No Vitamin Supplements for Breastfeeding Babies

Updated on January 03, 2007
M.D. asks from Terril, IA
14 answers

My MIL, I love her dearly, but every time I talk to her on the phone, she always seems to think that my 9 month old breastfed baby girl needs vitamin supplements. I don't know why either. It really annoys me though, it makes me feel guilty because I'm not giving my daughter proper nourishment on breastmilk alone. Yes, she does eat some table food, but she is pretty much on breastmilk-at least 8-12 feedings a day for that. There is no need for vitamin supplements for a breastfed baby, I take them myself and it goes into the breastmilk. And I'm not planning on weaning her until she is 1. Why does it make me feel bad? What is it with the society looking down on breastfed babies? A lot of people ask me if I'm weaning her because she has teeth. And these are mothers who give their babies bottles, I'd like to ask them if they are weaning their child from the bottle because they have teeth. Just because my daughter isn't on a bottle, my breasts are her bottle right now. I'm not weaning her! Breastmilk is the best for her and breastfeeding is such an enjoyable experience for both of us. I love it and she loves it! OK, thanks for letting me rant a little.

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B.T.

answers from Omaha on

Don't let people make you feel bad about breastfeeding. I don't know why they discourage the healthiest form of nutrition for babies. I have come across that negative reaction myself. I breastfed my son when he was a baby and am still nursing my daughter. I had the opposite problem with the vitamins though. My mom and MIL thought it was weird when our pediatrician told us to get PolyViSol for our son at about 4 months. At 6 months, we were given a same-type of vitamin, only it also has flouride. I was told Vitamin D does not pass through the breast milk. That is why they now suggest the vitamin. I did it with my son and now with my daughter only because I trust my pediatrician. I would take much of what your MIL says with a grain of salt. Times have changed, and doctors learn new ways to do things all the time. I would definitely talk to your daughter's pediatrician or nurse.

By the way, my mom (who nursed my youngest sister until she was almost 3 and she started getting teeth about 4 months) never supplemented any of us with a vitamin while nursing and we are all healthy.

1 mom found this helpful
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B.F.

answers from Pocatello on

I got flak like you for breastfeeding. Although not from my MIL, from my best friend! She wanted to know why I breastfed my daughter to sleep at night. At the same time she was propping a bottle to get her son to sleep! Of all the nerve! I tell ya, it is harder for me to ignore my friends than my MIL. But I did it. Your baby is fine. She doesn't need vitamins. You are doing the best thing for her right now. Breast milk is the perfect food. Period. Keep up the good work!

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S.C.

answers from Omaha on

Hi M.!

You're getting lots of support here and kudos to all you moms who have given M. advise!! I would like to address the question, "Why does it make me feel bad?" Like all the other moms here, I, too, brestfed all four of my babies. From experience, some people do not understand brestfeeding. I actually had one person tell me I was fortunate that all my children were girls because if they were boys, brestfeeding would be unnatural!!! REALLY!! This person tagged a sexual induindo onto it!! I swiftly corrected her, of course. The feeling to please others sometimes makes us feel bad even when we're doing the right thing. Not wanting confrontations is natural. So why does it make you feel bad? Because she is, after all, your husband's mother. I think every mom out there incounters difference of opinions and methods when raising their child differently than their own folks or in-laws. Just sit back and do your own thing. No two people are exactly alike and she is YOUR daughter, not your mil's. Politely tell her that you've spoken with your doctor and that you're following his recommendations. Things do change throughout the years in the medical field. You're doing just fine and I tip my hat to you for sticking to your guns. Remember, if someone makes you feel bad for brestfeeding, or anything else, sit back and look at the whole picture. You'll see it in a different light when you remember that you are doing the right thing for your child, even if others can't see that, or won't see it. Enjoy the experience, their only babies for a short time....

Just Me!
S.

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T.S.

answers from Omaha on

I am still breastfeeding my son, and he is 19 months old. He only nurses 2-3 times a day now. I symphasize with your annoyances. I have learned to smile and nod a lot!! I did start my son on a vitamin after 1 year because he is allergic to milk, and he wasn't eating solids very well yet. Just rememebr that you are doing the best thing for you and your baby. Great job mom!!

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H.E.

answers from Lincoln on

I, too, nursed my babies until around 13-14 months. Funny how adding teeth doesn't matter. But, FYI, my doctors (and I had different doctors) gave me vitamins for my babies. This was for the flouride mainly, since they don't get that in breast milk. Also, the vitamin adds extra iron, which is always good. But, if your doctor doesn't recommend it, then there you go. Good for you for ignoring negative comments!

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C.M.

answers from Sioux City on

M., your gonna find that everyone has an opinion on how you raise your child. Everyone, expecially in-laws have to stick their two sense into everything. I have found that being a mother to almost three and step mother to two, it gets rather exausting if you listen to everyone. So my suggestion is to use your motherly instincts, and if you don't think she needs vitamins (and I'm with you) then don't give her any. However if you feel she does then talk to her doctor and see what they say. Because she is getting vitamins through you and remember too many vitamins could cause problems. I hope this helps, and for all it counts i think your doing a good job. after all some of us don't even try to breast feed and others can't, but to do it for as long as you have well good for you. good luck and happy holidays

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J.

answers from Boise on

Hi M.! Yes our culture in general has a hard time with breastfed babies. I believe due to a lack of knowledge and of "I wasn't breastfed and I'm ok."-type thoughts. Congratulations on your determination to give your daughter what you feel is best for her.

