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Your Guide To Breastfeeding Vitamins And Why They’re Important

Your Guide To Breastfeeding Vitamins And Why They’re Important

Written by: Biostime Nutrition

Supplying your baby with the nutrients it needs for healthy growth is no small task. as you and your baby embark on this journey, it’s important to ensure you have the nutritional support you need to flourish. 

Breastfeeding increases the need for a range of nutrients like calcium, iodine, zinc and folate1. While a healthy diet can be a great way to make sure you get the nutrients you need, sometimes you require some extra support, and this is where a multivitamin formulated specifically for breastfeeding may help bridge the gap.

In this blog we’ll guide you through important breastfeeding vitamins and what they can do for you and your bub.

Why is breastfeeding important? 

Breastfeeding for at least the first 6-12 months is ideal as it gives your baby the healthiest start to life2. Breastmilk offers the best balance of nutrition and protection, as it’s a complete and nutritionally balanced food (and drink) providing everything your baby needs. The composition of breastmilk also changes throughout your baby's different stages of growth and development, adapting to your little one's unique needs3.

The benefits of breastfeeding

The benefits of breastfeeding go beyond nourishment, it also has a range of other health benefits for a growing child. Breastmilk supports healthy growth and contains antibodies that may provide protection against common childhood illnesses. Breastfeeding supports healthy growth, helping to reduce the risk of infections and allergies1.

Breastfeeding is also beneficial for mums in terms of convenience and potentially helping with post-partum weight loss, and reducing the risk of illnesses4. Another key benefit of breastfeeding is that the frequent skin-to-skin contact helps you build a close bond with your baby. 

 A quick guide to breastfeeding supplements

Breastfeeding supplements are specifically designed to support the nutritional needs of breastfeeding mothers’. Breastfeeding supplements can also be used to help increase milk supply, and in some cases improve the quality of breastmilk5. They generally contain a range of ingredients, including key vitamins and minerals which help breastfeeding mothers meet their nutritional needs. 

What vitamins do I need while breastfeeding? 

During breastfeeding, specific vitamins are needed to support both you and your baby6. Ensuring you eat a varied and well-balanced diet, both before and during breastfeeding, can help provide the optimum breastfeeding nutrition. It’s also important for ensuring your breastmilk contains essential nutrients that your little one needs7

 Some of the key vitamins that may be in higher demand during breastfeeding include: 

  • Folate or folic acid
  • Biotin
  • Calcium
  • Iodine
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Vitamin D.

When breastfeeding your body may also need to consume adequate amounts of protein to help maintain muscle mass as well as encourage breastmilk production. During this time, you will also require extra, as much as 500 calories of energy day8

Do I need multivitamins for breastfeeding? 

Breastfeeding mothers need a spectrum of vitamins and nutrients to support both their health and their baby's development. However, it can be hard to meet these needs through diet alone. A breastfeeding multivitamin can be a great way to bridge any nutritional gaps in your diet. Similar to preconception and pregnancy multivitamins, these formulations are designed to support your health during specific stages. It may be beneficial to include a zinc supplement, if it’s not already part of your multivitamin regimen when breastfeeding to help build your baby’s immune system, and support the growth and development of the baby’s brain, bones, muscle, skin and hair9

When should I start breastfeeding supplements? 

Generally, you can start taking breastfeeding supplements once your regular breastmilk supply is established, which is usually around 4-5 days after your baby is born10. Up until this point you may be producing colostrum which is higher in fat and protein than mature breast-milk and packed full of high levels of immunoglobulins that protect your baby from infections11.

 When dietary intake is inadequate, essential nutrients such as calcium, folate, iron and zinc may be taken from your own nutrient stores for breastmilk, so it’s important to start building these up before you begin your breastfeeding journey and continue to eat well to maintain your nutritional status7.

Finding the right breastfeeding supplement 

Breastfeeding vitamins play a crucial role in supporting your health and the health and development of your baby. Whether you’re looking to increase milk supply or support overall health, the right breastfeeding supplement can help meet the nutrient needs of lactation. 

 Keep in mind that it’s always best to speak to your healthcare provider for personalised advice, especially when adding any supplement to your regimen. 


  1. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Nutritional Status During Pregnancy and Lactation. Meeting Maternal Nutrient Needs During Lactation [Internet]. National Academies Press (US); 2016. Available from:
  2. Queensland Health. Importance of breastfeeding [Internet]. 2020. Available from:
  3. WHO. Breastfeeding [Internet]. World Health Organization. World Health Organization: WHO; 2023. Available from:
  4. Kominiarek MA, Rajan P. Nutrition Recommendations in Pregnancy and Lactation. Medical Clinics of North America [Internet]. 2016 Nov;100(6):1199–215. Available from:
  5. Keikha M, Shayan-Moghadam R, Bahreynian M, Kelishadi R. Nutritional supplements and mother’s milk composition: a systematic review of interventional studies. International Breastfeeding Journal [Internet]. 2021 Jan 4;16(1). Available from:
  6. Services D of H & H. Breastfeeding and your diet [Internet]. 2022. Available from:
  7. NSW Health. Vitamins and Minerals in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding MotherSafe -Royal Hospital for Women [Internet]. 2019. Available from:
  8. Breastfeeding vitamins: what you need to know [Internet]. BBC Good Food. Available from:
  9. Healthy breastfeeding diet, exercise and lifestyle [Internet]. Raising Children Network. 2017. Available from:
  10. Breastfeeding and Delayed Milk Production [Internet]. Available from:
  11. Bryant J, Thistle J. Anatomy, Colostrum [Internet]. PubMed. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020. Available from:

Biostime Nutrition - Author