you must also ensure you maintain the right dosages to avoid any problems in the future. Also, if there are any more questions or concerns about your supplement intakes, you can always ask your doctor.