It sounds like you might enjoy the support and friendships that can be made at your local chapter of La Leche League. I have participated for over a year now and I have learned a ton and met some great people. On top of it it serves as my grounding point in reassuring myself that my determination to breastfeed my daughter is well-founded and the best decision for my family when the pressures of the majority begin to overwelhm. In order to find out about your local chapter in addition to information of every kind on breastfeeding (most likely including vitamin supplementation) Google "La Leche League" There is a search for your state etc. Meeting location and times may be listed if not there should be phone numbers for the local leaders who you can call about meetings but also any breastfeeding questions you have.

Although US culture has a hard time with breastfeeding, I believe it is changing and every determined mother who educates her family and friends along the way makes it that much easier for the next mom who wants to do the same.

Good luck and stick to your guns for what you believe is rigt for your family.

J.

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W.H.

answers from Pocatello on

First of all, congratulations on breastfeeding your baby! I agree that breastmilk it the very best for your daughter. That is why I breastfed mine until she naturally weaned herself at about 11 months. I loved breastfeeding too. You can find breastfeeding support at www.breastfeeding.com. With that said, I must admit that my daughter's doctor prescribed a polyvitamin for her when she was very young. (I'm not sure if it was as young as nine months - so, maybe you can check with your daughter's doc). But, the vitamin had flouride in it, which I thought was important for her to have. When my daughter was born I received a ton of advice from all family members, whether I asked for it or not. Sometimes when you are constantly being told how to be a mother, it can make you feel bad. But, hopefully you can keep in mind that they probably just have the best intentions. :) I hope that helps.

After reading some of the other responses, I will do some more research into the importance of flouride and the polyvitamins that I have been giving my daughter for over a year now! - Thanks

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A.R.

answers from Omaha on

Ugh! I got some same problems from my MIL too! I breast fed my baby from the very beginning (she is 15 months old now and we're still BF 3-4 times a day). When she was a newborn, I tried to get her to take a pacifier and she would literally spit it across the room. We tried every brand of pacifier that there was and she refused them all. My MIL decided that since my baby didn't want a pacifier that she need to have her tongue clipped!!! Me being a first time mom didn't know any better and checked with her pedi at her next well baby and he said she was fine. Then after that my MIL decided that my baby had colic because she would cry when away from me. She didn't have colic - she just missed her mom. I take everything that everyone tells me with a grain of salt... especially if its coming from my MIL.

Great job with the BF by the way. Keep it up!! I am planning to wean here shortly but I can honestly say it has been of the most rewarding and bonding experiences of my life.

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L.H.

answers from Des Moines on

Never let anyone make you feel bad about breastfeeding. I think your approach is fantastic- from what I've read and talked to my pediatrician about, there is no rush to get on solid food. At this point, solid food is not so much nourishment, but about learning the motor skills to eat solids later, so sounds like you have that under control. I have read, however, that Vitamin D does not pass in breastmilk so you might want to consider a vitamin drop with Vitamin D- OR- because I was hesitant to give a supplement even though my pediatrician recommended it- I did some reading that explained how much sunlight a baby needs to have to get enough vitamin D: Baby needs 13-15 minutes a day of direct sunlight with clothes on or 3-4 minutes direct sunlight when just in a diaper. Of course, unless you live in California, direct sunlight is hard to come by this time of year. Stick to it!

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M.W.

answers from Boise on

I got that at little too. It might be a generation thing? I'm sure your Pediatrician would back you up. Just tell people you are following Doctors orders and maybe they'll leave you alone! I BF until 1 year as well and you have my full support! My oldest only BF for 7 months and (maybe it is not realated) but he was always sick from 7 months to 2 years! Keep it up!

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T.S.

answers from Casper on

M.,

What a good mom you are to care so much about your little girl!!! I comment you for sticking with breastfeeding it is the best thing for your baby.

I want to correct something in another response about fluoride. It is NOT good for you and especially should not be given to a baby. Here are a couple of links you can read that should explain. Fluroide is actually not good for your teeth at all and it is bad for your bones.

http://www.wholywater.com/fluoride.html

http://www.ghchealth.com/where-the-yellow-went.html

http://www.viewzone.com/fluoride.html

As far as everything I have read and know you do not need any suppliments for your baby. I am currently enrolled in a nursing program and something of a health nut. I hope this helps. Good luck!!!

:)T

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S.C.

answers from Bismarck on

My mom is the same way, only she says that her mom never breastfed after 6 months and if you give formula he will sleep through the night. Wrong! My 2 year old had formula from 3 weeks on and he still got up during the night until he was 1 and a half. My son has teeth and well yup I get bit but I will put my breast away if he does bite me. I get stared at all the time when I breast feed I will even cover up but teen girls and other woman stare and sneer. I just say hey it is free. If your MIL wants to start handing out money for you to use formula let her. It is very expensive. Way to go on breast feeding for nine months. Us Breast feeding moms need to stick together.

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C.

answers from Omaha on

M.,

It is so great that you are committed to breastfeeding for at least a year! I, too, breastfed my boys until they were 16 months, and 13 months, and am so glad I did. I stay at home with them, but I'm also a Registered Dietitian, and it is recommended that exclusively breastfed babies have a Vitamin D supplement (I don't think it passes well through breastmilk). This is more important if you are breastfeeding a young baby during the winter months, when they aren't exposed to the sun as much. And now that your baby is older, and probably eating a few things with Vitamin D (yogurt, maybe some cooked milk products), it's not so important that she have this supplement.

Keep up the good work! You're doing the best thing for your baby.