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Are multivitamins advisable while breastfeeding?

Answered by
Dr. Vaishalee Punj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 2306 Questions

Posted on Mon, 5 Oct 2015 in Internal Doctor Category
Question: Is it safe to take Multivitamin tablets with Vitamin A (50% as beta-Carotene 50% as Acetate) and other vitamins, for a Nursing mom with 4 months old baby?
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 58 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Depends on dose of vitamin A

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for your query.

The recommendation is to avoid vitamin A during pregnancy and lactation.

But in USA and Canada, a multivitamin preparation named materna is routinely taken during pregnancy and lactation and it contains vitamin A as beta-carotene in the dose of 1200 mcg/2500 IU.

The supplement that should be avoided is omega 3, 6, 9 (also called as DHA/ARA). It has considerable side effects.

Please let me know the name of multivitamin that you are planning to take so that I am better able to help you.

Hope it helps.
Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Vaishalee Punj 9 minutes later
Thank you Dr. Vaishalee. We were planning to take the Multi Vitamin caplets from GNC. Here is the link:

Below are the supplement facts in detail, Please review and let me know:
     Amount Per Serving           % DV     
     Vitamin A (50% as beta-Carotene 50% as Acetate)       5000.00 IU      100%      

     Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid)       200.00 mg      333%      

     Vitamin D (as Ergocalciferol)       600.00 IU      150%      

     Vitamin E (as natural d-alpha Tocopheryl Succinate)       30.00 IU      100%      

     Thiamin (as Thiamin Mononitrate)       75.00 mg      5000%      

     Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2)       75.00 mg      4412%      

     Niacin (as Niacinamide)       75.00 mg      375%      

     Vitamin B-6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride)       75.00 mg      3750%      

     Folic Acid       600.00 mcg      150%      

     Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin)       75.00 mcg      1250%      

     Biotin       75.00 mcg      25%      

     Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium d-Pantothenate)       75.00 mg      750%      

     Calcium (as Calcium Carbonate)       100.00 mg      10%      

     Iron (as Ferrous Fumarate)       18.00 mg      100%      

     Iodine (as Kelp)       150.00 mcg      100%      

     Zinc (as Zinc Oxide)       15.00 mg      100%      

     Selenium (as L-Selenomethionine)       200.00 mcg      286%      

     Copper (as Copper Sulfate)       2.00 mcg      100%      

     Manganese (as Manganese Sulfate)       2.00 mcg      100%      

     Chromium (as Hydrolyzed Protein Chelate)       120.00 mcg      100%      

     Potassium (as Potassium Chloride)       5.00 mg      0%      

     Silica (as Silicon Dioxide)       10.00 mcg      **      

     Choline (as Choline Bitartrate)       35.00 mg      **      

     Inositol       75.00 mcg      **      

     Rutin Powder       20.00 mg      **      

     Citrus Bioflavonoids Complex       10.00 mg      **      

     Hesperidin Complex       5.00 mg      **      

     N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC)       500.00 mcg      **      

     Alpha lipoic acid (supplying R-ALA)       15.00 mg      **      

     Green Tea Leaves Extract (Camellia sinensis)       15.00 mg      **
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 11 minutes later
Brief Answer:
I would not suggest this

Detailed Answer:
Hi again

I will not suggest this multivitamin. The reason being high dose of vitamin A and some other ingredients with unknown side effects.

The mother can take cap prenatal by the company Wyeth available in XXXXXXX This is similar in composition to materna available abroad. Or she can take becosule capsule that are time tried and tested.

Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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